Clothes That Make a Difference

Grey Rock Clothing Co.

3. Good Health and Well-Being 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities 12. Responsible Consumption and Production 13. Climate Action

Overview

Grey Rock Clothing Co. is a clothing store in Downtown Guelph that provides customers with sustainable, ethically sourced and environmentally friendly clothing.

On top of carrying brands like Patagonia and 10 Tree that stand for ethical and environmentally conscious production, they support local designers and pick their suppliers individually.

Authors

Nils Hennemann

Nils Hennemann

Nadine Hopkins

Nadine Hopkins

School

Beyond Borders

Beyond Borders

Professor

Matthew Mulhern

Matthew Mulhern

Innovation

What is special about this innovation is that the owners Lynda and Morgan are constantly looking for ways to improve what they are doing. They recognize that they themselves do not know everything yet but they see it as a chance of learning what sustainability really is and how they can do good in this world. They are passionate about Climate Action, one of the SDGs, as shown through some of the brands they carry. Companies like 10 Tree, Patagonia, and United By Blue all strive to have a positive impact on the environment.

Seeing that Guelph is a community caring about issues like poor working conditions and the waste of resources in clothing production further fuels their passion in trying to offer the best available options at all times. When Lynda sources new products to sell in the store, she ensures that, if they are made in factories, the workers are paid fairly and have good work environments. Furthermore, Lynda also pays a living wage for her employees. The actions taken by Grey Rock show how the business strives to meet the SDG of Decent Work and Economic Growth.

Grey Rock actively encourages consumers to purchase only what they need, promoting the SDG of Responsible Consumption and Production as well as Sustainable Cities and Communities.

Clothes That Make a Difference

Inspiration

When Grey Rock went for sale in 2017, Morgan and Lynda decided to jump into the cold water without much experience in that area. Lynda knew that the business model was one that she could easily get behind.

According to Lynda an accumulation of things she did in life led to them making that decision.

In the past, they had enjoyed working with the downtown community, especially the other female entrepreneurs inspired them. Lynda was excited for the opportunity to join the other strong female leaders in the community. “I feel privileged to be able to work in my local community as I can give back to our community and customers and I know I have an impact on the people globally”, she further says, happy with the outcome of their decision.

Overall impact

Locally the positive effects of Grey Rock’s work can be seen in their customers making conscious shopping decisions. According to Lynda, some customers are coming into the store asking for a very specific piece of clothing, knowing exactly what they need in order to perfect their wardrobe. These customers see Grey Rock clothes as a long-term investment in something of good quality that they need.

However, the positive impact goes beyond the consumer’s decision of buying only when needed. It’s also the conscious choice of sustainable, sweatshop-free clothing instead of “fast fashion” that would often leave a significant environmental footprint and promote inequalities.

Another positive impact of Grey Rock is the success of local designers. By carrying their clothing, Grey Rock is actively promoting and supporting these businesses. Morgan and Lynda have been able to witness the growth of local designers through their work with them.

Globally Grey Rock is positively impacting both the people that make the clothes and those that sell them by paying living wages as well as supporting projects that provide education. By choosing brands that use sustainable fibres and recycled materials and supporting brands like Patagonia that directly focus on the environment, Grey Rock is promoting sustainable consumption and production of goods.

Business benefit

Grey Rock’s innovation of selling ethically sourced, sustainable, and sweatshop free clothing and products has benefitted their business as it has increased their customer base, promoted positive publicity, and attracted possible employees and products.

The products that Grey Rock sells have provided positive publicity for them. If people want to purchase locally or ethically made products they are likely to go to Grey Rock as that is what they are known for. The positive publicity has benefited the business as it has helped expand their customer base. Grey Rock’s ethically sourced products attract customers who are conscious about where they purchase their clothing from and the environmental and social impact their clothing has. Many of their customers shop locally as they want to support their local economy. They also have many customers who come in as they are looking for certain brands that Grey Rock carries, such as Patagonia and 10 Tree.

The core values of Grey Rock make it attractive for employees and products. Grey Rock is a B-Corp and pays a living wage to their employees which makes it very attractive to employees. Grey Rock frequently has people that want to represent their motives and be part of the culture inquire about potential job openings. Grey Rock’s core values and their B-Corp certification attract many businesses who want Grey Rock to sell their product.

Social and environmental benefit

Grey Rock carries many brands that are produced locally which benefits their community as it supports the growth of other local businesses by generating trade connections between these businesses and providing jobs to Canadians.

The products sold by Grey Rock also benefit the global community. Grey Rock carries many brands that help people in other countries. Two examples of these brands are Basha Boutique and Lucky Iron Fish. Basha Boutique products are made by women who have been or are at risk of being trafficked. Basha provides them with an opportunity to make a living wage in an honourable way. Childcare is provided so these women can work while their children are being taken care of. They also provide training to the workers so they can continue to improve their education and expand their skills. Basha is a sustainable business model as they provide honourable jobs to women, provide childcare and education to women and their children, and they use recycled saris to create blankets to sell.

Grey Rock also carries the brand Lucky Iron Fish that sells iron fishes that can be added to a boiling liquid when cooking to naturally add iron to the food. For every iron fish purchased, Lucky Iron Fish gives one of their products to a family in need. These fish have helped improve the lives of many on a global scale.

Grey Rock also carries many products that benefit the environment. Two brands worth mentioning are 10 Tree and United By Blue. 10 Tree plants ten trees for every product that is purchased while United By Blue removes a pound of garbage from the water. Grey Rock has a significant environmental and social impact through all of the businesses they work with. They are also able to support many local and global businesses that are striving to make a change in this world.

Interviews

Lynda Baker, Owner

Morgan Baker, Employee

,

Keep this story going! Share below!

Grey Rock Clothing Co.

Grey Rock Clothing Co.

Guelph, Ontario, CA

Business Website: https://www.greyrockclothingco.com/

Year Founded: 2012

Number of Employees: 2 to 10

Grey Rock Clothing Co. is a retail store that sells sweatshop free, ethically sourced, and sustainable resource clothing lines and products. They serve people locally in the community of Guelph as well as the people who are benefited by the sale of certain products. They are a Certified B Corporation and strive to make a positive impact on the environment through their business.