glerups_vask_og_pleje

Why Wool Shoes Are Making A Come Back In New Designs

With a population of 4.6 million people and 29.5 million sheep, New Zealand has roughly six sheep for every person. And now, the wooly beasts are helping drive a new movement: farm-to-foot.

Typically, most of our footwear is made from either natural materials (such as leather or canvas), or synthetic, petroleum-based materials (such as rubber, plastic or cloth). Few manufacturers opt for wool, though. Yet, unlike other natural materials, wool can absorb moisture, is breathable and offers a sustainable alternative to rubber, making it perfect for use in footwear.

 

Apparel companies are already taking note. Swiss brand Baabuk now sells wool sneakers; following a recent successful Kickstarter campaign for $170,000, the brand will launch its first US e-commerce site later this year. London-based Mahabis, which sells to American customers online, makes a wool slipper that transforms into an outdoor shoe with a detachable rubber heel. Head of content and partnerships at Mahabis, Alice Apsey, said the clever design has brought the company £10m ($13.1m) in revenue in two years.

Read the full story on The Guardian.com

61Fe3FQHv1L._SX522_

After Pampering Celebs In Hollywood, This Entrepreneur Is Ready To Take On The Goliaths Of Beauty

Celebrities don’t want you to know that they’re using other beauty products than the ones they endorse, Jean Seo, a skin care expert to Hollywood stars, says.

Seo has spent the last decade catering to the who’s who of Beverly Hills with her anti-aging skin care line, Èvoluè.  But now she’s launching a more affordable option, Luè, which is already available on Amazon and her own site.  Made of natural, and often organic ingredients, Seo’s new line is as much a business as it is a defiant gesture to the goliaths of the beauty industry. 

“Skin care in America is really messed up.  These companies have so much money for advertising that they make you think you need all this.  When in reality, it’s just an ugly cycle to get you to buy more and more,” she says.

jean-portrait1

Jean Seo of Lue and Evolue, two brands made of natural, organnic ingredients, sourced from around the world.  Photo Courtesy of Subject.

Read the full story on Forbes.com

960x0

Does A Higher Minimum Wage Work In All Industries?

Minimum wage increases seem like a great idea unequivocally. But are they truly good for small businesses in all sectors?

Dylan Hull, owner and CEO of Select Home Care, a California-based company that provides private non-medical care to seniors, says no: “I want to be able to pay people more. I really do. But realistically, it’s driving costs up to the point that many senior citizens just cannot afford to have a private caregiver at home anymore.”

IMG_9619

Dylan Hull, CEO of Select Home Care.

Select Home Care opened in 2005. Three years ago, Hull says that a private full-time caregiver would have cost $6,000 a month. Now, it’s in excess of $15,000 a month, making it an elusive reality for most seniors.

What’s causing the price increase, aside from just inflation?

Hourly wages have increased from $8 to $10 (and are on path to go up to $15). In addition, the state passed new legislation requiring caregivers to be paid for sleep time. “That means while the caregiver is sleeping at the residence, you’re paying for him or her,” he says.

Read the full story at Forbes.com

03-fabrics-better-than-cotton

The Fabric of Our Lives or the Planet’s Latest Threat? Fashion Startups Look Into Cotton Alternatives

Would it surprise you to hear that Kendall Jenner and Carrie Underwood have been wearing pants made of wood? It shouldn’t! They’re not stiff or awkward; in fact, it’s more likely that you probably couldn’t even tell that the skinny jeans and slouchy sweats worn by your favorite paparazzi bait are, in fact, made from eucalyptus trees.

The fashion business is in the midst of a reset, waking up to a whole new set of fabrics that go beyond the polyesters and synthetics of previous generations to find solutions that are both eco-friendly and fashion-forward.

Read the full story at Vogue.com.

11539257_679722255494558_7232139985555752858_o

How Two Entrepreneurs Turn Waste Into A Business

Forty-five minutes outside of Coimbatore, India, a Finnish company is producing a new kind of factory which will turn trash into a fashion business. 

Jukka Pesola and Anders Bengs run Pure Waste Textiles. Their business model is simple: take leftover fabric and turn it into a new, usable piece of clothing. However, the clothes don’t scream recycled.  The tees, sweaters, and pants they produce out of excess or waste textiles are fashionable and well cut staples.

This year, they’re opening a new unit in Tamil Nadu.  The facility houses a production unit where fabrics are opened, carded, spun again and woven into new knits.  By the end of the year, the palm-lined land will include their flagship recycling unit, already operational CMT manufacturing unit, and facilities for staff.  Once fully operational, the plant will fill 200 jobs — employment that Bengs says could be beneficial to a poor local population. The unit will be fueled by renewable energy, such as wind and solar power.

12015245_717550228378427_1225259752287066720_o (1)

Read the full story at Forbes.com.

Nordic Theory of Everything hc c

Why The Nordics Are The Best Place To Run A Business And Live

Is Denmark the best place to start and run a business?  A new book argues yes:

“When the World Bank ranks countries on ease of doing business, based on criteria such as starting a company, dealing with construction permits, getting credit, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, or paying taxes, the Nordic countries consistently rank among the most business-friendly nations in the world.  In fact, on those criteria, American entrepreneurs would be better off in Denmark, which scored higher than the US in the 2015 ranking.”

Finnish journalist Anu Partanen is the author of the newly released, “The Nordic Theory of Everything – In Search Of A Better Life,” which compares life in Nordic nations (Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Norway) to the US.  Love brought Partanen to the United States 8 years ago.  As s a freelance journalist in the States, Partanen is self-employed.  “I know the American tax code well now and it’s not easy to navigate,” she jokes.

Her book is an effort to get Americans to consider an alternative model, particularly for business and work-life balance:  “For many people, it seems to be an either-or debate of capitalism versus socialism.  But I want readers to see that Nordic life does celebrate the individual, and encourage money-making. It’s also a capitalistic system, centered around innovation,” she says, as she drives across the Northwest, from Portland to Seattle promoting the book.

Before she sets off driving, I ask her a few questions about the nuances of running a business in the Nordics and why we should look northward for social innovation.

Read the full story at Forbes.com

Nordic Theory of Everything hc c

Allbirds_Mens_Wool_Runner_Charcoal_Left_Front_Angle_0086

This Footballer Is Betting On Wool For His Trainers, And They’re Selling Out

Former footballer from New Zealand, Tim Brown started his business, Allbirds, by falling down a “rabbit hole” in 2011. Five years on, he’s got more than $2 million capital under his belt, a business partner, and a new office in the Bay Area. 

After having been inundated with sponsored gear — the side effects of being a professional athlete, Brown wanted to create a simple, unbranded shoe with mostly natural material.

Hailing from the land of 29 million sheep, he jokes, wool felt seemed like an appropriate alternative to the multitude of synthetic materials used in most trainers.  But when he looked at the manufacturing processes for footwear, he got a surprise:  “I was amazed that the footwear industry was still so antiquated and had not changed much in the way these shoes were being made.”

 

Read the full story at Forbes.com.