Stand4 Socks

Stand4 Socks: Ordinary Purchases, ExtraOrdinary Purpose

Year Founded:
2015
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
Start-Up
Budget: 
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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

Stand4 creates the most meaningful products in the world. Through reconnecting consumers with social issues and tangible charity giving, we reimagine ordinary products and give them extraordinary purpose.

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

What if every purchase, everyday however big or small made the world a better place?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The current fundraising models used by charities are out of touch, for example buckets in the street or pressure tactics to hand over money. This does not engage consumers with the great, and important work charities are doing all over the world. People are also skeptical about where and how money is being spent when they just 'give' it to charities; they want to see the impact, and feel connected to the causes they support.

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

Stand4 Socks is a social enterprise that links everyday products, such as socks, with social causes and charity through adapting the 'buy one, give one' model. We are partnered with charities and NGOs that work to tackle the eight United Nations Millennium Development Goals and have created socks for each of these goals. For example one pair of socks could plant 20 trees, vaccinate six children against measles or feed a malnourished child. We are repositioning how charities raise their funds, in ways which reengage consumers - forget buckets in the streets, cold callers or 10% of profits models - each transaction should be both a social and business transaction. Our first product is socks, but we are working on a whole line of new products!

Awards

Shortlisted (currently) Great British Social Enterprise of the Year. New Entrepreneurs Foundation - David Pearl Pitch Prize Winner
Impact: How does it Work

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

Someone buys a pair of our socks or is gifted them. They read about the UN Global Goal that product is connected too & the charity they have supported through the impact they have had. They then proceed to go about their life telling everyone who catches their bright sock about the impact this pair has had, for example planted 20 trees or vaccinated 6 children against measles in Bangladesh. They then come back and buy more causes and continue to raise awareness through other causes, products & impacts. They feel directly connected to a cause they knew little about before, & on average told 20 different people about that cause a week. Our charties rasie more money, awareness & impact than they do traditionally. Get one step closer to goals!

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

We have in the last Five weeks our project tangible impact is: - Planted 2,400 Trees, - Vaccinated 720 Kids against measles, - Cleared 240 Squared metres of landmines, - Provided 3500 days of education to children in countries impacted by conflict, - Given 2,880 hours refuge to women & her children affected by domestic violence, - Helped 120 kids gain enterprise skills through setting up their own micro business, - Enabled 840 days of education to Syrian Refugee children, On the intangible side we have raised awareness of the global goals individual causes to 1200 people directly. With a secondary impact of in excess of 24,000 people in the last five weeks and we are only just scraping the surface having just launched. All products are ethically produced throughout the whole supply chain. Goes without saying and will never change!

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

In the next 12 months we expect our main business to grow to 18,000 impacts with an awareness level of 360,000 people. However, we are already planning to launch 6 new product lines in new markets & build the online market place. But that is just a short term glance. As the new Global Goals become more established we will no only develop new product lines & brands towards our marketplace vision. We will onboard even more causes, non profits & even corporates. The vision, expectation is to have 100 individual products having over 3 million impacts within 5 years, 10 million within 10 years!
Sustainability

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

The best model for us is to operate as a social enterprise & much like a traditional business. By being commercially minded, means we don't need to rely on grant funding & donations. This actually allows our social impact to be far greater on both our tangible & intangible impacts as we are self sustainable. Also leaves the possibility to raise social investment in the future to build towards the social marketplace quicker, redefining commerce!

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

Their is a increase in businesses linking purchases to social impact, and thats not a bad thing - only compliments us. Consumers demand more transparency in the charity and non profit sector, the future consumer force of Generation Y (18-33) hold social value and purpose key in their DNA. Social impact businesses usually rally around one cause, for example Orphans or Shoe giving - they do not support a range of causes through multiple products under the same brand - which is where I feel we are unique. We were built with a pure focus on the UN MDGs & are currently moving into the Global Goals
Team

Founding Story

Working in a corporate job at Virgin I recall being in a meeting and glancing around the room I noticed the wall paper was all graffiti style and bright, yet around the room I could see peoples socks were just so bland and boring. These walls were communicating a energy and subtle message, and yet the socks I saw were also doing the same, but saying alot about people I know weren't bland & boring – I thought what if socks could be used as a vehicle of expression, to say something about the wearing, show what they Stand4? I left my job to start this wacky idea of reimagine or redefining ordinary products giving them added meaning, & extraordinary purpose! Its been a rollercoaster year so far!

Team

Founder Josh Turner (Full Time) - Bsc (Hons) 68.7 Business Management – University of Birmingham - New Entreprenaurs Foundation Graduate (2013/14) - Lloyds Bank School for Social Entrepreneurship fellow - International speaker on Entrepreneurship & Social Enterprise - Entrepreneur Since age 7, prize winner Courses: o General Assembly Digital Marketing Course o Social Entrepreneurship – Copenhagen University o Gamification o Y-Commbinator Start Up School Europe Through our network with New Entrepreneurs Foundation, our team might seem small but we support fellow young entrepreneurs and exchange experience and contacts weekly. For example digital marketing traded for social impact experience. Until our first hire in the near future!
Background
Please confirm how you heard about the Unilever Awards:

Twitter - everywhere on twitter :)

Please confirm your role in the initiative (eg Founder/co-Founder) and your organisational title:

Founder, CEO, Sock Design, Sock Packer......Cleaner!

Which of the 8 UN Global Goals (Sustainable Development Goals) pre-selected for this competition does your solution relate most closely to? [select all that apply]

No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Gender Equality, Clean Water and Sanitation, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action.

Leadership and the Unilever Awards
Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.

Bonkers Student Nights - Night club brand built from 17 year olds to go on and franchise to fund me through university. It tackled the issue of anti social behaviour in our local towns with underage drinking, hanging around town centres and fake IDs by creating a brand of club nights which catered for the mixed aged group of 16-21 year olds.

Start Up Box - is a social enterprise I founded to encourage entrepreneurial mindsets where they are discouraged, predominately in schools & prisons. We build software and online learning on top of speaker events, workshops and bootcamps.

Created the second largest UK university sporting event 'XpLosION' at the University of Birmingham, with in excess of 6000 participants, Sky Sports Coverage and online live stream. The event still exists today and continues to grow.

Beyond your existing team, who else are you working with to achieve your objectives, eg partners, advisors, mentors?

- I graduated from the New Entrepreneurs Foundation in London in 2014 and continue to be supported by them and their fantastic network. I still benefit for a few mentors and coaches, such as co-founder of NextJump and UCL Advances,

- Currently I am part of the Lloyds Banking School for Social Entrepreneurs 2015/16 cohort. With two mentors and a collective cohort of like minded social entrepreneurs.

- We are in partnership with eight charities currently such as War Child, Woman Kind, Trees for the Future, Mines Advisory Group, Women & Children First and Citrus Saturday.
- There are also retail partners like Notonthehighstreet.com, NextJump and a few selected ethical stores. (alot more to come :)