As I eagerly anticipate the upcoming Sourcing Journal Fall Summit in the vibrant heart of New York City tomorrow, I find myself at a pivotal moment in my career—a moment of deep reflection and contemplation. Over the past several years, I have dedicated my passion and energy to driving sustainability innovations and assisting not only my own sustainable apparel venture, eavolu®, but also other brands on their transformative journeys toward sustainability. This commitment has led me through a profound journey of exploration, involving in-depth conversations, astute observations, daring experimentation, and extensive research.
My journey embarked with the establishment of EarthFirst Consultants®; a platform designed to guide other brands on their path to sustainability. Subsequently, I ventured into the world of sustainable apparel by founding eavolu®, (https://www.eavolu.com), a brand dedicated to setting new industry standards for minimizing our carbon footprint. The eavolu team, composed of brilliant minds, and kind souls -have been an indispensable force in brainstorming innovative approaches and trailblazing initiatives that are reshaping the apparel industry.
Our mission at eavolu, remains elegantly simple: "To provide you with the utmost comfort while minimizing our environmental footprint. We achieve this by utilizing only eco-friendly fabrics and compostable packaging. In addition, we incorporate reclaimed fabrics and responsibly sourced materials into our manufacturing process, breathing new life into unused resources and significantly reducing waste."
This journey has been a captivating odyssey, punctuated by unforeseen turns, formidable trials, and moments that filled me with awe. The eavolu team, united by a collective passion for shaping a sustainable future, has consistently showcased unwavering commitment and dedication. It has been a privilege to collaborate with such devoted and talented individuals who are wholeheartedly dedicated to sustainability.
As eavolu continues to prosper and shoulder expanding responsibilities, I have recently made a conscious decision to step down from my position as CEO. I am genuinely excited about re-entering the corporate arena, armed with the wealth of knowledge and experience I have gained on my journey, and I am eager to embrace new challenges and opportunities. As I transition into this new phase, my commitment to eavolu and its exceptional team remains unwavering. I am determined to actively contribute to eavolu's inherent drive for innovation in all facets of sustainability. Your continued support for eavolu's journey and its ongoing growth is deeply appreciated. (Explore more about eavolu at https://www.eavolu.com).
Throughout my career, I have made a commitment to uphold the timeless wisdom found in the original eleven Nike Maxims, which serve as unwavering guiding principles. These maxims are like beacons, reminding me that there are no insurmountable obstacles, and no one should determine the boundaries of what is achievable. They have consistently illuminated my path in the journey toward sustainability and innovation. Much like my experiences at Nike, where I was invited back for time-sensitive, high-profile projects even after I had transitioned to Seattle, these maxims have empowered me to surmount barriers and foster enduring relationships.
Amazon, on the other hand, imparted the indisputable importance of data and self-reliance. Utilizing the "The consumer decides" translated to a commitment to meeting the demands of conscious consumers. Not only did I manage a team, but I also established protocols, set standards, and authored influential white papers. My time at NILIT LTD offered me the privilege of spearheading an entire region, fostering collaborations, and educating over two hundred brands on technical fabrics and ethical standards. "Do the right thing" served as my moral compass in business and sustainability.
However, it was the interactions with companies that didn't align with my values that left the most profound impact. I confronted narrow-minded thinking, exemplified by statements like, "That's not how we do it here; we never have, we never will." These experiences underscored the critical importance of breaking free from preconceived notions and wholeheartedly embracing the potential of innovative thinking. It often led me to overlook what I consider one of the most pivotal maxims - "Evolve immediately" - which speaks directly to adaptability in an ever-changing world.
Today, I see the very companies with which I once grappled, now wrestling with the challenges of adapting to the rapidly changing business landscape, the rise of e-commerce, and the pressing need for sustainability. This serves as a stark reminder of the critical significance of flexibility and an open-minded approach.
As I embark on this new chapter, I am brimming with boundless enthusiasm for what lies ahead in my career. I wholeheartedly believe in breaking barriers, refusing to let anyone dictate the limits of what I can achieve. The future is a canvas, and there are no limits to the possibilities it holds. In my world, "never say never" is not just a saying but a mantra to live by. As I learned at Nike , "There is No Finish Line".