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The Ethical Business Podcast

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Every week, we interview a leading business mind to get the latest ideas and inspiration about running a more ethical business.

No junk, just compelling stories about how they got to where they are and actionable tactics you can use in your own business now.

A new episode is uploaded every week, so make sure you subscribe to make sure you never miss out!
38 Episodes
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  This week we had the formidable Stephanie Devine on the show. Stephanie’s determination and grit is unparalleled. We explored her journey from experiencing breast cancer and not being able to find a soft, organic cotton bra with no underwine to a force to be reckoned with as she doggedly attempted to create the world’s first zero waste bra. Yes that’s right, a zero waste bra. That means, once you’ve done with it, it can be entirely composted. The Very Good Bra is still taking pre-orders until 16 July 2018 so get in quick! In this episode you’ll learn: – What inspired Stephanie to go on this challenging journey – All the places in the world she had to turn up in person to get the job done – All about Tencel and why it’s the only material the could be used – How to run an ethical crowed sourcing campaign – The strategies Stephanie used to smash her Kickstarter goal in 48 hours – The problems Stephanie has
Michael P Vandenbergh is the David Daniels Allen Distinguished Chair of Law at Vanderbilt University. He is also Director of the Climate Change Research Network and Co-director of the Energy, Environment and Land Use Program. Michael talks to us about his new book: Beyond Politics: The Private Governance Response to Climate Change. Far from a rallying cry to Governments to act when they’ve spent years and decades ignoring the problem, Beyond Politics, as the title suggests, goes into how the private and household sectors can combine to make a huge impact in mitigating climate change. If you have ever wondered how you, as in individual or a leader in your business, can become part of the solution to climate change, this book is full of inspiring knowledge for you. IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN: Why Governments have traditionally struggled to tackle this problem. Why we can’t expect any meaningful change from politicians. The magnitude of impact that small changes, at
Jessica Kelly has spent the last few years cracking a major problem in the fashion industry – how to ensure your manufacturing is done ethically, while still maintaining your viability as a business. This is an issue that has plagued us, as well as many of our guests in the past. Jess identified this problem on her travels to the third world, and combined these experiences with her background in fashion to develop Thr3efold Ethical Fashion Brokers. Thr3efold fills the gap between smaller-scale fashion brands and the factories, by working directly with manufacturers to ensure better standards of work, safety and welfare for factory employees. In this show, Ross picks her brain about how they do it.   IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN: What inspired Jessica to start Thr3efold How Thr3efold selects and audits its partners What advantages companies have found by starting to produce more ethically What are the major challenges facing the fashion industry What benefits the wor
This week, we are honoured to be joined on the podcast by Natasha Milne of My Home Planet. Natasha is the author of 101 Reasons to Get out of Bed – an inspirational book comprising inspiring and uplifting tales from 101 amazing individuals, some of whom you know and some you don’t. The one thing they have in common is that they all have positive, uplifting stories to tell about why they get out of the bed every morning. If you feel sluggish and that maybe the future isn’t as bright as it used to look, this is the episode for you. IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN: Why Natasha decided to write this book, and what it’s done for her outlook on life How Natasha managed to get some super high-profile celebrities and global leaders to contribute Why it is that little things can make a big difference to your outlook on life How important it is to focus on what we can control, and how even this can make a big difference to the world. LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED I
Liza Mosseiva is a social business veteran and co-founder of GlobeIn, a Silicon Valley company revolutionising the subscription box industry with its mission to deliver joy by empowering and connecting remarkable, remote artisans to mindful customers. GlobeIn was inspired by Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and the ‘father’ of microfinance. Like Yunus, GlobeIn is a big proponent of the idea that businesses can – and should – exist not just for the purpose of making money but also for the purpose of solving social issues. GlobeIn works to empower remarkable artisans in remote areas with the tools to build sustainable businesses. It does this by providing them a platform to sell their products at scale, while giving consumers a unique opportunity to access some truly amazing, one-of-a-kind small batch products. IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN:  All about Liza’s journey to the foundation of GlobeIn. How the GlobeIn team source their products f
  Christina Zipperlen is the founder and designer of the ethical jewelry & clothing brand Ananda Soul. Christina never considered herself a business woman but rather an artist and a yogi. When she moved to Bali in 2008, her intentions were to share her own encounters with spirituality, her insights on overcoming body image issues and the importance of living sustainably and in deep respect of the planet. Ananda Soul was born as the result of her expression of those values in form of wearable art. Today, Ananda Soul ethically manufactures beautiful jewelry, clothing and accessories for sale in its store and to customers all over the world. Most impressively, Ananda Soul is a product of the set principles that have been in place ever since day one and which drive every business decision Christina takes. IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN: How Christina has managed to keep her business aligned with her principles and mission.Why Christina has chosen to partner with local comm
