24. The Startup with Ben from Effekt Footwear
Fashion might be a statement about who you are, but mostly it's about feeling good with yourself, feeling good, not just in your skin, but in the clothes you're wearing.
For a lot of people, feeling good means that the materials also have to be sustainable.
Will consumers buy clothes and shoes that make the statement:
“I care about the environment”.
The simple answer is: we don't know.
But a startup in Austria wants to find out.
They are creating a sneaker which they claimed to be the *trashiest* sneaker on the planet.
It's made almost entirely from materials recovered from the waste stream, including ocean plastics.
It's great idea, but will customers go for it?
If they had an enormous budget, they could have designed and produced the shoes and checked outthe market reaction, but a big budget was just something they didn't have.
Instead, they created a crowdfunding campaign on a site called Kickstarter.
If the project got funded, they figured then there might be enough interest there to build a business around creating this sustainable shoe.
Setting up the Kickstarter project was the easy bit, then began the nail biting.
Would the project reach its funding target or would it just fizzle out and be forgotten?
Ben grew up in Australia, but he is now settled in Austria with his Austrian partner and their new baby.
During the day he studies packaging technology. After hours, he follows his dream of creating footwear that won't trash the planet.
July, the fifth was a big day for Ben. It was his birthday and he just turned 34 but maybe more even more importantly, his Kickstarter project had reached its funding goal.
He and his team at Effekt Footwear want to change the way that people think about what is fashionable.
He thinks that wearing footwear made from virgin fossil fuels is not cool.
Ben's dream is to create a sneaker that people would love to wear because it's made of recycled materials. But marketing a good idea successfully requires a lot of drive and determination. Is Ben made out of there right stuff to get this over the finishing line?