Style & Conscience

Co-create with a local fashion design (style), a local producer, and a Facebook community to support a local cause (conscience)

Information

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CA Canada
Web http://www.styleandconscience.com/
Maturity

Mature

About the project Edit

Style & Conscience is a socially engaged clothing and accessories line sold exclusively through Montréal Couture, a Montreal-based nonprofit.

The products are designed and developed using a unique collaborative process that unites designers and tastemakers. They co-create during two brainstorming workshops that take place in person at the designer’s workshop, which are then broadcasted via the Style & Conscience social media network where internet-users are encouraged to participate in the product co-creation process.

Each new product is then sold directly through the online boutique and is available for a limited time only. At the end of the sales period, only the exact quantity of products purchased is made by a local producer, thus avoiding over-production and over-consumption. 20% of the sales from each product are donated to the cause associated with the product.

Themes

In what ways is this project unique and creative? Edit

This project demonstrates how a supposedly futile industry, namely fashion, can be engaged and socially responsible by creating work for various partners outside of the classic value chain model. This new model can be described as a shared value chain; the price is broken down in a completely transparent way so that the consumer can understand how much each player is being paid in the production process. In addition, the co-creative design concept requires the combined involvement of the designer and community members who vote and give their opinion on the product in development, which facilitates widespread, creative brainstorming.

What is the social value of this project? Edit

Style & Conscience is a project led by Montréal Couture, an organization whose mission is to restructure clothing production in the province of Quebec. Every product facilitates the testing and validation of concrete techniques and expertise by local producers who may then work with other designers to support their creativity thus reinforcing the industry. In addition, since a significant portion of profits is donated to local causes, Syle & Conscience products can be considered as a fundraising tool that reaches a public beyond the usual philanthropic donor base; consumers can thus become consumer-actors.

What is the potential of this project to expand and develop? Edit

The concept of “Shared Creative Value” that implicates local players can be replicated in other regions or sectors as long as the right conditions co-exist: some enthusiastic creative people, an adapted and reactive production capacity, and inspirational causes.

What was the triggering factor of this project? Edit

Besides the strong wish of several fashion companies and non-profits to participate in this project, the real ignition came from our ability to find a budget to start the project and be able to test the idea with 3 different co-creation sessions around a fashionable product.

What is the business model of this project? Edit

The business model relies on the fact to be able to sell that co-created product directly to the consumer. Even more the value chain processes (product development, merchandising, sales and production) have been optimized: the product development cycle has been reduced to 1 month between the first cocreative session and the online sales launch (compared to 3 months in the industry), production is just made on-demand (avoiding overproduction and unnecessary inventory) and is sourced locally (reducing the manufacturing time to 2 to 3 weeks, instead of 9 weeks in the industry). So there is no possibility to loose time and money, that allows all the partners to be paid a fair price and to give back a significant percentage of the benefits to a charity.


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