Schulich Alum is Fashioning a Conservation Awareness
While vacationing together last year, Kelly Saltzman (MBA ’18) and Cory Yefet came up with the idea of launching a sustainable and ethical apparel brand.
The partners continued their conversation at home and sketched out their idea on eco-friendly paper. A year later, they had their first pop-up at the Green Living Show.
For their first collection, they launched a line of 100% GOTS certified organic cotton t-shirts—featuring minimalist drawings of an elephant, rhino or polar bear—and a cozy hoodie made from eight recycled plastic bottles.
“It took weeks of research to decide on the source of our cotton,” shared Saltzman. “After lots of calls with industry experts, and going down many google-black holes, we realized that GOTS Certified Organic Cotton was the best standard and safest to use for the farmers, the planet and our consumers!”
As the company, Awoke N’ Aware, grows, they envision expanding their product selection to more styles, using other ethically-sourced fabrics like bamboo, hemp and cork and partnering with more conservations to save more vulnerable species, as seen in their designs.
“I was part of the Schulich external case team, so I am constantly applying what I have learned from that experience to the company,” shared Saltzman. “There were so many professors who have gone out of their way to mentor us and we’ve had an outpour of love and support from the Schulich community!”
By having proceeds from every sale goes towards supporting the wildlife, the two founders wanted to show that basic consumer choices can make a difference. Their goal is to donate $50,000 to their conservation partners by 2020.