Conscious Step is a social enterprise creating well designed socks to fight for global causes. In partnership with the some of the world’s most impactful organizations, each design contributes to a different global cause. In partnership with UNAIDS, the company has socks that provide 1 week of HIV therapy for an expectant mother; with Room to Read they have socks provide 2 schoolbooks; with Action Against Hunger they have socks that provide 6 meals for a starving child; with Water.org each pair provides 18 months of clean water to someone without this basic need, lastly, with Trees for the Future they have socks that plant 20 trees.
1. When someone asks you what your company is, how do you explain it to them?
Conscious Step sells Fairtrade, organic socks for leading non-profits around the world. Each pair is uniquely designed and embroidered to raise awareness for the associated cause, while a portion of the proceeds goes to provide a quantified change. For example, for each pair of Water steps sold, we provide 18 months of clean water through Matt Damon’s Water.org.
2. What has been the most exciting thing about starting your social enterprise?
The life journey of creating something that educates and empowers people to create positive change has been nothing short of exhilarating. While the ups and downs that come with starting a business aren’t relatable to any other life experience, the opportunity to learn and educate around sustainable production, the ways to better support and raise awareness for nonprofits and educate customers around quality and mission, have made this a life changing experience.
3. What is the greatest struggle you face running a social enterprise?
Resources. When competing with established firms with 10-100x the resources, the ability to create unique content, advertise, and other obvious methods to drive sales can be tough as an early stage company. Conscious Step started bootstrapped as an idea that went live as a crowdfunding campaign, which has forced us to prioritize our efforts. Ironically, this has been a great blessing as it tends to make your team a lot more efficient.