Today on CauseTalk Radio, Megan and Joe talk to Christine Rizk, co-founder and President of Boston-based Fashion Project, about how her company is turning high fashion into cold cash for nonprofits.
The mission of Fashion Project is to change the world one piece of clothing at a time. They collect high-end clothing from donors and sell them online. Fifty-five percent of the money raised goes to a nonprofit of the donor’s choosing.
Christine discusses the challenge of starting and running a cause business, and how important partnerships with retailers and celebrities have been to Fashion Projects’ success. One partner – Nordstrom – has given Fashion Project $40 gift cards to incentivize donors.
Tune in for a great story about how two Harvard Law School grads passed on a career in the law to match high fashion with high social impact!
Detailed Show Run-Down
2:15: How Christine and her co-founder Anna met at Harvard Law and why they decided to start Fashion Project. $53 billion worth of “stuff” is donated in the US each year. Christine and Anna decided there was no way all the “stuff” turned into real money for nonprofits and saw an opportunity to raise so much more.
3:33: – How Fashion Project works – the free and simple process
5:10: – Joe asks the most important question: How do your parents feel about you going to Harvard Law and then starting this business? Christine’s awesome answer.
7:45: The Nordstrom partnership: what it is, how to get it and why it works for Fashion Project.
10:00: How social media plays into Fashion Project’s positive “buzz”. Christine explains how fashion industry partnerships and celebrity relationships have helped legitimize their brand.
11:42: Megan asks Christine to elaborate on how they developed such deep celebrity partnerships in such a short amount of time. Christine shares their “secrets”. Hint: you could do this, too!
14:53: Christine shares an iteration they’re developing called “My Fashion Projects” that allows people to share their cause passion areas. A discussion ensues about how important it is to allow customers to decide where their donation goes.
17:15: Christine shares what’s been the most surprising about operating a business in the cause space. She shares stories about the importance of simplifying their process for their nonprofit partners.
21:07: Learn how to connect with Fashion Project and Christine