From Dream to Action

At what point did you feel like you wanted to build a business that could have a direct impact on others in need?

When the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh collapsed in 2013, I, like many other European consumers, really woke up to the reality of where so many of our clothes were made, and the conditions under which the producers were working. At that time, many people started to avoid purchasing clothes made in Asia, and my only thought was, what will happen to the people in these developing nations if the jobs they rely on were suddenly taken away? I kept wondering if there could be another option.

So, in 2016 when I began planning Kaiko, finding a way to answer this question was at the forefront of my mind. I didn’t know what it would look like or even how to begin. I just knew I had to do something. One small step, just somewhere to start.

Why Nepal? What led you to that country and to Women's Bank?

We were looking for an organisation to collaborate with, and when I found Women’s Bank it felt like our priorities and values were a match. Women’s Bank’s mission is to empower and educate women entrepreneurs in developing countries – and that felt like a very sustainable approach to foreign aid.

Now, having visited Nepal myself and having seen firsthand the work that Women’s Bank is doing, I feel like that first small step has actually made a huge impact. We’re starting to talk even more about the things we want to achieve through Kaiko, and that’s really exciting. This is just the beginning!

My visit to Nepal came during a rather difficult season in my own life, but getting to see Kaiko’s dream come alive also made me come alive. It made me wake up and see clearly the work we’ve done, and what more we’re able to do through collaborations with the Nepalese people and local companies.

How does Kaiko's slogan "Fashion with a Mission" impact the work you do on a daily basis?

It's the core of everything we do. It's why we work.

Even though it’s easy to feel distant and detached from the working conditions in developing countries, the biggest thing is to realise that we can make an impact in people's lives. It just takes small, intentional choices in the right direction.

You have to “just start somewhere.” Take action. Then one day you may look up and realise your dream came true.