Dotty community
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Dotty community

Making saving the world possible for everyone.

On sustainability and assetising behavioural impact

Price is the problem

We all know our planet’s in distress and the environmental disasters we’re witnessing are only the tip of the iceberg. We also know that changing consumer behaviours and choices will have a significant impact on slowing down this environmental catastrophe, so why aren’t we all buying and consuming more sustainably already?

Zooming in on one industry specifically — how are we, consumers, still able to access such an obscene quantity of endlessly generated fast fashion items manufactured with no regard to either the producers or the environment? Particularly when this industry is widely believed to be the 2nd largest polluter in the world and currently on track to miss the 1.5ºC pathway by 50%!

Fashion industry sustainability fact sheet
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

And most importantly, why do most of us choose to buy fast fashion rather than existing high-quality, more sustainable products with a significantly better socio-economic and environmental impact?

From a straightforward, individual consumer point of view, the answer is price.

The average mass consumer, buying clothes first and foremost for need, as well as joy, status, belonging and self-expression, has always prioritised price over impact.

Naturally there are exceptions: well-informed early-adopters who have made the decision to consume better and less in order to reduce their negative impact as well as those with more flexible retail budgets.

But can we blame a single parent from a small town for looking at cheaper options? Or a student for not blowing all their budget on just a couple of items? Or really, whilst we’re at it, can we blame an upper-middle class fashion lover with a more generous budget for not prioritising impact (which at that moment seems so far removed) so they can invest more in education, healthcare or retirement?

Sustainable fashion vs fast fashion price difference
Learn more about the different compositions of these products here and here.

To turn it around — how are we rewarding those that do prioritise the impact of their purchases by buying sustainably, or pre-loved, or best of all: buying significantly less due to choice or circumstance? The only reward is getting to feel good about it. That’s all.

Now, imagine if more sustainable products were available to everyone in the same way as H&M or Ikea are today, without abusing the maker community. Imagine if every choice you made that had better impact — an item you bought (or, better yet, did not buy at all) directly increased the value of your wallet long-term.

In other words, choosing more sustainable being not only the easiest option but a profitable one for you personally. Sustainable fashion would no longer have the unintentional elitist tendencies it does today but become an accessible badge of honour. What’s more, it would allow for those communities with more modest means to maximise on their own low impact. Ultimately rallying the global consumer community to drive the demand for a better, less harmful fashion industry.

We believe it’s possible to achieve this as a commercial ecosystem that benefits all individual and industry stakeholders.

Our mission at Dotty has been to make more sustainable choice accessible and available for everyone from the get-go. With emphasis on the ‘everyone’.
We will consider Dotty a success if it’s relevant and useful for the mass consumer, not just a small select group. Being able to choose what’s better for the consumer and the planet should be the easiest option. You could call it the democratisation of sustainability.

Impact is the solution: Individual impact as an asset in your wallet

We are building a self-sustaining commercial ecosystem to radically break down the price barrier of sustainable products for the end consumer, making that which is good for the planet also what’s best for the buyer.

The foundation of such an ecosystem is the assetisation of individual impact behaviour. Meaning the collective impact of the choices you make can act as sign of trust or an additional income stream.

The emergence of Web3 allows for a completely new way of looking at and tracking of what impact is: individual impact, consumer impact as a group, and the impact of Dotty as a solution. With this new set of tools, we’re able to not only assign ownership to behaviour and assign value to it but also turn it into an actively usable asset that the owner can disclose and use as and when they see fit.

The Dotty ecosystem is the solution to accelerate positive impact and reduce the negative to help the fashion industry track the 1.5ºC pathway. To say it out loud and clear — without impact, Dotty becomes unnecessary.

We believe that all transactions must transparently create more than direct commercial value into the economy and society — it absolutely must reduce negative and increase positive impact in terms of both:

  1. The environment — e.g. measurable reduction of resource consumption, carbon emissions, pollution and waste output
  2. Socio-economic wellbeing of both the maker and buyer communities.

It logically follows that the success of Dotty will be directly measured by the direct and indirect negative impact it will reduce and the positive impact it will create and facilitate. Without proven impact in the above two verticals, Dotty will have failed.

Assigning value to impact behaviour will provide a foundation for building a sustainable fashion ecosystem (between sustainability innovators, sustainable innovation buyers, builders and consumers) committed to radically driving down the price of sustainable fashion and making it the default option for everyone from the very start.

