When we launched Marketing with Ethics in 2015, we had a passion to support ethical businesses to build a brighter, more sustainable future.
That vision is still central to everything we do, however, we soon realised that we are limited by the number of clients we can personally support so I decided to look for other ways to spread the word about some amazing organisations and the work they do.
I made it my mission to seek out ethical businesses and organisations that have the planet’s welfare at the core of their actions and find out more about them, to share their story with like-minded businesses like you, in the hope that they will give you inspiration so that we can make a difference together.
Here is the first of ‘The Ethical Marketer Interviews …..’ where I interviewed the lovely Jo-Anne Godden, Founder and Designer of RubyMoon.
Prefer to see the FULL interview on video? Watch it here>> Video Interview with RubyMoon
The Ethical Marketer Interviews – Episode 1
Tell us more about RubyMoon
We are the world’s only ethical and eco active and swimwear company. So we have both a social impact and an environmental impact.
How Did You Come Up With The Idea?
Throughout my working life, I have always been involved with lingerie and swimwear, from design to production, but I wanted to make a social and environmental business after reading 2 books which were about the environmental impact of the fast fashion industry and how to empower women, particularly in developing countries through enterprise. The business was created as a combination of those two books.
Why Is It So Important To You To Have An Environmental Business?
The fashion industry is one of the world’s worst industries, when it comes to pollution, both socially and environmentally. I wanted to flip the industry to have a positive impact, then we would be making a huge contributions to making a greener planet and also the thousands of women working within the industry. So it was very important for me to include both those aspects in the business.
What Makes Your Products Eco-Friendly?
All of our products have up to 50% less carbon emissions by using a yarn called Econyl which comes from used and ‘ghost’ fishing nets which are floating out in the sea. They are made from Nylon 6 which is a very strong nylon.
When those nets are left in the sea, they entangle all types of wildlife like turtles and dolphins etc and they are also shedding microfibres which are tiny bits of plastic that we ingest, so it’s really important that we get those nets out of the ocean.
The project is Pan-European and the nets are then processed
and made into our lovely nylon micro-fabric that we use for our swimwear. Although it sounds all itchy and scratchy, its actually a really beautiful, soft fabric. We also don’t use any harmful dyes and are vegan certified too.
Who Is Your Target Market?
We do women’s only at the moment, but we don’t have a typical age profile. Our customers are people who want to make a consumer impact with their purchases. So modern women that are conscious about their choices.
What Other Positive Impact Does Your Business Have?
We invest 100% of our profits in business loans for women in developing countries.
I had a change of circumstances in 2009 and also lost my job. With 2 young children, as a single parent, it was a scary time, but I was lucky enough to have a skillset that I could fall back on. There are so many women in the world that don’t have a skillset and I began to imagine what would it be like if I couldn’t provide for my children and how awful I would feel, as a mother.
As a result, I became very interested in micro-finance, which are small loans that are given to women all over the world, through a charity called Lend with Care. Women from 14 different countries receive some business training, alongside a small loan to enable them to set up or grow their own business.
When a woman earns her own income, her status becomes elevated and these women then have a voice. Also, if they have a stable income, they can send their children to school, make house repairs and improve the children’s nutrition, which can not only have a positive impact on the immediate family, but the community at large.
What Is Your Biggest Success To Date?
So far we have made 275 loans to women. Also, about 18 months ago we launched our ‘Gym to Swim’ collections which is a capsule collection of mix and match items that you can wear for all kinds of exercise and swimming and that has really set us apart and that is where we have started seeing the growth of our company.
What Marketing Has Worked Well For Your Business?
When we first started, we were very lucky to be mentioned in a lot of blogs by other people, who were doing various features about swimwear and eco gifts etc. As we didn’t have the finances for SEO, it worked well for us as people would search for ethical swimwear and we would appear in the blogs.
Collaborating with complimentary businesses and products works well also as you could share the costs of photography or marketing and other such services. It can also have the great effect of plugging into their customer base as well as your own.
What Has Been Your Biggest Marketing Obstacle?
Its always costs and Return on Investment. You are always battling to find the right amount of money to do your marketing. Because we are a social enterprise and we want to make loans to women, we can’t just go out and spend everything we earn on marketing. We have to balance getting out there with making loans and increasing our social impact.
What Areas Of Marketing Have You Tried?
We sell our products on our website and other websites too. We don’t have any bricks and mortar shops as we wanted to keep the prices down. If you’re selling through a shop, because of the margins , you become a luxury item.
We work with a charity that has their own warehouse and they distribute our products all around the world.
We’ve also done paid marketing on Facebook and a little on Instagram, which both worked very well. With a very visual product, we want to show photos. All our social media following are engaged people.
We did a little bit of Google Ads last year and will probably do again when the season picks up and we have our new stock in.
If You Could Give ONE Marketing Tip To A New Eco Business, What Would It Be?
Make sure you have got a nice pot of money to dedicate to paid marketing. People think that just because you are on Social Media, you will have an instant following. You need to have a good marketing spend these days.
If you want to find out more about RubyMoon and the wonderful work they do or want to buy one of their amazing products, you can find them here RUBYMOON
Do you want help putting your 2020 marketing plan into action? Book a FREE 45-minute discovery call with Suzii today and see how we can help you achieve your goals.
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This is Suzii, signing out for now. Have a great day everyone!