Creating Tomorrow's Tribe: Where Sustainability Meets Fashion with Antonia Brown, Founder of Tomorrow's Tribe

founders'stories Nov 22, 2023

Did you know that the fashion industry is the second biggest polluting industry in the world? If you are into sustainable living as much as we are, you would agree that it is crucial for us all to become more conscious of our consumption choices and how they impact the environment. We have invited Antonia Brown, Founder of Tomorrow's Tribe and one of our members in the hub, to share what inspired her to launch her sustainable fashion retail platform and speak about her journey as a tech founder. 

Tell us more about Tomorrow’s Tribe and what inspired you to launch it. 

I was raised by a tree hugger – my mum. Be it weekends in muddy National Trust forests, eating locally, choosing quality clothes over quantity, and respecting the land we live off was a core theme of my upbringing. Sustainability quickly became a core value of mine and it has guided my decisions. It is what drove me to write my thesis on fast fashion, launch a zero-waste social enterprise, do a Master's in sustainability and now build Tomorrow’s Tribe.

Tomorrow’s Tribe was born out of personal frustration that there was no single retail platform dedicated to sustainable fashion. I firmly believe that how we dress reflects how we feel about ourselves and the message we are sending to other people. For me dressing confidently means dressing responsibly, it means being intentional and conscious about the clothes we choose to wear and the businesses we choose to support.

Where we spend our money is our biggest power and it is the way in which we can influence change. However, finding responsible brands and understanding their sustainability credentials is extremely time-consuming. Life is busy, fast-paced and even with the best intentions this is time we just don’t have.

So I decided to launch Tomorrow’s Tribe and put all these brands in one place making shopping responsibly accessible, easy and transparent. We are taking our time to really understand the sustainability approaches of the brands we showcase so our users don’t have to and so they can shop confidently.

We love your passion and commitment to championing more sustainable consumption choices in the fashion industry. What are some of the steps that we can begin to take as shoppers to minimise our impact on the environment?

I’m a firm believer that there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to sustainability, neither is there one strict way to live sustainably. It all starts with being conscious. Maybe that means opting to buy veg that is in-season one week. Maybe it’s walking to the shops rather than driving. Or maybe that means making considered and conscious fashion purchases.

This may not seem like a lot, but a little goes a long way here. When it comes to fashion our global impact is vast. Each year the industry causes 20% of water pollution, generates 10% of global emissions and sends 92m tonnes of textile waste to landfills. This may sound overwhelming and can leave people feeling helpless. This is the main reason I decided to build Tomorrow’s Tribe. We are creating a platform to make changing your shopping habits easier and help you discover genuinely impactful brands that align with your personal style and values.

What are some of the main challenges that you have faced on your entrepreneurial path so far and how have you moved past them?

Starting Tomorrow’s Tribe alongside a full-time career was a big undertaking but, for me, it was the right decision. The challenge here was one of time, having less time to work on Tomorrow’s Tribe was frustrating but it meant I needed to be more focused with the time that I had.

Managing a personal life amidst this is a challenge too, but having friends and family who support your vision is invaluable here.

What tips would you give to early-stage founders who are just beginning their journey into business?

Just go for it. You will have days where you want to give it up or it all feels too much, but in those moments take a minute to remember the reasons why you’ve chosen to build this business. Reset and go again.

Narrow your focus. Depending on how early your venture is you may be doing this alongside a full-time job so your time will be precious. Yes, there will be a million ideas running through your head at once, so when you sit down to work on the business plan out what will be the most impactful use of your time for your objective.

You don’t need all the answers right now. Starting a business is basically like taking on ten new roles in an entirely new industry - it's a learning curve. It’s steep but it is really exciting and will teach you a lot, try and lean into that rather than feeling like you need to know everything before you’ve even started.

What are the three essential abilities that you believe every founder needs to develop to create success in their business?

I’m still working this one out, and success is in the eye of the beholder, however having these three will help you along the way:

  1. Tenacity. There will be setbacks and on some days it may seem like you are the only one who can see your vision - being tenacious will help you hold on to your vision in these moments and refocus if you need to.
  2. Time management. Your attention will be required across all areas of the business so developing a strategy for this will help you to achieve more.
  3. Diligence. Getting things right early on saves a tonne of time so being diligent with the details is always going to help.

Where can our readers learn more about Tomorrow’s Tribe?

Head to our website www.tomorrowstribe.co and follow us on Instagram (@tomorrowstribe.co), we’d love to hear from you and welcome you to our community of conscious shoppers!

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