Following the success of invite-only shopping sites like Gilt Groupe, RueLaLa and Of A Kind, LovingEco launched this month to be the first e-commerce that offers hand-picked eco-friendly products at up to 70% off retail prices.
LovingEco provides online shoppers with the opportunity to make wiser choices about the products they purchase for a more environmentally and socially conscious planet. For each purchase, LovingEco donates 3% of its net proceeds to a ‘tastemaker charity’ that supports a social or environmental cause. LovingEco’s brand partners include actresses and celebrity eco fashion designers and eco entrepreneurs. The company has also just closed its first round of funding with backing from angel investors including senior management from comScore, LiveNation, Machinima and Sapient Software.
We caught up with the founders from Santa Monica, California, Justine Lassoff and Melinda Moore to discuss eco-fashion this week on The Next Web.
CBM: What is LovingEco and what makes it different from other fashion startups?
LovingEco: LovingEco is a members-only, social commerce platform, that offers unsurpassed and innovative eco-friendly products at exclusive price points (up to 70% off retail), without compromising style. Through a series of limited-time and brand-specific sale events, subscribing consumers are given the opportunity to access and shop for eco-friendly, fair trade and natural products at a discount in fashion and accessories, beauty and products for moms, babies and kids. Each sale features the best ‘natural’ brands, which are hand-selected and available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Our mission is what separates us from the other fashion startups. We strive to create a healthier planet and to enable women to ‘vote with their wallets’ for environmental and socially responsible companies. LovingEco is passionate about building a vibrant community around conscious consumption and giving back.
CBM: Tell me about how you came up with the idea?
LovingEco: It is a passion project for us. We love shopping and fashion, and also care deeply about making a difference on this planet. With our backgrounds in digital marketing, retail and design, we saw the opportunity to become social entrepreneurs to make eco hip and create a sustainable way to give back.
CBM: How eco-friendly are you in other aspects of your life?
LovingEco: We strive to be very eco- minded in our day to day lives and embrace natural beauty, fashion and home products. Melinda was raised in a family that cared about recycling, and became aware of our environmental impact at an early age – she learned how to crush cans from her Dad when she was 5! After Justine had her son, like many mothers she became very aware of the toxins in the products and foods that touch our lives. We have always been involved with giving back and involved with charities like Step Up Women’s Network, StartingBloc, Team Parkinson’s and many others.
CBM: What designers are you currently working with?
LovingEco: We are excited to be working with many innovative and stylish eco-designers including Cri de Couer, Stewart + Brown, Clary Sage, Alexx Jae and Milk, Ideologie, and Thieves.
CBM: How do you plan on making money?
LovingEco: We’re just like any other e-commerce site, we make money by selling products. But unlike other sites, we donate a portion of every sale back to a charity. 3% of net proceeds on each purchase goes to support a social or environmental cause. We currently work with Stand Up To Cancer, Global Green USA, Farm Sanctuary, The Environmental Media Association, Village Empowerment and Wholesome Wave and also do exclusives where 100% of net proceeds go back to charity. For instance, the week of June 20th will be donating 100% of net proceeds from the purchase of a beautiful exclusive fair trade bracelet to Stand Up To Cancer.
CBM: What makes Santa Monica a great place to launch LovingEco? Why not New York?
LovingEco: Santa Monica is a very green city. We are close to nature and one of the fashion hubs- Los Angeles, allowing us to explore many brands to partner with.
CMB: What are your plans for the future?
LovingEco: We want LovingEco to be a leader in the social commerce space and to embrace technology that puts our consumer’s voice center stage. In five years, we would like eco-friendly and natural fashion, beauty and baby/kids products to be mainstream and help spearhead the growth that the natural foods industry has. It is also important for us to have a positive impact on reducing the toxins on this planet and want our consumers to be able to see and experience this impact.