PutON - Dress for Change

£3,956 of £150,000 goal

Raised by 37 people in 1 month
Created October 21, 2018
PutON
on behalf of Amina Rasool
Thank you for visiting our page and thinking about supporting PutON and the brave women behind it: survivors of conflict-related sexual violence and gender-based violence.

If you are one of our long-time supporters, please feel free to jump ahead and skip parts of the following story. However, if you are reading about us for the first time, please take a few minutes to familiarise yourself with some of the details of our work, which started three years ago in a small war-torn town in Bosnia and Herzegovina and has now grown into a global social venture registered in the UK. We are going public for the first time and it is important for us to show you how carefully we have been preparing the foundations of our plan, to date, with our own personally invested resources and why it is now that we are reaching out to you to join us on our journey of “dress for change”.

What is PutON trying to achieve?

Having worked on international peace-building initiatives, I have had the opportunity to conduct open discussions (in some of the most closed societies) about the challenges facing survivors of CRSV/GBV in cultures where gender equality in particular generally falls short of the mark.  These encounters changed my way of thinking about women’s empowerment. To date, all of the women I have met have shown incredible strength and resilience, fighting risks more serious than for example investing in this venture ever meant to me (and it hasn’t been easy) or would mean to future contributors. They are, however, lacking opportunities to work and earn a sustainable income. The women PutON aims to help have been trained by development organisations to enhance their unique artisan skills and capture their beautiful cultural heritage. But locally they lack two things: access to employment/market opportunities and, often, access to contemporary design matched with quality production methods. In addition, most of the women are either working from home or in closed environments (such as shelters, refugee camps, development centres). This makes it difficult for them to gain entry to supply chains, many of which are already highly competitive and frequently exploitative.

By trying out a model that moves away from aid and promotes merging sustainable development with the core of business strategies, PutON has been credibly building a bridge between the skills and opportunities in post-conflict societies/emerging markets and the growing demand of the sustainable luxury fashion and lifestyle industry for unique, timeless and hand-made products. We have now completed two production test cycles (with Agnés B and her team and a design house in Budapest), thereby improving the business strategy. We have also continued our discussions and meetings with women from Afghanistan to Myanmar and other individuals who are working in the field of ethical/conscious fashion and hospitality. With each conversation we felt the enormous energy and willingness of the people to contribute, indicating that change indeed could happen when committed individuals start working together, and that organisations will follow and large scale impact will become possible. We have seen that change happening already in the way public discourse has opened up about CRSV and GBV. For example, the Nobel Peace Prize awarded recently to Nadia Murad and Denis Mukwege for their fight against sexual violence used as a weapon of war is the most recent proof that women want to have their voices heard and men and women would like to act.

Though the timing of the launch of this crowdfunding initiative is coincidental, we are glad that it can serve as a reassurance to survivors that we are there to support them and that we are planning to be with them in the long term, starting now, by demonstrating what a community of supporters can do.

In the inspirational words of Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Please join us to prove that we are not that small.

Who we are:

The PutON Team:

Founder: Orsolya Székely

Legal Counsel: Amina Rasool

Company Secretary/Accounting: Stephen Dunkling

Interim CFO: Andrea Horváth

Interim CEO/Investment and Business Strategy Adviser: Robert Wijers

Art Director/Fashion Designer: András Tóth

Head Designer/Production Supervisor: Attila Godena-Juhász

Object Design Consultant: Bence Simonfalvi

Sales and Branding Adviser: Dorka Kászonyi

Key Advisers/Champions:

Sabiha Husić - Director Medica Zenica

Peter Shaindlin, COO- Halekulani Corporation, Member of the Executive Committee of Leading Hotels of the World

Yves Hanania - Lighthouse Agency - Luxury Fashion and Lifestyle

Kali Taylor - Geneva 2030 Ecosystem, Sustainable Development Goals

J. Todd Morley - Impact with Profit Investment Professional Y2X 

PutON Milestones to date:

- PutON, a UK registered global social venture, established the core team representing all areas of expertise required for setting up the start-up company. The team represents sustainable excellence with combined senior expertise in the areas of development, business, legal affairs and high-end fashion and object design and production;

- PutON joined the Fashion for Good Platform in Amsterdam as a member;

- Two production test cycles were carried out with workshops in Bosnia and Herzegovina;

- PutON established linkages with development centres for women in South-East Europe and Asia and has access to all of the major development organisations;

- The PutON concept has been exposed to key actors working with CRSV and GBV, most notably the major civil society stakeholders, the UK Government, the UN and the EU;

- Discussions have been initiated with the Ethical Fashion Initiative of the International Trade Centre, PwC, the World Business Council and UN Global Compass to develop PutON’s social impact certificate in the future;

- Established linkages with social venture funds, ethical fashion funds and women investor networks for future fundraising.

What we would like to do next:

Phase 1:  1 to 6 months (Estimated funding needs GBP 150K)

With your help, we would like to start a full production cycle with 10 limited edition pieces designed by our team and handmade initially, in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Hungary (sample workshop and design team) by the end of spring 2019.  This focus is to be able to provide any further necessary training to the women involved and to ensure that all quality controls along the supply chain are working optimally. Another important part of phase 1 is the further capacity mapping of future workshops in post-conflict countries in Europe (we have completed a preliminary one already) and setting up the necessary operational elements to be able to showcase the products directly to the customers.

Phase 2: 6 to 12 months (Estimated funding needs GBP 300K)

After Phase 1 is completed successfully, and we have ramped up production to a sustainable level for all stakeholders, we will work together with our partners on cooperation products and will gradually include other workshops, based on the outcomes of the mapping exercise conducted in Phase 1, in order to increase the level of social impact. Each workshop will have a unique skillset and, combined with the expertise of our design team, will be able to deliver quality products to our B2B and B2C clients.

We would like to thank you for your support and appreciate all contributions equally, irrespective of the amount. We would like to recognise and reward your efforts to help us reach our goal (and hopefully even beyond) by offering the following:

- Above 500 GBP - Offer 5% Discount for the first order from PutON’s Startup Collection

- Above 1000 GBP - Offer 10% Discount for the first order from PutON’s Startup Collection

- Above 2000 GBP add any contributor who wishes to be named on PutON’s Sustainable Excellence Sponsor Wall

- Contributors above 5000 GBP – Offer an individual agreement as to how best show your sponsorship
 
We would also like to thank our kind contributors for their help in putting together our crowdfunding page:

Andrea Parák: Graphic Design and PutON logo
John Galinsky: Coform, Information Designers & Communication Consultants
Yolanda Bakker: De Monchy & Bakker, Professional Training and Coaching
Szilvi Toth: Photographer
Theresa Stanton: Editing

Thank you for your donation.
The PutON Team

www.puton.co 
www.facebook.com/putonsustainable 
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Saïd Business School is supporting PutON and women empowerment! Thank you!
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Fantastic first day of our crowdfunding campaign. Thank you everyone for your support and donations. We've had 363 views and raised over £1000. Every donation, large or small, is greatly appreciated. Please continue to support us and like and share our campaign page.
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£3,956 of £150,000 goal

Raised by 37 people in 1 month
Created October 21, 2018
PutON
on behalf of Amina Rasool
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