TIP MY MAKER: Tips at retail and e-commerce checkouts, help the world up-grade to fair trade.

New ZealandBangladesh
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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

Tip My Maker allows micro-funding from tips at online checkouts and retailers, to fund scholarships that enable producers to become fair trade certified. We also generate conversations around consious consumerism and fair trade; and work with retailers to address corporate social responsibility.

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

What if we could get the consumers, that buy the products, to fund fair trade certification scholarships. And in doing so create an appreciation ripple - for the people that make the the things we buy - generating an increase in consious consumers.
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

With the increase in fast fashion, retailers are constantly expected to compete providing fashion at unrealistic prices. Margins and timeframes are being crunched constantly, and the people often taking the biggest hit are the producers making the apparel in third world countries. Desperate for work, they accept the contracts unable to provide fair work conditions with such dramatic margin hits and unrealistic production timelines.

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

To provide a TIP MY MAKER service at checkouts both instore and at the checkouts of online retailers. When consumers are purchasing clothing, or other apparel items, they will be given the option to "Tip My Maker" - where the tips they donate will fund fair-trade scholarships and social corporate responsibility programmes; as well as generating a quiet buzz of conversation and appreciation for those that make our apparel. Please note: Tips donated will not be directly given to the exact person that made each item of clothing the person purchased (we don't want to give producers the ability to not pay their workers). Retail chains may be able to register factories that they work with in need of support to become fair trade workplaces.
Impact: How does it Work

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

#1) Generate micro-funding from consumers via TIP MY MAKER badges found at online checkouts and retail counters. These tips will be what funds the fair trade certification scholarships. #2) Identify factories and clothing manufacturers in need of support, and assist them with fair trade scholarships that allow them to transform their workplaces to become certified fair trade producers. #3) Create uplifting entertaining conversations online around conscious consumerism and fair trade. #4) Work with retailers and corporations to reconsider their supply chain and sourcing logistics, to promote impact sourcing and fair trade as standard practice. #5) Gradually see an increase of fair trade product availability across all retailers globally.

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

Current impact : N/A - currently this is just an idea. Projected Future Impact : The more global retailers that are happy to host the TIP MY MAKER badge at their online checkout process, the more micro-funding will be available to fund the Fair Trade certification of more factories. Once factories are fair trade certified they can then command higher margins on their items in production, and provide their workers with fair working conditions. Corporations will also be recognised and rewarded for supporting and making the move towards stocking fair trade products. They will also have plenty of certified fair trade factories to work with. Over time we will be able to tell you how many workers are fed, sheltered, and have access to health care that they didn't have before the TIP MY MAKER fair trade revolution.

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

Approach large retailers like : ASOS, Nordstrom Rack, David Jones, Net-a-porter, and ask them to host a TIP MY MAKER badge on their online check out page. Instore retail applications could also be customised instore by adapting existing eftpos tipping technology Promote : TIP MY MAKER via social media. Identify factories in countries like Bangladesh, where workers and factories are exploited by corporations demanding goods be produced at unrealistic prices. Provide them with the support they need to become fair trade certified and command better margins to create a fair trade snowball.

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

The biggest cost of this project will be upfront : working with a coding developer to build the TIP MY MAKER checkout badges to be functional in accepting the tips at existing e-commerce checkouts. (A similar example is how airlines give you the choice to donate to offset your carbon footprint, when purchasing airline tickets online -see reference). Ongoing micro-funding will come via the checkout badges, and crowd-funding websites if required.

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

No one is currently encouraging consumers to micro-fund a fair trade revolution. There are brands like People Tree and Kowtow that show an appreciation for Fair Trade production. And platforms like Conscious Consumers that are supporting a movement towards sustainable fair trade.

Founding Story

Frustrated by the lack of ethical fashion, and having worked first hand as a marketing manager in the fashion world, our founder Kirsty O'Hara observed that across the fashion and apparel industry our hands are tied: Consumers are lacking a choice of sustainable fair trade products to choose from, especially in the key shopping districts and malls. Fast Fashion is changing the way that people consume products, with people expecting more for less. And corporations are stuck in a downward spiral - where they have to keep up with market demands and competitive pricing models. It fast became clear that in hoping to address the issue, we need to recruit the support of the consumers.


Kirsty O'Hara - Founder - Full time : Director, Strategic Planner, Marketing Manager, Graphic Designer, Digital Designer, PR, Sales, Strategic Partnerships. As the project grows it would be good to employ: * Financial Strategist & Accounting Support * Fair Trade strategists * Corporate Educators * Sales Team - to create strategic partnerships with more retailer websites
Value Chain: Where does your work fit into the apparel value chain? [check all that apply]

Manufacturing, Consumption.

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

Advocate/Organizer, Sourcing Manager / Supply Chain Manager.

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

Brands, Consumers, Corporations, Designers, Factory Workers, Policymakers, Retailers - Department Store, Retailers - Specialty Store, Retailers - Mass-merchandise Chain, Retailers - Discount Chain, Sourcing Manager / Supply Chain Manager, Supplier - contractor, Technologists, Trading Companies, Women, Youth.

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

Access to Essential Services (i.e. Healthcare and Education), Accountability, Conscious Consumerism, Environmentally Sustainable Practices, Labor Rights (i.e. Collective Bargaining, etc.), Anti-forced Labor or Anti-Human Trafficking, Physical Working Conditions, Other, [please specify].

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

Certification, Media, Technology.

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

A Job is Not Enough: Low-Income Workers Cannot Secure Long-Term Well-Being, 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, Activate Local Know-how for Driving Solutions: Build Opportunities for Workers to Become Leaders, Disrupt Business as Usual: Target Key Players Who Can Influence the Bottom Line, Transform the Chain into a Web: Link Unlikely Sectors that Open New Pathways to Sustainability.

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?

Every time we spend a dollar we cast a vote. By launching the TIP MY MAKER campaign we encourage appreciation & micro-change.

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

We plan to establish strategic partnerships worldwide with key retailers; as well as Fair Trade certification agencies.

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