This weekend Parker Clay became the first B Corp in the world to raise capital in a community round, furthering their goals of community ownership and accountability and inspiring consumers to play a more direct role in shaping the future of fashion.
Parker Clay’s co-founder, Ian Bentley, shared, “We believe that creating better choices for consumers does not have to be complicated. Our business model began with a commitment to empowering women in Ethiopia with living wages, benefits, and more, and we’ve shown that this model is not an act of charity – it’s just good business in a world with increasingly mindful consumers. We’ve succeeded in making a better bag, in a way that’s better for the people who make it. Now it’s time to take that model to the world. We’re building the future of fashion in Africa, and we want our community to join us at the table as co-owners.”
This community-based fundraising round will enable Parker Clay to expand production capacity, thus hiring and creating impact for more employees, as well as scaling up their retail capacity and market share both in the United States and internationally. In just over eight years, Parker Cla became the single largest exporter of leather goods in Ethiopia, while funding career training, financial literacy, and healthy lunch programs for its employees.
Ethiopia is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, and Africa is positioned to become the global manufacturing hub of the future. Parker Clay is laying the foundations for that manufacturing boom to be more sustainable, more ethical, and more impactful for all stakeholders.