Developing A Social Enterprise Or Social Change Project

Francesco Mazzarella Monday, 1 November 2021

A 25 minute Lesson from Dr Francesco Mazzarella, Senior Lecturer in Fashion and Design for Social Change at the Centre For Sustainable Fashion, where he brings to life the year-long Making For Change: Waltham Forest social project led in partnership with London College of Fashion and London Borough of Waltham Forest.

Here Francesco explains the project's goals and outcomes, and outlines advice that will help you build your own social change project or even social enterprise. He helps you recognise where community engagement, social innovation and design for social change meet in order that you can build a business supportive of long-lasting legacy across cities and communities.

Note, any takeaways from Francesco not in regards to the Making For Change: Waltham Forest project are his own perspective and advice, rather than necessarily that of Centre For Sustainable Fashion.

In this Lesson you will learn:

  • The goals and outcomes of the Making For Change: Waltham Forest project
  • How to create a long-lasting legacy from creative residencies
  • How creative residencies and social projects can support social change and public engagement
  • Advice on implementing your own social change project, or even money-making social enterprise
  • How a fashion entrepreneur can sensitively approach communities to work with
  • Impacts of crises, like the Covid-19 pandemic and inaccessibility to technology, on communities
  • Tips on writing funding applications for when launching a social change project
  • What "social innovation" means, and what a "sustainable city" looks like from an academic perspective
  • Resources to direct you towards social innovation and social sustainability for businesses

Login to view this lesson. Not a Professional Member of The Sustainable Fashion Collective?

Find out more here or, click to enjoy our free articles before upgrading

Read Next

  • Birdsong: An inspiring social enterprise with painting dinner lady producers

    with Sophie Slater

    What motivates you to challenge the status quo? What’s upsetting you about the industry at the moment? When Sophie Slater co-founded Birdsong, she came from a background of activism, and having worked on the shop floor of American Apparel, she realised first-hand what she didn’t want the brands she shopped from to look like.

  • Changing Lives in Cheshire: Recycling Furniture for Social Good

    with Gary Cliffe

    Changing Lives in Cheshire has saved 1,000 tons of waste from heading to landfill through its social enterprise mission that combines a recycling solution with a community and outreach mission. 

    With experience growing social enterprises to over £2 million in revenue, founder Gary Cliffe talks about his current projects, what drives his passion for social enterprise, solving furniture poverty, why he has so far rejected opportunities to scale, and much more. 

  • Navygrey: Launching a socially-conscious knitwear label [MEMBER HIGHLIGHT]

    with Rachel Carvell-Spedding

    The complexities of the knitwear industry present several challenges for those entering the market, particularly when aiming for sustainable practices. We had the pleasure of speaking with one of our members, Rachel Carvell-Spedding, who launched her knitwear label in January this year and learnt about how her new business is navigating this tricky industry.

    Navygrey is a socially-conscious knitwear label, newly launched by Sustainable Fashion Collective member Rachel Carvell-Spedding. The brand’s concept is focused on "the art of a really great jumper" inspired by one Rachel’s mother bought 20 years ago. Navygrey’s knitwear is formulated on timeless design - there are just three classic styles and four colours to choose from, epitomising the notion that less is more. We hear about how Rachel stays true to her sustainable design and traceable supply chain ethos in the initial stages of establishing her exciting new venture.

    Follow Navygrey on Instagram.

  • Social Enterprises & Measuring Your Impact

    with Kat Luckock

    Are you a social entrepreneur delivering incredible social or environmental impact but struggling to get your voice heard, fretting over what to measure and not quite sure how to communicate your story to the world? Your social impact is too significant to go unnoticed. Kat Luckock, the founder of Share Impact, shares her knowledge of social enterprises and why it's so important not just to measure your impact too.

  • Scaling a Social Enterprise Through Financing

    with Jeroen van der Heide

    Jeroen launched his own companies with crowdfunding campaigns, and he uses his experience and knowledge to help businesses today navigate the tricky path of early investments. Jeroen has worked in the fashion industry himself since 1996, with big-name designers such as Karl Lagerfeld, DKNY and Tommy Hilfiger, as well as launching his own zero-waste brand TShared. He is a mentor at Fashion for Good.

    Mixing money making with a social mission is not always easy in social enterprise. For many, fully embracing the dualism required of a social entrepreneur — do good and make money — is not easy. Making money is a subservient, if not uncomfortable objective.

    For this live webinar, we'll be hearing from ecopreneur, Jeroen van der Heide, co-founder of Impakt Tribe, a Netherlands-based platform that connects start-ups to Impact Investors. In the session, we'll be discussing money; how it isn't a dirty word for social entrepreneurs, and in fact, is absolutely necessary in order for you to "do good". And we'll then explore different fundraising methods for your business.

    You can request a free copy of Jeroen's eBook for advice on approaching and pitching to impact investors here. Free chapters of Jeroen's eBook, Go Fashion Fund Me, can also be downloaded here.

  • Y.O.U Underwear: setting up a social enterprise & the realities of startup life

    with Charlie Bradley Ross

    I was so excited when Lily, one half of Y.O.U Underwear came to talk at our monthly networking event. I wanted to invite a brand on the brink of launching, to hear about the setting up process and their decision to launch as a social enterprise. Some sound words of wisdom and an honest, open look at what it takes to be a startup. Enjoy!

  • Juta Shoes: supporting women facing barriers to work

    with Joanna Hamer

    We couldn't be more thrilled that the brilliant Joanna Hamer, co-founder and co-director of Juta Shoes joined us for our London Networking Event.

    Juta Shoes is a social enterprise based in East London that supports, trains and employs women who face barriers to work, to make their bespoke reclaimed leather espadrilles and teach their sustainable crafts workshops. You may remember Juta Shoes as we mentioned them in our Masterclass Branding a Sustainable Business, as an exemplary ethical business with a social mission. Juta shoes are also a brilliant example of how manufacturing on a smaller scale can have a huge impact. Joanna was a 2016 Year Here fellow, and I'm delighted to share some of her invaluable insight and gems of advice.