Ayesha Mustafa (MA Transnational Media & Society, 2007) moved from Dubai to study at City. Since graduating she has worked for Netsol Technology and PepsiCo. But now she is the director of her own business, Fashion ComPassion…
Where did the idea for Fashion ComPassion come from?
Since a young age I wanted to have my own business and a business with a social mission. I was always interested in the business side of fashion and experienced first-hand how fashion was created. Fashion touches all areas of our lives but the artisans making it didn’t get a fair wage, so I wanted to create a company that would be a change maker to address this issue.
How did you set up Fashion ComPassion?
Fashion ComPassion is my passion, a combination of my two biggest interests: fashion and giving back to others – which stems from my upbringing, especially with the great work my father has been doing for women and education. However the catalyst for setting up Fashion ComPassion goes back to when I was 16 and an intern at the Garmeen Bank in Dhaka where I witnessed first-hand how giving opportunities to women has a monumental impact not only on them but their communities and the economy at large. I knew I wanted to do something in my own way that created an impact and gave women a voice and made them independent. I conducted a lot of research on ethical fashion businesses and organizations and realized that there was a gap in the market. There were many small ethical fashion brands in various countries but they didn’t have a strong platform to promote them to a global audience.
So how do you help these brands reach a global audience?
We are now a marketplace providing small and emerging sustainable brands a platform to connect to new audiences. We do this by helping them with marketing and PR, but also supporting them via digital marketing, social media etc. We help organize events and pops up and explore collaborations for brands. We are connectors between the brand and the end customer.
What has been the biggest challenge in setting up Fashion ComPassion?
Finding funding to scale it.
What has been the most rewarding experience?
Helping small sustainable brands grow and reach a global market.
Do you have any advice for anyone looking to follow in your footsteps?
Believe in yourself, work hard and don’t take no for an answer.
Ayesha is offering all customers 10% off their first order at Fashion ComPassion – why not check out the wide range of accessories and designers now.