We interviewed Sussex student Raphael Wiener about his social enterprise, Brovation. Here’s an exclusive introduction to this exciting new sustainable clothing company.
Name of Business:
Entrepreneurs names and roles: Rapha, Gabriel, David and Joey (all involved in all areas of the business).
Brighton and Frankfurt
Website and social media handles:
What type of business have you started and when did you set up?
We’ve started a social enterprise and launched the business at the end of November 2020. Brovation sells clothing made from fully organic and recycled materials. As an additional nod to our commitment to caring for the planet, we plant trees for every item sold with the goal of contributing to a more positive world.
What problem is your business trying to solve?
We are trying to be different to other clothing companies who support fast fashion, using cheap and environmentally harmful materials, often exploiting workers in developing countries. In addition, we are trying to fight deforestation.
What is the solution?
All our products are made from fully organic and recycled materials. Our partners and manufacturers make sure that the working conditions and wages of the whole production chain are fair. We also plant trees for every item sold. By combining fully organic and sustainable clothing with a positive social impact and simultaneously supporting reforestation, our business is unique. We have a blog too, we’re building a community and using the platform to help people to make sustainable choices in their lives.
What makes this time so perfect for your business to launch?
We truly believe that now is the perfect time to launch a business that supports sustainability and reforestation, as we are facing great challenges, such as climate change, deforestation etc. All of which threaten our existence.
Who are your customers?
Everyone who cares for the environment and our planet, but also everyone who just loves stylish and comfortable clothing!
How do you market your business and attract customers?
We are very active on social media, on our blog and website.
How does your business make money?
At the moment we’re selling through our online shop and, from the beginning of March, our products will also be available at an online marketplace for sustainable companies. Next up, we’ll be working on developing a B2B (business to business) revenue stream.
How have you funded Brovation?
We started the business with private savings. We definitely recommend saving a specific amount of money up no matter whether you want to take out a loan or if you’re looking for investors, as it will always benefit you to have some spare money in case things don’t go to plan.
How are you managing to reach customers in two different countries?
We store half of our products in the UK and half of our products in Germany. Rapha and Gabriel are responsible for the distribution of our products in the UK and David and Joey are responsible for the distribution of our products in Germany.
What are you most proud of regarding the business?
We are very proud of having our name and business trademarked. We are also proud to be continually receiving extremely positive feedback from our customers.
What one piece of advice would you offer to someone starting up?
Be brave, take risks, listen to your gut and make mistakes, because when you wake up at the age of 70 you don´t want to look back and regret any missed opportunities in your life.