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RUBYMOON SWIM & ACTIVEWEAR: Active Change - By Women For Women

Brighton, United Kingdom
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
Project Stage:
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

RubyMoon sustainable swim & activewear donates all it's profits to women entrepreneurs in 11 developing countries, through micro finance. Our clothing has 43% less emmissions than similar garments, reduces ocean pollution, is ethically produced & without compromising on beauty and quality of design

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if all business had a positive social impact, putting people and planet first and all products had to be sustainably made and sourced?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Our social business allows women to empower other women through entrepreneurship- to alleviate poverty and provide a steady income. Where women have their own income, they are seen to spend more on housing, nutrition and education of their children, this leading to positive change in their communities. In addition, our products reduce pollution from the ocean, & within the supply chain & add real value rather than have negative effects.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Made from regenerated yarn made from pollutants like plastic bottles and abandoned fishing nets. These pollutants have a detrimental effect on the environment, particularly sea life. Ethical manufacturing solves the problem of additional pollution, poverty and abuse in the supply chain Fabric contains extra life Lycra for tested for 100 hours of exposure to sunlight, chlorine and sea water - much more of a quality, durable product. A solution to poor quality fabrics made by petro chemicals that end up in landfill. RubyMoon loans it’s net profits to women starting and expanding their businesses in 11 developing countries across the globe. This addresses the root of poverty & lack of opportunity for families, allowing development.


The Big Issue Corporate Social Venture 2015
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Christina Reyes, in the Philippines, received a micro finance loan through Lendwithcare to create her own business, Project Lily. Water Lilies grow incredibly quickly and can be damaging to their natural habitat by preventing water flow and increasing the risk of dengue fever but Christina weaves them into a variety of wares including flip-flops, baskets, traditional bags, lampshades & furniture. She has been so successful, she now employs 25 single mothers from her community, who mostly work from home so they can continue to look after their children. The loan enabled her to buy the equipment she needed providing a solution to an environmental problem and creating an income for both her family and the local community.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

So far, RubyMoon has sold swimwear & made over 150 loans to women entrepreneurs-see them and their stories here: Christina Reyes lives in the Philippines in an area where water lilys created an environmental problem-so took a micro finance loan and invested it in her own business weaving the stems into products such as sandals and bags- and has been so successful that she now employs 25 single mothers to do the same. In addition 512 gCO2e is saved per swimsuit when manufactured by RubyMoon as well as removing pollutants from the sea bed. Our mission for the next 5 years is to create more impact by creating 20,000 micro finance loans for women & reduce carbon emissions to the equivalent of leaving a lightbulb on for more than 1,750 years! We have also run 4 internships for students to learn about sustainability in fashion & textiles.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

RubyMoon will build a strong social business. RubyMoon has a 5 year strategy to manufacture and sell both swim and activewear throughout Europe as the ethical brand alternative. This is planned through wholesale, trade shows and ecommerce, to compete with mainstream products, as well as targeting the ethical consumer. Moreover, RubyMoon seeks to educate the consumer on the benefits of both sustainable clothing and investing in women by making our products and story available to a greater number of people. 15 student internships will also be offered in sustainability in fashion & textiles.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

RubyMoon is funded by the sales of it's products, and has a financial growth plan including profit & loss as well as cash-flow projections, as per similar wholesale/retail businesses.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

There are a few small swimwear companies offering similar product, but RubyMoon is unique in that we are the only swim and activewear investing in women through micro finance.

Founding Story

After some life changing personal experiences, Jo, the founder, was led to learn more about how that the empowerment of women leads to positive social change and the development of communities. In addition, after discovering that the textile industry is second only to the oil industry in terms of harmful pollution, & that 1 in 6 people globally are employed by it - Jo believes if one industry needs to change it is the garment and textile industry. Jo decided to use her skill set to create an organisation to add real value within it's supply chain & products because how we spend our money is one of the most effective ways we can influence positive change. its supply chain and products.


Jo-Anne Godden - Managing Director Jo is a speciality swimwear designer with over twenty years of international experience. More recently, she spent nine years working in the US for a variety of globally - recognised lingerie and swimwear brands, including Gap Body and Victoria’s Secret. Jo is using her extensive knowledge of the swimwear industry and her deep professional skill set to produce an ethical alternative to fast fashion. Tara Shah Tara experience lies within global strategy and marketing, with expertise in both the Developed and Emerging Markets. With Tara’s strategic skills, she has lead the market research team to gain an in depth, current view of the market including the opportunity for RubyMoon and our competitors. Jill Ross Jill is an engaging retail consultant with over 16 years professional experience, including 5 years as Commercial Manager at Marks & Spencer and holding senior management positions in Accenture. Having partnered with many leading UK and International Fashion retailers, Jill’s extensive knowledge offers insight for RubyMoon’s strategy when approaching retail customers. As well as retail experience, Jill has operational experience working in startups as well as not for profit organisations. Lorraine Pendlington Lorraine is an expert in lingerie and swimwear product development and has over 25 years experience working as the product development manager for companies such as Stirling group and Marks and Spencers. Lorraine is on the advisory board for RubyMoon and has worked closely with the team in consulting with the strategy. Sophie Osterholzer Sophie’s experience lies in working with and advising early stage startups in business planning and development. Her portfolio to date includes analysing and improving project management, team behaviours, market research, monitoring and evaluating results, marketing, social media and brand management. Sophie has worked within organisations in a broad range of industries including consulting, PR, eco-manufacturing and social enterprises.
Value Chain: Where does your work fit into the apparel value chain? [check all that apply]

Raw Materials, Manufacturing.

Your Role: What is your relationship to the apparel industry? [check all that apply]

Advocate/Organizer, Brand Representative, Designer.

Target Population: What stakeholder groups do you engage or empower in your work? [check all that apply]

Consumers, Factory Owners, Retailers - Department Store, Retailers - Specialty Store, Sourcing Manager / Supply Chain Manager, Women.

● Intervention Focus: What are you trying to achieve / influence? [check all that apply]

Access to Finance, Conscious Consumerism, Environmentally Sustainable Practices, Labor Rights (i.e. Collective Bargaining, etc.), Gender Equality, Recycling or Circular Economy, Transparency.

Lever for Change: Select up to 3 ways your work is helping to transform the industry.

Advocacy, Data, Policy, Standards.

Is your project targeted at solving any of the following key barriers?

Consumers Aren't Motivated to Care: Neither Compelling Reasons Nor Easy Means to Change Consumption Habits, Sustainability is Not Yet in the DNA: Fast Fashion’s Current Model Disincentivizes Value-Driven Economies.

Does your project utilize any of the innovative design principles below?

Unite More than Voice: Tap into Community Capital and Collective Resources, Disrupt Business as Usual: Target Key Players Who Can Influence the Bottom Line.

Innovation Inspiration: When you first conceived of your project, did you think of it as applicable to the apparel industry?


If you answered "no" to the previous question, which industry was your project originally aimed at transforming?

● Replicating in the Apparel Industry: If your project didn't initially target the apparel industry, how are you specifically tailoring it to do so now?
Are you nurturing or inspiring others to be changemakers? If so, how?

Yes, through student apprenticeships/mentorships and by making presentations about ethical fashion.

● Tell us about the partnerships that enhance your approach. How have you collaborated with others in the industry to increase your impact?

We have collaborated on accessories and other ethical products