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BLINK
Wednesday, 27 October 2010
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BEYOND SKIN

Whenever we have something that we are good at - something we care about - that experience and passion fundamentally changes the nature of our first impression. When we are outside our areas of expertise, our reactions remain shallow, they are hard to explain and easily disrupted. They aren't grounded in real understanding.

This fragment from Malcolm Gladwell's bestseller Blink made me think about my own passion for eco fashion. The past seven years I have met and interviewed over 100 eco fashion entrepreneurs. Most of them had only just started their venture, but already had an aura of success. Success is a biased word, but in this case I mean that they managed to build a sustainable enterprise. Or: that they - although they only just started - would manage to build a sustainable enterprise and that I somehow knew this. I don't know how I knew it, but I just felt it intuitively.

Of course I can rationalize that Beyond Skin already had a celebrity following five years ago which helped the founder to get a lot of media exposure for her brand. Or I can say that Howies remained very authentic, even after their buy-out by Timberland. Or that the Veja guys had a clever business instinct that pulled them through the start-up phase. Or that Ada Zanditon's designs just blew everyone away. There are many reasons for success, but a smart mix of exposure, design aesthetic, business skills and preferably authenticity is the best way forward.

There is a big difference between saying you're an ethical fashion brand and truly building a sustainable company. By now I think we have many great examples that we can learn from. When I meet a new entrepreneur, I always go over the smart mix to understand where he or she is. But my first impression - the initial blink - counts the most. Will we see him or her again at next year's trade fair?

Comments (5)Add Comment
RED IS HOT
written by image consultant london, January 12, 2011
I like the style and color of the red shoes in the picture. It is so elegant and sexy.
Nice shoes!
written by fair trade scarves, April 01, 2011
Those are really nice shoes! Really good to pair it with a fair trade organic silk scarf. Classy and beautiful!
...
written by Homecoming dresses, April 20, 2011
Those shoes just scream BUY ME ....
Interesting!
written by Francis Oliverio, November 09, 2011
(Whenever we have something that we are good at - something we care about - that experience and passion fundamentally changes the nature of our first impression. When we are outside our areas of expertise, our reactions remain shallow, they are hard to explain and easily disrupted. They aren't grounded in real understanding.
This fragment from Malcolm Gladwell's bestseller Blink made me think about my own passion for eco fashion.)

What you have written here is very interesting. Well, I must admit I was captured by the wonderful photo you have on top, but it led me to the statement beside it. And it's wonderful.
out of comfort zone
written by celestina, July 07, 2013
Very true what you say, although I think when you get out of your comfort zone doing things you are not that good at but driven by the passion of the things you are pursuing, then the magic happens. I am experiencing this. Coming from an engineering background, ditched my corp life to pursue my dream of making some contribution to a better world. It is been not easy, it's been not natural, but it's been worth every moment.

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