Roosmarie Ruigrok, Founder of Clean & Unique
Roosmarie Ruigrok has been working in sustainable fashion since 1991. She is a pioneer in the sustainable fashion industry here in the NL! Working on different projects with Fair Wear Foundation, setting up the first eco fair in 2006, starting the first 100% fashion magazine about sustainability, research to decrease textile waste within the Amsterdam municipality, she is unstoppable.
In 2007, this inspiring, entrepreneur woman has founded Clean & Unique. Her business focuses on the need to make the fashion supply chain more accessible, ethical and transparent for small, medium and large companies with her team of experts.
We feel lucky to know and work with her and therefore wanted to take the time to feature her work, life mission, and her kind heart.
Her answers to our interview made us feel more motivated than ever to keep working hard. Roosmarie’s wisdom reminds us that good things take time to blossom and aren’t immediate, and the importance of following your heart and not being scared of making mistakes.
Thank you Roosmarie for your honest and caring answers.
What made you want to start this business?
Clean & Unique was founded in 2007 out of the many questions that designers and fashion brands had about social working conditions and the impact of certain fabrics on the environment. There was, and is, a great need for very specific knowledge, especially for start-ups and scale-ups. Clean & Unique fulfills this need.
What problem is your business solving today?
Today, we have less problems as sustainability is on top of textiles and fashion companies.Like every company, you need to invent yourself every day. That means that you need to be in close contact with brands, suppliers, experts and different kind of information partners to be relevant. The relevance is how to implement this in smaller but more a challenge is how to implement this in bigger companies. When you did not start yet, you have already a problem. New European rules are upcoming. The translation to every company is unique, there we jump in with our expertise.
How do you create novelty in a sustainable way in your brand?
To be relevant or to create your relevancy - so much is happening nowadays, to know what is relevant is your biggest treasure. Luckily, we have different kind of free lance sustainable experts you can ask.
If you were to give your 20 year old self advice, what would it be?
Do what you do now, follow your heart. Make mistakes, be curious and develop yourself every day to be a better version of yourself. Reflecting on that, I did this and I would do the same.
Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
The people I meet are my biggest inspiration. I developed my vision, and found out through internet that there are people who are on the same level like John Elkington, Micheal Braungard, and Katherine Hamnett. But also people who I currently work with. Especially, doer’s in the field of changing the industry.
What makes you smile?
When something is going great, well because of me. Even it is years later!
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