Preliminary research conducted on corporate social responsibility within the South African context was rather disappointing showing that very few companies were able to mainstream their corporate citizenship efforts so that it extended beyond the realm of pet projects and public relations.
Determined to not just be an advocate for an inclusive economy, inclusive business and responsible corporate citizenship, Yumnaa Firfirey embarked on a journey to explore ethical business as a social entrepreneur herself and hopefully inspire other entrepreneurs and businesses to pursue ethical and inclusive businesses. This is a quest to demonstrate that it is possible to be very successful and profitable, while also having a powerful impact on society. Hence the development of the fashion brand, Bodhisattva, poised to change the way we think about fashion. www.ethicalfashion.co.za Since its inception in June 2013 and launch in February 2014, Bodhisattva has carved a strategic niche in the clothing and textile sector, with luxury, ethical local production and the process is underway to establish an IDC-supported cluster to assist other like-minded designers to do the same. During this time, Yumnaa has managed to take this label from a fledgling brand to a cash flow neutral business that is export-ready and experimenting with European trade relations, particularly with Switzerland and Germany. This task extends well beyond design, which is only one element of the process: it also entails the management of the financial, marketing, logistics, design, production, procurement and sales distribution areas.