The words ‘ethical’ and ‘stylish’ are seldom found in the same sentence when it comes to high street shopping, and piecing together a full wardrobe that reflects one’s personal style whilst staying true to eco-friendly and anti-slave labour ambitions is difficult.
Faced with this problem, Melbourne based entrepreneur Rechelle Coombes founded Socielle, a social enterprise dedicated to retailing beautiful products from socially conscious businesses for women with a beautiful heart, mind and soul.
Prior to launching Socielle, Rechelle spent years working in high profile but emotionally unrewarding corporate marketing roles. After working as a mentor in Accelerator and Incubator programs run by the School for Social Entrepreneurs, Rechelle realised her passion and dedicated herself to finding a way to be true to her business instincts with her socially conscious heart, and so Socielle was born.
Socielle’s difference to other ecommerce fashion stores lies within its ‘giving back’ ethos. The unique business model allows shoppers to directly contribute to a cause they are passionate about with each purchase, changing the way consumers across the globe think about their buying decisions.
This ‘shopfunding’ feature is simple and easy to use, allowing shoppers to make everyday purchases whilst making a difference. A fair trade, handcrafted cuff earns 216 shopfunding points, which can buy a meal for someone in need, and with the average shopping cart totaling over 500 points, shoppers can impact the lives of multiple people with just one purchase.
Socielle uses a shopfunding ‘points’ system to replace ‘dollar figures’, as its purpose goes beyond giving monetary handouts. Instead, it fosters a cumulative effort to impact a specific project. Socielle’s hand-curated range includes fashion, accessories, gifts, homewares, beauty products and stationary, and each item has been carefully picked from businesses who promote positivity, ethical manufacturing and fair trade.
Rechelle explains, “I felt out of place buying from ‘eco shops’ or ‘green shops’ where I felt the aesthetic didn’t match my own, but the values did. Socielle provides ethical and sustainable gifts with a mainstream appeal, so you don’t have to compromise on your own aesthetic or your own ethics. It’s important that everyone realises that the way we use/buy and dispose of retail is not sustainable. I want to get these beautiful, ethically made products into the hands of everyday consumers, so they can understand the stories behind the pieces.”
By implementing high end branding and optimized customer service, Socielle is shaking up the ‘ethical’ stereotype and target market. Users can even track the impact they’ve made by viewing the support they’ve provided through their account.
Socielle is the first step toward changing the dialogue from “You won’t believe how cheap this was!” to “You won’t believe the story behind this dress and the person who created it.”
Rechelle also runs a podcast called Socielle Stories, speaking to socially conscious business owners around the globe, and she’s also set up the Social Enterprise Series, a platform dedicated to showcasing events in the social enterprise space and educating mainstream markets about socially conscious businesses.
Join Rechelle’s mission to make a difference and shop online now at www.socielle.co.
The Fashion Advocate x