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Journal of a Sustainable Fashion Startup

Which Key Resources do You Need to Future Proof Your Business? 

 

To future proof your business, you need to build on three things: Emotional Intelligence, Tangible skills for the future and the Ability to adapt in an ever-changing world. 

To do these, you should constantly be on the look-out for inspiration and be thirsty of resources that can keep you on our toes. 

As covered in our previous blog post Where and How to start? don’t keep your idea for yourself. Know when and how to ask for help, and the right people will want to help. 

The adage (and Matthieu Stefani!said ‘’You are the average of the people you spend the most time with’’.

We couldn’t agree more with this. Surrounding ourselves with the right people has been key to our progress so far and we are thankful to them. 

We’ve compiled a list of resources including the people, the podcasts, the books, the magazines and the Instagram accounts that we use to future proof our business. 

We hope you’ll find some inspirations in these lists and they will be as useful for you as they (still) are for us. 

Or you can jump straight to the end of this article and see what we’ve achieved so far, and what our upcoming goals are.

Our resources

People

  • Ben Keene, founder of Rebel Book Club, who mentored us for 3 months before Billi London even existed
  • Anna Dominic, founder of sculptural footwear Ganor Dominic, who gave us the most valuable advice on how to deal with Italian manufacturers (the main one being: put boundaries!)
  • Bernard Saltiel, former Le Bourget CEO, who accepted to go back into the tights adventure with us, 27 years after leaving Le Bourget
  • Cherie Yang, former VC Consultant to LVMH Luxury Ventures,who’s so passionate about our brand and always shares the right information with us 
  • Justine Hutteau, founder of skincare brand Respire, who’s shared the most insightful behind the scene know-how from her successful journey  
  • Alexandra, founder of swimwear brand Anja Paris, who guided us through her dos and don’t when starting up a crowdfunding campaign 
  • Pelin, course leader at Escape the City, who’s taught us not to be shy about our story and what we stand for 
  • Théo Corboliou, founder of Give-a-seat, who’s given us key guiding principles on building a sustainable business 
Thanks to all of you for teaching us, inspiring us and giving us clues on how to get all these things figured out, one small step at a time. 

      You can read our thank you post here for a full list.

      Escape the City Start-up Accelerator August 2019


      Podcasts

      We are probably listening to 5+ hours of podcast a week and it would be an understatement to say we might be a little bit addicted… The knowledge, insights and inspiration we get from it is invaluable and we would urge everyone wanting to launch a start up to find podcasts you can relate to. 

      Here are our favourite ones, including some specific episodes that resonated with us. 

      1. Le gratin by Pauline Laigneau (in French)  - episode #6 with Jacob Abbou, Founder of Le Journal de l'Automobile

      2. Generation Do It Yourself by Matthieu Stefani (in French) - Episode #83 with Kickstarter’s founder, Perry Chen (although this episode is in English)

      3. Generation XX by Siham Jibril (in French) - Episode from 19th June 2019 with Pampa’s founder, Noelie Balez

      4. Le Panier by Laurent Kretz (in French) - Episode #4 with Rodolphe Gardies, CMO of online menswear label Asphalte

      5. How I built this by Guy Raz - episode from the 11th Feb 2019 with TOMS’ founder, Blake Mycoskie.

      Generation Do It Yourself Podcast 

      Books
      • Shoe Dog, a memoir by Nike co-founder Phil Knight. The memoir chronicles the history of Nike from its early struggles to its evolution into one of the world’s most recognised and profitable companies. Such a fascinating read giving you the insight into the early journey of Nike, and the struggles. 

      • Bienheureux les félés: tout le monde peut créer son entreprise, by Philippe Bloch. We love biographical books, especially when they are written as a story. This one should be a must read, we have devoured each page with increasing enthusiasm. Sorry, the book is in French only, I think!
      Magazine
      • Courier - stories of modern business. A bi-monthly must read to stay up to date with the most innovative startups.
      Instagram

      We know Instagram can be overwhelming sometimes so we purposefully limited the list below to only few accounts, the ones that we love the most. 

      1. Conscious living

        Eco-Age @ecoage // Aesthetics with ethics, daily resource for the #activecitizen

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

               2. Slow Fashion

        Fashion Revolution @fash_rev // NGO, Global movement calling for greater transparency in the fashion industry.

               3. Art

        Flowsofly @flowsofly // illustration for prints and tattoos

              4. Design

        Designboom magazine @designboom // est.1999, world’s first digital magazine for architecture, art + technology

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

             5. Culture

        IDEA @idea.ltd // Dover Street Market London, NYC, LA, Tokyo and CdG Trading Museum Paris

             6. Brand

        by Humankind  @byhumankind // Personal care products designed to reduce single-use plastic waste in your daily routine.

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

              7. Lifestyle

        Social Goodness @social goodness // A digital-first lifestyle publication that explores and redefines what it means to live well in the wake of the global climate crisis.

              8. Influencer

        Style Me Sunday @stylemesunday // Fashion with Feeling but also loves getting naked.

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

             9. Entrepreneur

        Mathilde Lacombe @mathildelacombe // French, co-founder founder @aimeskincare. Mom of three, between Reims & Paris.   

            10. Shop

        Know the origin @knowtheorigin // Shop honest transparent brands in one place. Discover the ethical impacts and origin behind all our clothes.

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

         

        Our 2019 achievements 

        • 1 Escape the City Startup Course done between April and July
        • 1 pitch completed in front of visitors and potential investors at the end of the Escape programme
        • 1 live website
        • 300+ women interviewed
        • 190 email addresses and potential first customers gathered
        • Our first newsletter sent
        • 290+ followers on Instagram
        • 1st public speaking appearance for Salty Studio
        • 1 trip to Italy visiting 3 selected manufacturers
        • 3 multi lingual what’s app groups live with 30 women sharing their tights experience and recommendations with us
        • 2 advisers on board: Bernard Saltiel, former CEO of le Bourget, one of the most known luxury tight house in France, and Cherie Yang, former VC Consultant at LVMH Luxury Venture

          
        First manufacturer's visit in Italy, December 2019

        What's keeping us busy right now

        • Developing our tech pack for prototyping 
        • Searching for a zero waste, plastic free packaging
        • Finalising our brand book and visual identity 
        • Preparing the crowdfunding campaign 

        Branding planning at the British Library, January 2020

        Our 2020 objectives

        • Pushing the live button of our crowdfunding campaign by May 
        • Officially launching the e-commerce website in September

        Watch this space...