Trendsetter Ethical Fashion Brand Deux Mains Powers Social Enterprise with a Multi-Purpose Business Model


Deux Mains

Welcome to our next method profile! Our previous entry focused on using a side dish remedy in social enterprise. In operating any venture, everything flows from your approach, and identifying a proper method helps you effectively fulfill your team’s initiative.

Together, we’ll be profiling interesting social enterprises to discuss an anchor method in their strive for social good. The term “anchor method” is to express the intentional and grounded nature of the approaches propelling a social enterprise forward.

This post is an outside observation of a company for inspiration in social enterprise initiative improvements.

In today’s post, we’ll look into ethical fashion brand Deux Mains leveraging multi-purpose arrangement. This stylish social enterprise sells fashion with the community in mind first.

Knowing the Company

Based in Haiti, the brand is inspired by the culture and perseverance of the people. Founder Julie Colombino-Billingham, a disaster relief responder, was deeply impacted by conditions in Haiti after the disruptive 2010 earthquake. In the midst of volunteering, she had a revelation to “do less and listen more”. We know from our past method profiles that listening is a gateway to greater impact. What Julie heard shifted her perception: “I don’t want a bottle of water. I need a job.” After hearing such realistic feedback, Julie decided where she would spend her energy, and Deux Mains was born.

Deux Mains is an ethical fashion brand selling sandals, bags, and jewelry. Items in the Deux Mains catalog are handmade from  recycled materials in a local solar-powered factory. The brand express their commitment on the Ethics & Sustainability page:

“We operate a 100% solar power factory and have transforming an estimated 10,000 tires into the soles of our sandals, reducing the emission of CO2 by 11 metric tons.”

Bringing things Full-Circle

An ecosystem provides Deux Mains with the ability to thrive and create an impact. Deux Mains is the for-profit portion of a larger ecosystem. Similar to any social enterprise, the brand’s role includes earning funds to sponsor social good initiatives. Unlike many social enterprises, Deux Mains found a way to self-sustain by transforming the brand into a multi-purpose entity.

REBUILD globally is the nonprofit partner that manages the flow in the other half of the ecosystem. Julie is also the founder of REBUILD globally, showing that the purposeful arrangement is an anchor in the operations of Deux Mains. Hosting a small job training center and education programs for communities in Haiti cultivate value. Through this value, participants fulfill a job through Deux Mains. As written on their Social Good page: “Every single REBUILD globally graduate has a 100% guaranteed job at Deux Mains.”

REBUILD globally provides skilled individuals to build the brand, while Deux Mains provides funding for programs. Both entities  benefit from this systems, but the participants are the true winners.

Julie built a way to provide the training, which supplies skilled workers for optimized performance and higher revenue. More than that, she engineered a safe space that promotes self-efficacy through self-sufficiency. Participants grow within the ecosystem brought by the combination of Deux Mains and REBUILD globally.

Building Wealth through Social Enterprise 

Wealth is different from sustaining. Wealth extends beyond an individual’s own box of responsibility, and can transcend the short-lived time limit of funds meant to sustain. The brand approaches wealth through job creation. Supplying proper jobs became Deux Mains way of replacing poverty with wealth. Text on their Ethics & Sustainability page supports this thought:

“Job creation is the most dignified and sustainable way to fight poverty, it is the core of deux mains.”

Where Deux Mains shines, is this ecosystem helping the participants to build wealth. The brand keeps the money in the community, and creates a snowball effect as the participants are building upon the successes of their work.

Participants are able to grow their skills, and possibly use their knowledge to further their life experience. Later found on the Ethics & Sustainability, you’ll find the brand explicitly states their intention giving participants a nurturing environment, especially for women:

“We are proudly women-owned and women-managed. Encouraging leadership and promoting from within.”

The brand benefits from this in the way that wealth and performance is proof of impact. Deux Mains also receives more as participants gain confidence, and produce greater results through their work. This leads to more revenue for Deux Mains, thus, resulting in more funding for REBUILD globally.

The ecosystem has a multi-purpose arrangement that handles the impact in numerous initiatives. All this without diluting the purpose of any particular section. Deux Mains says on their homepage:

“Our unique ecosystem works because it addresses the underlying issues. This integrated approach puts the power back into the hands of those that need help.”

Applicable Takeaway

An anchor based on a multi-purpose arrangement can enhance value for an initiative. One beneficial assessment is to create a mock project to practice integrating a mini-ecosystem into your initiative.

Deux Mains’ en vogue multi-purpose arrangement completes this profile.

People Helping People Podcast is seeking methods clearly supporting an effective impact. Observations and discussions on happenings in the social enterprise community is a significant part of our contribution to social good. Continue to check-in for more conversation-starting content.

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