The Holstee Manifesto has been shared over 500,000 times and viewed over 60 million times. Rather than write a business plan, Holstee’s founders created a declaration of purpose. Instead of brainstorming product ideas and revenue models, they just wrote about why they got out of bed in the morning.
Holstee got their start making t-shirts from 100% recycled plastic bottles. They even designed a nifty pocket into the side for added character. 10% of all sales were lent to impoverished entrepreneurs through non-profit lending partner Kiva.org – a habit they still make good on today. After tees came wallets – Holstee joined forces with an NGO in India that used littered plastic bags to create a very resourceful 100% upcycled fabric. Today, Holstee curates other sustainable products from some of the world’s most talented and mindful designers.
What makes Holstee so extraordinary is their uncommon take on ordinary things. Let’s start with business. Instead of obsessing over excessive analysis and a business plan, they wrote a thought-provoking manifesto about what made them feel alive. When it came to products, they made something that thousands of others were already making – but they made it in a courageously conscious fashion (i.e. using recycled plastic bottles, microfinancing and amazing ideas from NGOs halfway around the world).
This is why I love Holstee. They’re not in the business of renewable energy, clean tech or even education (some of the most common industries for embracing social responsibility). Like so many other companies, Holstee makes t-shirts and accessories. But here’s what makes them worth voting for: they’ve managed to build community and sustainability into every facet of their business.
Image via HOLSTEE