Stefan Niethammer - Why I'm Investing In Mysource

Stefan Niethammer is the co-founder of 3FREUNDE and Mila Fair Clothing, as well as a Speaker and Consultant

I started out working in fashion when I founded 3FREUNDE (3 friends) with two friends who shared a vision for developing the perfect t-shirt - perfect not only in terms of design and fit, but also ecologically and ethically. 

 
Stefan Niethammer, Founder of 3FREUNDE and Mila Fair Clothing

Stefan Niethammer, Founder of 3FREUNDE and Mila Fair Clothing

 

It has been a long journey to get to where we are today. Starting out with conventional cotton back in 2006 then moving to organic cotton, and eventually fairtrade-certified organic cotton to produce our t-shirts, we have always been trying to improve. 

We also spent a huge amount of time trying to set up a fully sustainable and ethical supply chain - researching and looking for partners that fit with our values, as well as obtaining reliable information about their processes and certifications. We struggled to find a manufacturing partner that was willing to pay living wages to their tailors, that focused heavily on fairtrade-certified organic cotton, and that had open and transparent practices. 

So we decided that we would found our own manufacturing unit according to these values and Mila Fair Clothing was born. Since 2012, we have been working with this factory in order to ensure that our supply chain is as sustainable as possible. 

 
Fairtrade cotton farmers in India

Fairtrade cotton farmers in India

 

Bearing my experience and our story in mind, I am very pleased that the Ethical Fashion Forum is taking the next step with Mysource. As one of its first investors, I want to see brands and designers get matched with the right suppliers - a huge challenge for us in our early days. I would like to see intelligence that helps these brands make good decisions, and a platform that especially helps small and medium sized suppliers to offer their unique production methods. 

Mysource will not only be a tool for a niche market that cares about sustainability but rather something that the entire industry will want to use.

Mysource will be a fantastic ‘matchmaking’ tool - helping even the smallest suppliers and factories to stand out in a competitive market, and the go-to for startup brands to decide if they want to work with an agent, direct with a factory, or just to order fabrics. The online intelligence that Mysource will provide will help companies to understand their market, their customers, and their own business practices - and all of this will be tailored to the company’s own needs. I believe that as an information and sourcing hub, Mysource has the potential to be highly profitable. 

My decision to invest a substantial amount into Mysource reflects my past experience in this industry and I hope that as a result, many others will have greater access to all of those connections and information that we needed when we were starting 3FREUNDE. I also believe that Mysource will be very beneficial for our manufacturing company, Mila Fair Clothing, by allowing customers to more easily find and approach us. 

Whether you want to change the fashion industry, or just benefit from succeeding in it - an investment in Mysource is a good choice.  

 
3FREUNDE win a 2014 International Fairtrade award

3FREUNDE win a 2014 International Fairtrade award