Because really, saving the world should not be an option only for the privileged, right?! Instead, everyone should have a Planeteer ring. Because Captain Planet was never about the superhero but always about empowering the kids!

Guts to make a change

It took us a while to truly acknowledge price being the key barrier (information and relevant alternatives follow but with a significant lag). Why? Because the idea of proposing a status quo change of this level seems radical enough to be completely insane.

It’s scary to put our heads on the line and say yes, we believe that change on such scale (because globally, somewhere along the line we seem to have all accepted that what’s better must also mean more expensive!) is possible and yes, we are going to dedicate ourselves to achieving it and yes, WE are the people to do it.

Case in point — it took us 13 versions to write this simple post to be able to, really, say out loud that we love capitalism (at least its potential and its pillaring of democracy) AND that we want to save the world. But it’s as simple as that.

Ketly Freirik and Kärri Brewster-Palts, Co-founders of Dotty
Ps. we’re normally pretty dorky and only look cool(ish) here thanks to the personal creative genius of the founders of Studio August and Ennos.

Dotty has been the culmination and coming together of two separate personal stories in search of purpose and impact. Although at first glance, it might have looked as if we’ve always had it together, it took us starting Dotty to understand and acknowledge that our two separate journeys were not just about an unnecessary need to continue to prove ourselves.

Coming from a home of very young parents, Ketly never had a safety net to fall back on which meant she always wanted to be amongst the best in everything she does. It drove her to being an elite junior athlete aspiring to compete in the London 2012 Olympics in badminton, to graduate at the top of her class from both high school and university, to volunteer at NGOs and build a successful career in fintech.
All of this stemmed from the fear of not having the room to fall back, only to move forward, to do more and better without truly thinking about what she actually wanted.

Mine is a story of unknowingly measuring my own worth in achievements, from building a cross-sector career progressing from publishing intern to a C-suite position in fintech, to competing in endurance challenges like an ultra marathon in polar Greenland and spending a year competitively sailing around the world.

One year ago, starting to talk about Dotty with contributors, advisors and partners (aka ‘outside of our own bubble’) highlighted that in fact, some of those seemingly eclectic choices and the intrinsic competitiveness had been a search for bigger purpose and a drive to have a positive impact all along.

What’s more, it highlighted that we’re able to approach the problem with industry-agnostic glasses. Whilst a number of discussions inside the fashion industry were often limited to why change on this level was not possible, discussions adding and combining input from across material and medical innovation, fintech, governing infrastructure, macro-economics, blockchain, FMCG and more, provided a bigger picture highlighting the opposite.

Dotty is, no doubt, an ambitious mission to deliver positive impact. It will require an ounce of naivete, an ounce of crazy and a s*** ton of grit. And grit we’ve got.

In fact, when we started conceptualising Dotty we wanted to find out whether we could do this together (e.g. not only deliver but also stay inspired and tolerate each other as a team) for the long term so we signed up to compete in a 100km canoeing marathon. This was in response to well-known Estonian angel investor Ragnar Sass’ call-out in early 2021 where he promised to consider investing in all founders who beat him.
At the time we were riding on mental strength more than physical prep (Kärri had given birth to her second baby a few months earlier) and it took us 18.5 hours to finish. We had no idea what we were getting into but not for a second did we think we wouldn’t finish it.

The fact that we did it together fuelled the faith that as a team we’re able to deliver the impact we strive to with Dotty.

The amount of chocolate needed for 18.5h; Still friends after 18.5h in the same slow canoe.

Ready to change the world?

Today, we’re actively building a team of the craziest dreamers and doers; kind humans with grit, curiosity and an above-average sense of humour. We’ll develop, build, test (and possibly fail a few times) but ultimately have a large-scale positive impact on the world. If you’re an enthusiast and lover of deep-tech, gaming, the metaverse, Web3, DAOs, sustainability, NFTs, macro-economics, innovation as a discipline and more, we cannot wait to hear from you!
Join the mission to make saving the world possible for everyone.

Obviously it will be fun.

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Turning impact behaviour into assets and making more sustainable choices (price-)accessible to everyone

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Kärri Brewster-Palts

Kärri Brewster-Palts

Co-founder @ Dotty. Making saving the world possible for everyone by assetising behavioural impact.

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