bSaka’s journey from sheep-shearing to sustainable entrepreneurship

bSaka founders Matilda Waldner, Kicki Hallberg, and Sandra  Ny met while work as sheep-shearers in Stavanger, Norway.  They found they shared an entrepreneurial mindset, and 6 years later had founded their first company, along with their friend Henrik Moricz, a lifestyle brand and clothing line designed to offer environmentally friendly and timeless clothing.

In their personal lives, the founders are also inspired by Indian wisdom from the likes of Bhagavad Gitalt and Mahatma Gandhi, and have a passion for “balancing the inner journey of life with our lifestyles”, and hope to bring this mindset to their company.

“We believe that sustainability is also relevant to us as individual: if we are angry, stressed out, or depressed, we are not likely to contribute to a sustainable world…ancient wisdom offers many tools and guides to help us find and create our own sanctuary within ourselves, and that is a big part of our essence.”

bSaka hopes to tackle the problems inherent in fast fashion, and today launched a Kickstarter campaign to help realize their goal.

“We definitely believe our business can help change the attitudes towards fast fashion,” says Matilda Warner. “Our hope is that we can demonstrate for both consumers as well as to others that a trade-off isn’t necessary – you can get great style, great quality, and feel good about your purchase, knowing the production has been made in an environmentally and socially responsible way.”

“Today, fast fashion is not a sustainable approach; it is a highly destructive machine in many respects. Being optimistic, however, I don’t think there has to be either fast fashion or eco-friendly fashion in the future, I just think that we have to change the way we define fast fashion.  If fast fashion can become ‘small but frequently delivered collections’, that are locally produced with sustainable materials, then it can be fast yet sustainable.  It’s all up to us, really.”

Matilda believes that proving the model can work with a startup will have a ripple effect as big companies and investors realize the possibilities in sustainable fashion.

“I think investors know that sustainability is a global movement that we have only seen the beginning of, and that the market size is thus growing.  Today it is probably more lucrative to invest in companies delivering large-size, low-cost batches. But I think that will change, since more customers are becoming environmentally aware and will change their purchase behaviors.”

Crowdfunding can change gender imbalance in funding

bSaka also hopes to help change the pervasive gender imbalance in the startup scene, writing in their press release:

““Most of us have noticed that tech is hot, but it is also pretty much the only startup category that young Swedes are exposed to – tech oriented companies often run by men.  This is something that is reflected in the statistics:  only 1 out of 3 companies are started by women.  This is often exacerbated by a lack of female role models.”

Many female entrepreneurs have turned to crowdfunding to navigate around the gender gap in venture capital.  By some measures, female business leaders are five times more successful in raising capital on online platforms over venture capital investments.  Many crowdfunding platforms also see women often outperforming men.  In one study, teams made up of only women saw a 40% increase in their chances of achieving fundraising goals, and the success rate for women-led crowdfunding projects was 65% compared to 35% for men.

Check out bSaka’s kickstarter campaign here.

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