A budding Toronto company is building a world where the clothing you purchase does not just result in a profit – but aids a global issue.
Gimme360, a startup founded from two high school students, aims to sell apparel with the purpose of providing developing countries with sustainable sources of water.
Each item sold is put towards building water wells in developing countries around the wold. The item features specific coordinates to the water well that your purchase will help, as well as a cardboard virtual reality to set. The goal is for the consumers to have “360 degrees” of transparency to track the impact their apparel purchase is making.
“We chose providing people with water; it is the grassroots of a country,” says Josiah Crombie, the company’s co-founder.
Crombie and Lucas Bruno, both high school students at the time, built the company through SAGE Canada.
SAGE Canada is a non-profit organization led by students at Ryerson University. It strives to advance youth entrepreneurship, by supporting high school students in starting socially responsible businesses and social enterprise businesses.
“SAGE Canada was a pivotal moment in our journey building Gimme360,” says Crombie.
Gimme360 won most innovative startup through SAGE Canada.
Both Crombie and Bruno worked at charities throughout high school. They say their experience taught them to rethink how people gave and by doing so with transparency.
“We realized that most, if not all organizations do not really present a high level of transparency. When it came to where money was spent most organizations could not give their donors a true path to where their money was going,” says Crombie, “we believe that transparency is key to winning trust in people.”
By providing customers with the exact coordinates to their impact and a virtual reality kit, the team hopes to encourage customers to track project progress.
The company launched in May of 2015 and have a total of four team members including Crombie, Bruno, Chris Chapman, and Alexander De Jager.
“Our greatest milestone being our first water well, which had been a huge goal for us from the beginning of our organization,” he said.
But the team on young entrepreneurs say the biggest challenge was learning as fast as their business grows.
Despite the heavy balance of school and managing the business, the team aims to become a brand that supports different causes in different countries.
“We believe we can make Gimme360 into a global force for good through concerted efforts to humanize the process of donating as much as we can,” says Crombie.