Buying into a positive difference
‘‘There's such a disconnect between production and purchase in the retail world now.’’
Indigo Greenlaw wants her customers to know the positive impact they are making to the lives of overseas workers and the environment.
When someone buys an ethical T-shirt from her social enterprise The Paper Rain Project she wants to be able to tell them how many hours it took the worker in India to make it and how many fulltime jobs the business has provided.
When someone buys an upcycled, recycled or handshaped skateboard made from an old wine barrel, she wants to tell them how much wood has been saved from landfill.
Telling the back stories is a goal she is working towards.
‘‘It brings the customer more into being a part of the solution.
‘‘There’s such a disconnect between production and purchase in the retail world now, but the customer can knowingly become part of the solution if they know the full story,’’ Greenlaw says.
Based out of an office in Spring Creek, Greenlaw has been nominated as Marlborough’s Young Business Person of the Year.
She is the co-founder of The Paper Rain Project, along with partner Wills Rowe.
‘‘It feels kind of funny in that I founded the business with my partner Will.
‘‘I kind of see it as our business being nominated rather than me. It’s a team effort,’’ she said.
The company specialises in ethical clothing and board art with an emphasis on quality, creativity and social good.
Greenlaw dropped out of arts school when she was 20 and took out a business loan to start up the Paper Rain Project.
‘‘I don’t have a degree in anything let alone business and I don’t regret any of those decisions either.
‘‘I have learnt so much and I have made heaps of mistakes but learning from the people around you and not fearing to ask questions or ask for help when you need it is so important in business.’’
Earlier this year, Greenlaw and Rowe travelled to India to meet the women employed at the companies behind their apparel.
The Paper Rain Project had employed four new staff members in the past six months.
They currently have a pop up shop in Wellington, with one opening in Auckland next month, and their shop on High Street in Picton has just opened for the summer.
Paper Rain Project founders Indigo Greenlaw, left, and Wills Rowe in their Picton store.