Blue Mango’s main business focus is to promote our own unique brand, which is designed in-house for sale in the wider market. In general, we don’t produce other people’s designs because they don’t fit into our Intentional Design standards. However, we have on many occasions reworked our designs for bulk orders from Fair Trade companies to their specifications. Other times we have successfully taken on some special collaborative projects which has been mutually rewarding.
We are known as a trustworthy production unit with well- trained and talented women artisans. Many creative dreamers are keen to design and market their own ideas but don’t have the experience or resources to build their own workshop, train artisans, and manage a social enterprise of this kind. Many businesses, upon hearing of Blue Mango, want to check us out. We are often asked to produce and/or design other people’s ideas for their exclusive brand – basically to be the workshop for their start-up or expanding company. We keep an open mind to collaborative inquiries because it might end up being a wonderful, pleasant surprise!
Working in Fair Trade with economically marginalized women draws in all sorts of people. We sometimes get inquiries from a select few who want to use us as a playground in the name of women’s empowerment. These inquiries are based on a presupposition that we are desperate, naive, and rely on charity.
Most of the people who make inquiries from us are true blue and well-meaning. We can start a serious dialogue if the inquiring person:
- imparts a spirit of collaboration where we work together on equal terms
- clearly respects Blue Mango’s brand identity
- looks up to our women
- is bare bones honest about her intentions
- speaks in the language of ethical business agreements from the start
- understands our policies and clearly states her requirements.
In general, included in our terms for collaboration are:
- We charge for our designing and mock-up overhead time
- Exclusivity details will be negotiated
- Blue Mango labels will be put next to the other party's label
A very helpful article on the topic of exclusivity is written by Stacey Edgar - Consultant and founder of Global Girlfriends