We meet a lot of people doing some really cool things to make the world a better place: entrepreneurs running incredibly successful restaurants with zero waste dishes at the heart of their menu; designers using landfill to create high fashion; drinks makers disrupting the market and giving back to the growers…
It was some time ago now, but inspired by the companies we worked with, we made the decision to dedicate our business to making a difference. Now we operate as an ethical digital agency and only work with companies sticking to their guns and driven by their values. It makes those Monday mornings a heck of a lot easier, knowing we get to work with these guys to support their growth and spread the word.
But, in the words of the great frog, it’s not that easy being green and most of the companies we work with haven’t had a conventional journey to success. But successful they are, despite the adversity and perhaps even because of it – that and their determination never to give up on doing what’s right.
When we set up BareAll, it was to share these stories of lessons learned and mistakes made and courses corrected to reach the destination. We wanted to show it is possible to be a business doing good things and be an industry leader. We wanted to inspire other businesses to take a leap, or even just a small step, towards being the change they want to see in the world.
Since we started BareAll, this little event has gone from strength to strength. Here are some of our favourite moments:
Elvis & Kresse: Karma Capitalism
We were totally bowled over by Kresse’s session, in which she recalled travelling the UK on a landfill tourism trip. She scoured mountains of waste looking for a problem to solve and found it in the form of old fire hoses. She took the raw materials, made them into designer handbags and sold them to very rich people, donating 50% of the profit back to the firefighters charity. I mean, it wasn’t as smooth sailing as that but in a nutshell, they’re amazing.
Karma Cola: Fall Forward
Simon from Karma Cola definitely bared all in his session – talking us through his first failed attempts at sustainable business and the evolution of ideas he went through to land on Karma Cola. Simon told us what kept him going was sticking to the principle that people have a willingness to help, to support a project and invest in a good idea. And we’re very glad he did – Karma Cola is now stocked in major supermarkets and in five years they’ve ‘helped over 2000 people in eight villages earn $150,000 to support their community’.
Oliver Heath, Sustainable Architecture
Biophilic design replicates experiences of nature in design to reinforce our connection and has been proven to improve work life balance, alleviate stress and reduce absenteeism. At this session, held rather aptly at the eco-friendly Hospital Club, Oliver took us through the benefits of bringing the outside in and improving our connection with nature to benefit our health and wellbeing.
Safia Minney, Respect for People & Planet
Safia is a powerhouse of ethical living. Founding People Tree 25 years ago; developing the first supply chains for Fair Trade fashion, getting into slums in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Africa and Latin America; collaborating with Po-Zu to design ethical footwear, writing books and making films – Safia makes it very clear what fashion needs to be about. Her talk was both inspiring and sobering and it was an honour to have her chat to us and answer our questions.
The list of amazing and inspiring speakers goes on and on – Neal’s Yard Remedies, Belu Water, the P.E.A awards, Rooted London, Action for Happiness, The Planet Mark… If you’d like to be an audience member, or indeed, get involved in speaking, get in touch. Together we can spread the message that changing the game while continuing to grow is not only possible, it is essential for our future.