That’s the question Ilaria Pasquinelli discusses in her article featured in the Guardian’s Sustainable Fashion Blog. Ilaria is a fashion industry consultant and our paths have crossed before in this relatively small world of sustainability (never seizes to amaze me how I keep running into the same people all the time, hence my conclusion that it must be quite a small world). I contacted Ilaria, who was happy to have the article featured on Grazzhopprz. This is my summary of her observations.
The reasoning in Ilaria’s article is that where businesses traditionally achieved success by growing, this no longer applies as small businesses have proven to be more innovative, leading the way forward. Small business can be more flexible, have fresh ideas and have to take risk as a means to survive: they have to offer that little extra. At Grazzhopprz, we didn’t need to think twice about this one: yes, the small, good initiatives we cover all look to redefine traditional business models and build up something new, unique, a niche that they believe in and go for all the way. That’s why we are so inspired by them!
Ilaria describes the fashion industry as her case study, where she points out:
The situation is such that if a fashion business really wants, or is required to, change its business model, than creativity that reaches out beyond ‘mere’ product design and breaks rules and minimum standards, is desperately needed.
Sounds familiar? Yes, we’ve reported on how difficult it is to fit sustainable fashion into prevailing fashion before #link#. Change is needed.
And change is coming. Through the small initiatives who dare to be different. And how? By partnering with the large brands who don’t want to lag behind! Ilaria shares some interesting examples, here’s one of them:
Worn Again is yet another interesting case study. This tiny company is a conglomerate of bright entrepreneurs full of unconventional ideas on what to do with textiles. Its credo is that things are “just too good to waste” and it partners with corporations such as Virgin, Royal Mail and Eurostar to help them re-use textiles, often disused uniforms, they would otherwise discard. The results are stunning bags out of postal workers’ decommissioned storm jackets.
Could small add up to become the new big?
I guess that’s the key: being small has its benefits in terms of flexibility, fresh thinking, going your own way, but it also has its drawbacks: who will know you’re out there if you’re a small player with limited reach? Partnerships is one way to go about it. And at Grazzhopprz, we’re looking to join forces and let all the small initiatives become one large player. But leaving them all in their own values. Because that’s what makes them unique, that’s what makes them innovative, and that’s why they lead the way forward and become the new big.
I can’t resist rounding off with a quote shared by Ilaria in her article, as inspiration and encouragement to all the good initiatives we cover at Grazzhopprz:
Seth Godin writes: “Small is the new big only when the person running the small thinks big”.
For the full article (definitely worth a read!), click here.