Fashion start-up Ethnic Brand gets $500,000 worth of benefits & A ticket to Asia.
Updated: Jul 16, 2019
The Ethnic Brand has been dubbed the Uber for manufacturing but it so much more. It is game changing!
A few years ago, Alex Mativo started E-lab in his backyard. He was recycling obsolete electronic devices by turning them into bespoke Jewelry in a bid to eradicate the electronic waste crisis in his community. E-lab would later become one of the 50 most innovative companies globally winning numerous accolades like the Queens young leaders award, getting featured on global media houses like CNN and showcasing at the New York Fashion week.
But as demand for the products increased, manufacturing the products cheaply and efficiently was quite a hustle. This triggered an idea for a virtual factory that Provides low-cost manufacturing services to fashion brands of any scale. The Biggest headache for anyone looking to start a fashion brand is sourcing material and labor. Furthermore most fashion brands fail within the first year of operation because setting up a manufacturing facility is capital intensive, a problem that even major fashion brands like Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein haven’t found a solution to.
"As efforts are being made to safeguard our planet from the horrendous effects of climate change, Physical factories are a major contributor to environmental degradation." - Alex Mativo, Founder
The Ethnic brand is creating a virtual network of product factories and skilled artisans across the world complete with a logistics platform so as to offer manufacturing as a service. The goal is to make manufacturing as easy as shopping online. All a fashion brand would have to do is upload a design pack complete with product details such as digital renders, fabric choice, colors , sizes or different variations . The Ethnic Brand will do the rest and deliver the product at their doorstep.
The real benefit of this business model is that it capitalizes on several expensive inefficiencies in the current fashion business model, namely excess materials, factory downtime, complex supply-chains, the oversupply of stock, warehousing and waste disposal. This makes the new business model a winner in sustainability terms, as it utilizes down-time to use up excess materials and lowers the entry barrier to manufacturing in the fashion industry.
In the past, designer brands have had crazy markup prices on products that should cost only $1 to manufacture all because of the overhead costs and inefficiency of large product factories. The Ethnic is looking to disrupt manufacturing in the fashion industry through ethical and sustainable production methods. This offers more transparency to the end consumer and also creates unprecedented earnings for millions of artisans who are currently living below the poverty line as a result of fast fashion and cheap labor.
As part of the 3rd cohort at MAGIC (named best accelerator in South East Asia), The Ethnic Brand was selected among 30 teams globally and will receive benefits worth $ 500,000 and the opportunity to set up in Asia, most specifically in Cyber Jaya, Malaysia ( Also known as Asia’s Technology corridor). This serves as a great opportunity to tap into the Asian Market. "Businesses started in Africa hardly make it beyond their geographical borders let alone Asia where ⅔ of the world’s population live, but with two Key Markets in the horizon we are off to a great start. "
The Ethnic Brand will launch a beta later in the year with different factories ( In Africa and Asia) For now the business model needs to be optimized for viability and longevity. We will also partner with the social commerce startup Nanasi to give new fashion brands a platform to set up their retail businesses and distribute their products across multiple social networks & high traffic marketplaces all at once.
"We are looking at clientele ranging from young entrepreneurs starting fashion brands in their dorm rooms all the way to behemoths like Tommy Hilfiger and H&M."