While growing up in rural Wyoming, I vividly recall telling my mother in fifth grade that I wanted to someday work for one of the biggest athletic brands in the world. Being my amazing mum, she patted me on the head and told me that she knew I would. A few years later as a result of a self-designed college major, a lot of hard work, great support from friends and family and a sprinkle of luck, I found myself in the caring hands of an amazing mentor and my professional career in full motion. For over fifteen years, I lived and worked in countries around the globe and with touchpoints into many incredible corporations, such as Nike, Diesel, Seven for all Mankind, Tsubo, UGG Australia, Michael Stars, Reebok, Speedo and Teva, amongst many more.
Living this fairytale dream was a rewardingly brilliant and extremely educational journey. However, it was 2006 where my most consequential enlightenment presented itself. In a span of four short months I experienced two life-shattering events. These back-to-back episodes were disastrous yet educational. They were extremely painful while at the same time brought me great strength. My breakthroughs were abundant, but there was one directly linked to my occupational endeavors that lingered and stung most. It was at that moment where I realized that my core competencies and passions building and leading brands was a path which had lacked any genuine meaning for years.
What I was searching for to fill the void did not exist, yet I was determined to identify and design it instead. My new magic recipe was in blurring capitalism with philanthropy or philanthroocapitalism – or even better, social good entrepreneurship. There were no significant brands doing exactly this at the time, so I was trekking alone. Certainly Yvon Chouinard (of Patagonia) was a source of inspiration, but I was looking to take the philosophy a step further and incorporate giving as a foundational building block, essential to the business and part of its genesis and makeup. My first endeavor was Modus, an organization which created brands for underserved demographics but with a significant philanthropic platform – ultimately linking the product purchase back to that specific consumer group. After a few years incubating Modus and this uniquely modern business concept, I was introduced to an individual named Kevin Murray who had similar goals of blending his 28 years of apparel screenprinting with philanthropy. As a result, we combined our teams and expertise to create Made for Good.
The social good world is beautiful in many ways, especially because it thrives on collaboration. Collaboration amongst competitors, capitalists, nonprofits, and many others, debunking the usual dog-eat-dog competitive landscape of true capitalistic brands. Made for Good is not represented by just one business, rather it is comprised of a consortium of multiple, like-minded brands assembled into one global community, sharing common goals, purpose and passions. Each Made for Good brand aligns with a nonprofit/humanitarian partner and uses embedded generosity through the sale of its products to leverage the power of retail and make a positive difference through a recurring model of giving. In a nutshell, Made for Good becomes an integral family member to our nonprofit partners as we: 1. Build their brand 2. Create products and services that we develop, design, manufacture and sell on their behalf 3. Raise and dedicate funds from these products to augment their endowment efforts. The larger we grow our partner’s businesses, the more lives we positively affect.
We have had dozens of successful partnerships with some of the most inspiring nonprofit organizations over the years. As a result of Made for Good’s financial-sharing model, we have been able to deliver over 3/4 of a million dollars to them to date. Our goal is to exceed a $1 million share annually with our consortium, which we feel is easily attainable within the next 24 months. I’m proud to be a catalyst in this space of social good and love continuing to perfect this new form of disruptive innovation. Every day I ask myself why we can’t buy products that are life-staples and as a result, help someone in need. My personal goal is that over time this becomes an expectation of consumers and a commitment from brands. One can only roll up their sleeves and dedicate themselves to it… while dreaming of the ideal end state, of course.
Recently I attended the inaugural INTERSECTION Event at the Pixar headquarters. This is another fantastic representation of the growing awareness of social good businesses and the snowball effect of support being driven by consumers worldwide. I’ll share more about this event and some of the esteemed attendees in future communications through The Chalkboard.
Krista Treide is a 20-year industry veteran who travels extensively to speak on behalf of social good business development and works with companies to organically incorporate giving into their existing businesses. She is currently Partner/Chief Brand Officer for Made for Good. Made for Good consists of GIVEN [a brand dedicated to World Vision], JEDIDIAH [Made for Good rotates out a new nonprofit partner every six months – 2012’s partners are Nika Water for S/Su 2012 and World Bicycle Relief for F/W 2012] and MUSICARES [the nonprofit arm of the Grammys] and we’re in the early stages of a relationship with our newest partner, Not For Sale.. You can find the brands and more information on www.madeforgood.com. Check back for the next installment from Krista Treide on thechalkboardmag.com to learn more about Made for Good, The INTERSECTION Event and social good businesses.