Mark Lefko has coached and mentored more than 100 CEOs and company presidents, bringing with him 35 years of real-world C-level business experience. A thought leader in the fields of leadership and sustainability and Founder and CEO of Lefko Group, Mark serves on several advisory boards and is known for his high-energy, insightful speaking engagements. “Global Sustainability,” Mark’s second book, aims to inspire executives to rally around the concept of doing well while doing good. In it, he interviews 21 world-leading CEOs including Sir Richard Branson, Marc Benioff (Salesforce.com) and Blake McCoskie (TOMS Shoes) as well as the leaders of global juggernaut companies including Cargill, Dow Chemical, Unilever and Tata. Mark breaks down the approaches and philosophies of these titans into straightforward lessons that readers can implement into their daily lives. IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN: How Mark managed to access such an incredible group of CEOs for his book. Why the world
Danny Almagor is a modern-day Renaissance man. Along with his wife, Berry Liberman, Danny founded ‘Small Giants’ – Australia’s first B Corporation – to create, support, nurture and empower businesses and entrepreneurs that are shifting us to a more socially equitable and environmentally sustainable world. Small Giants has founded and invested in a range of ethical businesses, including: Tom Organic, The School of Life, Dumbo Feather Magazine, The Cape Ecovillage, Beyond, STREAT, and many more. Danny was also a founder of Engineers without Borders Australia. In addition to Danny’s numerous business achievements, he is the Founding Social Entrepreneur in Residence at RMIT and sits on the Advisory board for the Gross National Happiness Centre in Bhutan. In 2016 he was awarded the Order of Australia. He also set a Solar car record: for travelling from Darwin to Adelaide.   IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN: How Danny manages to fit it all in (you may not like the answer). What m
Lorraine Sanders is the host of the popular ‘Spirit of 608’ Podcast, where she supports empowering women & building female thought leadership at the intersection of Fashion, Entrepreneurship, Science and Technology. We talk with Lorraine about the ins and outs of building ethical businesses, how to get started in ethical business – whatever your industry – and how bootstrapping businesses can attract free PR to help them achieve fast growth.   IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN: – What it takes to build an ethical business today – How to get started in ethical business – What makes a good podcast guest – How to attract free PR for the good work you’re doing – The latest trends in sustainable and ethical business and consumerism LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE: – Spirit of 608 Podcast     Thanks for Listening! Please subscribe to our show on iTunes or Stitcher.
Megan Kitt is the founder of Tuli, an ethical business that is working to improve womens’ lives in Uganda by bringing their traditional paper jewelry products to the global market. Tuli’s mission is to empower resourceful, hard-working people in Uganda to earn long-term, sustainable incomes and, in doing so, fight poverty. Tuli uses the fashion industry to bring a large market to women in Uganda who would otherwise have little access to buyers. They work with our partners in Kampala to create designs relevant to today’s fashion market. Megan’s background is as a model and freelance journalist, which means she possesses a unique blend of experience that is perfect for combining social enterprise with fashion. Even better for us, her perspectives make for a deeply engaging interview. IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN: Why Megan left her glamorous international career to start a grassroots business in a very poor country. How Megan has trained her arti
Dave Willis is the co-founder and chief strategy adviser at Clarius Mobile Health; a company seeking to revolutionise the medical imaging industry by bringing affordable, durable devices into the hands of those that most need the help.   Clarius’ flagship product is its handheld ultrasound device, which is battery powered and connects wirelessly to a smartphone or tablet, using the computing power of the phone or tablet itself. Through use of an app, doctors and nurses in the world’s most unforgiving locations can finally see what’s underneath the skin.   This invention has huge implications in all areas of internal medicine, not least maternal health where problematic births can be predicted and odds of survival increased in the world’s poorest regions. IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN: – About Dave’s background and why it has brought him into this unique area of medical engineering. – All about the device, how it works and how i
Chris Gove is one of the founders of the Saltwater Brewery – a Florida-based brewery that is turning the world of eco packaging upside down with its invention of the ‘edible six pack rings’. Tackling the age-old problem of six pack rings that pollute the oceans and strangle innocent sea life (are there other kinds?) the Saltwater Brewing Co joined forces with an engineering firm and an advertising company to develop and launch their incredible product. Unlike traditional six pack rings, the edible six pack starts to biodegrade as soon as it enters the ocean, turning from useful beer carrying device into harmless organic matter in a few days. And, even better, it’s produced from waste products from beer production. IN THIS EPISODE YOU’LL LEARN: – Why and how the Edible Six Pack came about. – What it is, how it’s made and what happens to it after you’re finished with it. – Why the ocean is important to Chris and his partners. &
Arabel Lebrusan is a pioneer in the jewelry industry. Arabel was one of the first to introduce sustainable and fair trade practices into making her high-end masterpieces and she continues to blaze an ethical trail by continually improving the way she makes her own jewelry, including as a strong advocate for recycled gold and ‘green gold’. At the same time, Arabel is on a quest to make her whole industry better by spreading the word about ethical jewelry and raising awareness of what we are actually buying. IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN: – Why ethical jewelry is important – What is ‘material exploitation’ in the jewelry industry? – How she first discovered ethical gold and worked to certify ‘green gold’ – What questions you need to ask when buying jewelry – Why jewelry is all about ‘traceability’ and ‘sustainability’ – Arabel’s thoughts on fair trade – What is ‘ethic
