Meet Crafted Society, the social enterprise redefining what a luxury brand is and should be. Crafted Society was born out of a passion to create exquisite handcrafted luxury sneakers with the most talented artisans of Italy. And also use the products as a vehicle for positive social impact while helping to preserve authentic and traditional craftsmanship. To preserve the crafts the artisans must transfer their knowledge to the next generation but this is an increasingly difficult task, mainly due to the ‘secrecy’ which has surrounded these talented humans for decades. Crafted Society decided it was time to challenge convention, the founder decided it was time for TRANSPARENCY to triumph over secrecy.
Below is a Q&A with Martin Johnston, the founder of Crafted Society.
What inspired you to start Crafted Society and what is its mission?
How does Crafted Society go about truly being transparent and how can other companies be more transparent in their production process?
There is a great quote by the philosopher Socrates which shaped our approach…..
What is the 1% Pledge that Crafted Society has committed to?
The time Lise and I spent in India was priceless. We left having been inspired yet heartbroken at the same time. The donation we made enabled Harmony House to take 10 new kids, the same age as our own (2&5yrs), out of the slums and pay for their education for an entire year. I had also seen first hand from my time as the EMEA Managing Director for Toms shoes how using business as a force for GOOD could support disadvantaged children in socially challenging environments. We both had a personal passion to use our business for good – so part of our Luxury for Good mission is centered around giving back. In fact, when we were conceptualizing how and what and from where to give back, our commitment towards transparency served as our guiding light.
Why did you choose #4 on the SDG’s list to help support?
What does sustainability and ethics mean to you as a CEO of a brand?
I honestly believe that sustainability is no longer an exception but an expectation. It plays a central role within what we create, from helping to sustain the livelihood of the artisans, to the tanneries we purchase our hides from (all certified by-products of the meat industry and we do not use any exotic skins) to the certified nickel-free hardware we use on our goods. We are continually seeking innovate and advanced ways to improve our sustainable footprint.
What advice would you give to an aspiring social entrepreneur to start their own social impact brand?
Don’t rush into starting something before you know your why. Identify the problem and ensure your business is offering a solution which your customers can engage and relate with. We knew exactly what we were going to create, but we needed to know why. Through our journey of discovery to India and through Italy – we were able to arrive at our purpose, and when you have a purpose which is beyond profit-only it will drive your passion to succeed when you are experiencing lows and questioning your own sanity. Our purpose has kept our spirits up and has turned out to be our greatest motivator and differentiator in a very traditional and noisy part of the global fashion industry.
Founder of Causeartist and Impact Recipe // Social Entrepreneur