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UNIVERSITY OF WESTMINSTER X STAIY: LEADING BY EXAMPLE 

westminster.ac.uk

January, 25th 2021

Staiy believes in educating and raising awareness around the struggles of sustainability. That is why we continue to partner with like-minded individuals and are proud to present our university Live Project: University of Westminster x Staiy.

Words By  Dina Abedini Niknam

We are excited to announce that the 18th of January marked a great milestone for Staiy. We dived wholeheartedly into our very first university Live Project: University of Westminster x Staiy! This is especially exciting for us as we believe in education and spreading awareness. Through this project, we not only provide the students a live case study, but further have the ability and position to raise awareness about the negative aspects of the fashion industry and the struggles of sustainability. This project will also provide real life examples of how certain companies come up with varying, innovative solutions to this problem! 

Staiy partnered with the University of Westminster to provide a learning opportunity for their MA Marketing, MA Retail, and BA Fashion Promotion students. The project aims to present a live example of the journey and the challenges faced by a startup, in particular one with a focus on sustainability. For the students, the main focus will be on branding with sustainability in mind and the experience will go as follows: each participating brand presents their journey. The students thus acquire an insight into the workings of a startup, its elements, as well as will be able to gain various perspectives. The lecturers provide a challenge (assignment) based on these presentations for the students to provide a solution on a case by case basis at the end of the semester. Staiy will be available for the students to contact in case of further questions and will host a Q&A session halfway through the project, on the 9th of March 2021. At the end of the semester, the lecturer will pick the students with the best project, who will get the opportunity to present their solutions to us and our partner brands.

Along with Staiy, three brands from our portfolio will join this project: NAE Vegan Shoes, KMANA, and AAGold. Each of these brands will provide a different perspective as they all offer different products and services. Staiy is a marketplace, while NAE Vegan Shoes, KMANA, and AAGold are able to provide a product perspective. All brands will also provide insight into other aspects, such as areas of expansion. The brands do not come up with the brief for the students, but we hope to inspire them with our stories, our triumphs, and our struggles. We are a live example of what can happen to a startup. On this note we would like to share some insight from our co-founder, CFO, and Director of the Sustainability Department, Alessandro Nora. Thanks to his personal experience we have learned the following:

  1. Believe in the mission. This line of work requires a lot of patience, dedication, and hard work. You have to believe in what you are working for and its potential to be able to put in the hours. 
  2. Communicate well. A great team that is aligned with the mission and works well together can move mountains.
  3. Don’t give up. Keep going, persevere, and you will succeed.

“Sustainability is currently a sort of bubble- major players in the fashion industry are fast fashion giants that pollute the Earth”, says Nora. That is why it is so important to Staiy to educate and raise awareness. The global awareness of the climate crisis and the extent of pollution caused by the fashion industry has significantly increased since Staiy first launched only two years ago. We have also witnessed innovation of other industries, such as with the invention of electric cars. This thrills us at Staiy and constantly renews our belief in our mission and our drive to help people reach the goal of living a sustainable life. That is why we continue to host Webinars, IG Lives, and partner with Universities.

As CFO, Nora encourages looking beyond budget when planning a marketing strategy, but to still keep note of it. No matter how great a plan seems, if the budget does not allow it, then it cannot be fulfilled. He believes, however, that creativity and out of the box thinking truly shines through when you do not possess lofty resources. The challenge is to come up with great ideas that do not rely on money, but rather on creativity. Further, he believes that the challenge of the Live Project: University of Westminster x Staiy will also benefit the students as an exceptional ‘pre-work’ experience and put their team working skills to the test. Lastly, we’d like to share a quote from Alessandro directly addressing the partaking students:

“Enjoy the journey. We can always learn from everybody we get to interact with, so just take it as a learning experience and try to put as much commitment towards this project as you can. You will learn from all of these companies. These brands are all in different stages of their lives and are tackling different things at the moment, but overall we are all working towards a common mission. It will be an interesting experience to see how these different companies approach it in different ways”.