There was an interesting piece recently published in a US business magazine which noted that most entrepreneurs find a moment of inspiration which acts as their catalyst in their late teens; an age where inhibiting factors have not yet come into play providing a clean slate for their aspiration and ambitions. The natural doubts and insecurities of adulthood have yet to settle in. Understandably, most young adults believe their dreams are completely feasible.
In this period of time, which has challenged so many companies, there is something reassuring and positive to see young talent take a risk and start a business. As the economy starts to re-open, the forecast is that there will be an increase of 30% in new start-ups by those under the age of 30 in 2021. The challenge is to ensure that they are supported better than ever as this can only help the economy grow, new business emerge, and wealth grows across the generations.
The Retro Clothing line is one such example, founded by two young entrepreneurs – Izzy and Harrison – just still in their very early twenties and who found their inspiration from a mix of a love for fashion and sustainability. Some may argue that this is an unusual combination but it is one which will be becoming more common as sustainability becomes ever more central in every discipline. As the two young founders explain, it was a journey that they too were not expecting:
“After we went vegan nearly four years ago, we both grew a large interest in educating ourselves on ways to reduce our carbon footprint and make a difference in the fight to save the environment. We have become very aware of fast fashion over the past couple years and have come to realise it is not something we want to contribute to any longer. At the time this was very hard to accept as we both loved fashion and shopping.
How we decided to make a difference: We started going to charity shops a lot, which we would manage to pick up the odd bit from! We started selling some of the things we’d found so other people could start to reduce the amount they were contributing to fast fashion. We managed to grow quite a large following which made it become more like a job then a hobby. As more & more people were liking our clothes we would be down to the post office every couple days. We became to really enjoy it. It was like having our own shop in a way!
After selling our clothes second hand for the past couple years. We decided we wanted to do it on a larger scale and create something bigger. We had grown such a love for Fashion and Vintage clothing but out love for the environment & sustainability had also grown, which then led us to want to make a larger impact. So we decided to start our own business.
We sell high-quality retro & vintage fashion items at affordable prices. Here’s to making fashion sustainable and supporting the Circular Economy! “
It is still a very young business, still in its infancy. However, there is something refreshing about their thinking; to found a business which has strong values at its core as well as some passion. Over the last ten years many have argued that many companies have lost their focus on their own values; and that it had all become about transactions. The pandemic has created an opportunity for many to reset and redefine their values. This has been one of the positives of this period and the forecasts are that this trend will become stronger and stronger which can only be good.
However, the challenge to industry is – how can we support young talent and help this process to a better level than ever more?
The challenge to Isabelle and Harrison is to find success in a difficult market but one shouldn’t bet against them. They illustrate a growing new generation who will challenge many and that is an exciting new trend; seeing new talent taking a chance, be brave and wanting to make a difference. This should be supported.