On Good Authority is making it easy for women to buy sustainable and fashionable outdoor wear. Their raincoats are made from recycled and recyclable plastics, reducing the polluting effects of the fashion industry. They are looking for mentors, investors or collaborators who believe in their vision.
Our interview with Sara, Co-founder of On Good Authority:
Describe your mission in a sentence or two:
Our mission is to re-define what women’s waterproof outerwear looks and feels like. By applying multi-functional technology into everyday wear we can create head-to-toe outfits with waterproof protection and strong style, making performance-wear the new standard for women.
By using fabrics created from recycled and recyclable plastics, we aim to create product in a closed loop circular economy, massively reducing our dependency on non-renewable resources. We bridge the gap between fashion and function in a truly conscious way.
Who are your customers?
We’re at the forefront of an emerging global movement where millennials are demanding environmentally conscious product: “73% of millennials are willing to pay more for sustainable product” (Source: Business of Fashion).
Our primary target customer is “Kristy” a 20-30 year old millennial. She is aspirational, ambitious and has a strong ethical awareness. She wants to make conscious choices.
She is “in the know”, passionate about fashion, loves socialising with friends and being active in the outdoors at festivals or weekends away walking in the countryside.
Our wider audience is women aged 25-50 who like fashion and want to look good, who prefer to spend time outdoors in their leisure time and who prefer to buy from ethical and sustainable brands.
There is a definite need for stylish waterproofs for Mums on the run. “I need a waterproof coat / jacket with a hood to do the nursery run with a pre-schooler and a newborn. Is there an option that won't make me look like I'm off to climb a mountain? I have a trench coat for work, but I need to use an umbrella with this when it rains, which just isn't practical whilst grappling a pram and a 3 year old” (Source: quote from Mumsnet).
What stage are you at in your business?
To date we have been completely self-funded. We bootstrapped buying a limited run of our launch style, the Kimono, to test the market, gain traction and achieve a proof of concept. Since “soft-launching” in September 2019 we have successfully sold directly to customers via our own website where we have received fantastic feedback and all five star reviews. We launched the apparel category on the newly founded luxury vegan platform, Immaculate Vegan and are stocked in the boutique, SupraLondon.
We have been awarded the prestigious Eco-Age Brandmark in recognition of our sustainable and ethical credentials and have been picked up by Stylist Magazine, Eluxe Magazine and we were recently interviewed by Vegan Trade Journal in a full page spread.
Now that we have tested the market and proved that there is demand for our product, we are looking to fundraise pre-seed investment so that we can relaunch the brand adding more styles to the collection whilst implementing a fully comprehensive marketing strategy. Our new styles are fully prototyped and ready to go as soon as we secure funding.
What does "impact" mean to you as a profit-driven company?
Every decision we make is influenced by our ambition to reduce our environmental impact. It’s for this reason that we decided to be a vegan brand.
Many of the big outdoor brands are still using animal derived materials like duck or goose down feathers for insulation, real coyote fur for hood trim and cow leather for detailing. Although some of these brands are working hard to ensure supply chain traceability and to avoid cruelty like live plucking, it’s still very difficult to manage and guarantee this. Livestock production is one of the major causes of global warming and we simply don’t want to be a part of this. We also want to make sure that no part of our product production could cause any suffering for animals.
There are so many fantastic alternative vegan materials available now, there is a far greater choice than there once was, and so it feels like the only way forward for us. For example, we will be launching an insulated jacket later this year where we use a synthetic fill made from 100% recycled plastic bottles. It’s really important for us to try to source materials that are already in existence that are recycled or recyclable in a circular economy rather creating new.
What are the metrics you will use to track/measure your impact?
The fabrics that we have sourced for our relaunch are made from 100% recycled post consumer plastic bottles also known as rPET. We will be able to work out how many bottles have been prevented from entering landfill or the ocean and given an extended life cycle in a circular economy.
What is your current biggest challenge and how are you seeking to address it?
As a new premium brand, we know that we need to build trust and confidence with our target audience. We are doing this by connecting with them as much as possible organically online but also by collaborating with eco-fashion and conscious living advocates and influencers. However, in order to have the best chance possible, we need to be able to implement an extensive, multi-channel marketing strategy, which requires budget. This is why we need to fundraise now so that we can really spread the message about our brand and talk about the solution that we are solving.
What other UK impactful start-up do you love and why?
We love what the team at Common Objective are doing. They are a pioneering tech solution connecting successful, sustainable businesses within the fashion industry. Fashion is one of the most polluting industries in the world. Common Objective is a driving force to help businesses collaborate working towards a shared vision of best practise sustainable and ethical operations without compromising commercial goals and targets.
What’s next for your company?
As soon as we secure funding, we will relaunch On Good Authority adding three new styles to the collection implementing a fully comprehensive marketing strategy so that we can gain exposure, sales growth and brand awareness.
Our product and brand exists to encourage women to embrace spending time in the outdoors. Whether that’s taking time out from the daily grind, to weekend escapes in the countryside to connecting with friends at music festivals. If we can fundraise and relaunch in tandem with the UK festival season, we can really benefit from our strong contacts within the music industry to secure product placement with carefully curated influential female recording artists.
What can you offer the SeedTribe community?
We have learnt so much throughout our startup journey. As any entrepreneur knows, despite having expert experience in a particular field, you also have to wear the hat for every business function. To support with this, we have been so fortunate to have met and collaborated with many talented people along the way guiding us with their expert advice. From financials to strategy to legals and coaching we can offer a wide and dynamic network of contacts as well as learnings from our own experience.
How can the SeedTribe community be involved in helping you scale your impact?
We know that demand for sustainable, vegan fashion is only going to continue to grow. The need and desire for female focused design in performance wear is also clearly on the rise. We offer a solution to both these issues, with expert industry know-how and genuine passion. We would love to connect with investors, mentors and collaborators who share our vision and who would like to support our growth and positive impact.
To get in touch with Sara, send us an email and we will connect you.