Chris Frager is the co-founder of Stitch and Loom, a company that supports traditional artisans to keep their ancient crafts alive while sharing their beautiful handwoven rugs with buyers all over the world. Co-founder Matt and Chris share a fondness for traditional Mexican crafts and have spent the last couple traveling through Mexico partnering with artisans. By chance, they encountered an exquisite rug that was handwoven in Oaxaca by a master Zapotec weaver. They traveled to the village of Teotitlan Del Valle where a community of indigenous weavers have honed their craft for 2000 years. There they met the Bazan family and began collaborating with them along with the Mendez family. They primarily use traditional Native American patterns while incorporating more vibrant, contemporary color schemes. Their sourcing methods mirror the direct trade methods seen in the coffee industry where they travel down to Oaxaca and meet every weaver. They create personal relationships and effectivel
  Woodfolk accessories is the business and passion of Julia Denes, an Australian entrepreneur who has built a thriving wooden jewelry business that not only makes beautiful pieces but helps support sustainable development among local artisans in Nepal. The business’ core tenets are honesty and compassion, emphasizing harmony with natural materials and partnering with local women, families and cooperatives to develop unique, ethical and fashionable wooden jewelry.   IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN: – Why Julia made the switch from producing fine jewelry to ethical wooden jewelry – How she found her artisans – How she pays her artisans – Why ‘trade’ is more important than ‘aid’ – How she sources her ethical materials – Why building a relationship with your employees – as well as your customers – is key to success – The impact of the recent earthquake in Nepal on her business – Why an ethical, nat
Catherine van der Meulen was the International Brand Manager for fast fashion brand Supre for over 14 years. During this time, she learned the ins and outs of an industry with a lot of ethical challenges, from oppressive labor conditions to the widespread use of toxic dyes. Since parting ways with Supre, Cath has shifted her focus to helping other brands adopt more ethical approaches through her consultancy, THiNK Business Services. In this episode, we enjoy a wide-ranging discussion about her fashion past, her awakening and the future of the fashion industry globally.   IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN: – What instigated Cath’s change in perspective about how business should be done. – What is meant by ‘conscious capitalism’. – Why it’s important to align your actions with your values. – Why her past actions make her feel ‘ill’. – The toxicity of cottons and dyes. – The problems with ‘fast fashion&#
Stefan Klumpp is the founder of Mobile Jazz, one of the world’s leading mobile development companies. He’s built up a company with an incredible team culture, and he’s managed to do it by giving his employees the freedom to work however they want – and from wherever in the world suits them. Stefan himself lives and works while travelling in his campervan all over Europe, chasing the waves as an avid kite surfer. In this interview, we talk to Stefan about his amazing journey, his philosophy of work and management and how he has managed to achieve meteoric success by breaking a lot of traditional rules and simply focusing on happiness. Stefan’s latest project is called ‘optimizing for happiness’ – which allows him to share his philosophy on living the life you want with the world. Through ‘optimizing for happiness’, Stefan is proving that you can achieve everything you want in life – and be genuinely happy – if you have the right approach and work smartly towards that goal.   IN TH
Rolfe Larson is a passionate expert in social enterprise, who has spent his long career helping not-for-profit businesses find ways to make money and improve the world. At the same time, Rolfe has spearheaded efforts to educate consumers about making purchasing decisions that have a positive impact on their world – buying from businesses that use their profits to do good. Most recently, he launched the ‘Social Impact App’, which allows you to search within cities for the right businesses to buy from – those that support local groups or charities to achieve great things with the money you spend.   IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN: – What is meant by a ‘social enterprise’. – How Rolfe helps social enterprises develop. – How social enterprises balance the social side against the need to make profits. – How to have a positive impact the next time you buy something. – Changes in social entrepreneurship over time. 
Shannon O’Donnell is living a life most of us only dream of. For the past seven years, she has been traveling the world and sharing the stories of people and places that you wouldn’t otherwise hear. Venturing off the beaten track and focusing on longer, deeper relationships with her destinations has allowed Shannon access to incredible experiences that she shares with tens of thousands of devotees on her popular blog, A Little Adrift. In 2013, National Geographic rewarded Shannon for her terrific storytelling ability by naming her as a ‘Traveler of the Year’. This honor has opened many doors and allowed her to reach an even greater audience, but has not moved her from her firmly-held principles. In this interview, we delve into some of those, as we try to get to the heart of what motivates Shannon to keep exploring and uncovering new, inspirational, stories. IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN: – How Shannon has been traveling the world for seven years. &
Mark and Liz are the founders of AfterWire, a boutique online marketing agency specializing in making websites better. Through ensuring that a website is tracking the data a client needs and working to define the metrics that really matter to them, AfterWire is able to provide companies with a clear action plan to tell if their website is doing its job or not, and, most importantly, how to make it do its job better. Today, Mark and Liz spend 50% of their time on pro bono work for charities; a passion that they developed during a trip to Kenya where they realized their skills – making websites perform better – could make a huge difference to non-profits and help them raise vastly greater sums of money.   IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN: – How it is they manage to spend half their working time on charity projects. – Why moving to Kenya changed their whole outlook on life and doing charity work. – How to use your real skills to make an impact in the
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