Serengetee

Wear the World.

Monday 6 June 2016, by Breana Castro, Christopher La Madrid, Erika Cervantes, Linda Moua, Olivia Bean

A. The main facts about the activities of the company.

Serengetee is an American clothing company that was founded by 2 college students in 2012. These students were doing a semester at sea, a program that circumnavigated the globe by ship in one semester. Along the way the founders, Jeff and Ryan, started purchasing and collecting fabrics from countries throughout Africa, Asia, and Central America.

The company started making Pocket Tees, with the pocket being made from the fabrics purchased overseas. Every time a shirt is purchased, 10% of profits goes towards a charity in the country that the fabric was purchased from. For example, when a shirt with a fabric from Ghana is printed, a percentage of profits goes towards Obaatan Pa, a health center in Accra that provides care for women in need.

The company is able to help in numerous ways. First, the company purchases bulk fabrics from artisans in mostly poor countries, helping support numerous families. Second, the profits from those fabrics are donated to charities and organizations designed to help various causes in those countries. Lastly, each T Shirt comes with a “passport” that gives information about the country and the cause that is being supported.

B. The Ethical challenges this company is addressing.

This company addresses multiple ethical challenge. The first is the uneven distribution of wealth and resources in the world. At first, the founders of Serengetee had no real plan for the fabrics they were collecting. The first goal was to help the local artisans and the local economy. By purchasing fabrics in bulk they helped support the citizens in each country financially.

Second, the company addresses a big issue in labor exploitation. The company manufactures the products in the United States. Many big retailers manufacture products in countries where laborers earn pennies a day and work in unsafe conditions. By keeping manufacturing in the United States, the company ensures that no one is exploited and that all employees have safe working conditions and rights.

Lastly, the company raises awareness. While not necessarily an ethical issue, Serengetee includes “passports” from the country where the fabric was originally purchased from. These passports have describe details about the country and the charity that is being supported. The company illustrates what life is like all over the world and reminds the customers of the people they are supporting.

C. What makes you believe this company is really ethical and why you trust it?

We believe this company is ethical and trustworthy because of one main reason: transparency. Serengetee is very transparent and very honest with everything they do. For example, the company let’s us know exactly how much money is going to a certain cause, exactly how much money they receive from donations, and exactly how each product is made. Every product that is completely hand-made is marked as such.

The company started as two students in their dorm room cutting and sewing together shirts. 4 years later, the company has donated over $250,000 to a total of over 30 causes all around the world. This $250,000 is an extremely high number for just a start up company, and will only continue to grow as the company keeps expanding.

D.The possible challenges facing the company in the future and how you think this company may improve.

The company will be facing problems in terms of expanding. As the company grew from two college students to two college students and friends, things stayed under control. However, the company is rapidly growing and is expected to do a million dollars in revenue in 2016. This is no small feat for a startup of only 4 years old.

One issue that many college startups face is the dilemma of friendship. A company doing one million in revenue no longer becomes a small side project, it becomes a full time job. The managers at Serengetee must make ethical decisions in terms of promoting those who deserve it .

The second issue and the much bigger issue is where they purchase their fabrics from. The main appeal of the clothing that separates the company from others is the design of the fabric. The best designs ultimately sell the most. Serengetee needs to make sure to purchase from honest artisans in foreign countries. The company cannot purchase from the big fabric manufacturers who exploit children or put workers in poor conditions. They need to be able to find a way to support high demands and still stay true to supporting local artisans.

Bibliography

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serengetee

http://www.serengetee.com/

Location: Los Angeles, CA (United States)

Sector: Wholesale and retail trade, Manufacturing

Official website: http://www.serengetee.com/

Key figures:

Started in 2012 with 3 college students. They raised 3,000 as capital and began working out of their dorm room. They operate of the United States, and donate to over 35 causes around the world.

In the first year, the company made 140,000 in revenue. Since the founding of the company, over 250,000 has been raised for the numerous causes they have helped.

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