Vanessa Barboni Hallik on designing a sustainable fashion future

What does it take to walk away from a successful career in Investment banking?

Today I’m speaking with Vanessa Barboni Hallik, founder and CEO of Another Tomorrow, a woman’s sustainable fashion startup and what New York Times described as a ‘Brand as Ethically Minded as It Is Refined’.

When Vanessa suddenly became aware of the reality on the ground in the clothing industry, there was no turning back. She needed to challenge the system.

So, she created a clothing brand committed from the outset to sourcing responsibly grown, ethically manufactured materials, blending classic design with technology-enabled transparency, while building a platform for education, and advocacy and contributing to the circular economy.

In this episode, we talk about her early life and how it shaped where she’s at now.

We talk about the significant impact that the clothing industry has on the environment, on humans, and on animals.

And then we talk about what Vanessa has done to respond to all of this.

So sit back. Relax. And grab that favorite beverage. Or throw on those running shoes. And enjoy this episode.

Please don’t forget to let us know what you think, leave a review, rating, and subscribe.

Do check out Another Tomorrow here. And to sign the petition Vanessa talks about in the episode, you can find it here.

00:00:02:04 – 00:00:27:03
Philippa White
Welcome to the show, where we unearth new ways of looking at ever evolving light around the world. Seen from a number of different industries, cultures and backgrounds. But there’s one thing that unites everyone I speak to. They all want to do their part to make the world better in their own unique ways. It’s a uniting passion. Whether they’re from the commercial world, third sector or public sector from the Global North or the global south.

00:00:27:15 – 00:00:32:13
Philippa White
My name is Philippa White and welcome to TIE Unearthed.

00:00:35:03 – 00:01:14:19
Philippa White
Hello and welcome to episode 31 of TIE Unearthed. Today I’m speaking with Vanessa Balboni, Halik founder and CEO of Another Tomorrow, a woman sustainable fashion startup and what New York Times described as a brand, as ethically minded, as it is refined. Vanessa walked away from a successful career in investment banking to launch another tomorrow and has been committed from the outset to sourcing responsibly grown, ethically manufactured materials, blending classic design with technology enabled transparency while building a platform for education and advocacy and contributing to the circular economy.

00:01:15:17 – 00:01:36:19
Philippa White
We’ll talk about her early life and architectural ambitions, her journey to an investment banking career, and then why she changed course and challenged the system. So grab your favorite beverage or throw on those running shoes and enjoy this chat with Vanessa. Hi, Vanessa. It’s so lovely to have you joining us today.

00:01:37:08 – 00:01:40:05
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
It’s such a huge pleasure to be here. Thank you so much for having me.

00:01:40:08 – 00:02:05:19
Philippa White
Thank you. Listen, I find your story fascinating. Obviously, we got connected over LinkedIn, I think, wasn’t it? We were part of a chain of comments which I then started digging deeper into what you’re into what you’re doing. And then we obviously had the conversation and I was just so inspired and I’m just really, really excited to have you here so you can share your amazing story.

00:02:05:24 – 00:02:09:24
Philippa White
So for our listeners, can you tell us your background?

00:02:10:09 – 00:02:41:23
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
No, absolutely. I’ll try and give the long story short, only because I think that what I’m doing now really kind of represents my life full circle. So I’m American and I grew up in the Midwest and a sort of hippie, academic, techie, sort of enclave. First in Iowa and then in western Pennsylvania. And and in Ohio. My my mother was an artist and my dad was this kind of techie sociology professor.

00:02:42:08 – 00:03:06:07
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
And so I really kind of grew up just loving the intersection of disciplines and this idea of kind of conscious consumerism was really sort of, you know, in the water, so to speak. So I kind of grew up with, you know, the Whole Earth catalog and I still have these visions of these, you know, geodesic domes. So I wanted to build in my backyard.

00:03:07:17 – 00:03:30:22
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
So really, I think that I never fully appreciated the gift that that was growing up, but it was such a rich childhood. And, you know, funny enough, I thought I would be an architect. Really? That idea of, you know, that sort of melding of design and science and and technology and I did kind of a crazy 180 in college.

00:03:30:22 – 00:03:53:14
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
My mom passed when I was really young. And I think just sort of subliminally I just shifted to this kind of focus on, you know, taking care of myself and protection and what have you. And I actually ended up in finance. So after turning into an economics major, I sort of accidentally ended up in finance. I had applied for all these grand fellowships.

00:03:53:14 – 00:03:56:04
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
I got none of those and most of the finance jobs.

00:03:56:20 – 00:04:02:23
Philippa White
So what happened to architecture or you just didn’t go the route in the end? Like what happened?

00:04:03:21 – 00:04:31:22
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
I didn’t. And, you know, I think I think it was a combination of things. One, I spent some time talking to architects in their twenties and thirties, and it’s a tough road. Right. And I think that I got pretty real about what practicing might mean. But but more than that, it was, you know, really I mean, my mom was the artist in our family and I think that I knew that I had to take care of myself.

00:04:31:22 – 00:04:52:11
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
And and I just kind of took this less risky path, honestly. And I don’t know that I fully understood the choice at the time. But, you know, I made a pretty significant pivot. I will say that I actually did go back to even look at doing a master’s exploratory program at Columbia and Architecture later, just to make sure.

00:04:52:15 – 00:04:53:21
Philippa White
You made the right decision.

00:04:54:01 – 00:05:15:23
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
Yes. And I am still pretty sure I made the right decision. Still pretty sure. So, you know, check, check that box, which I feel good about now. But, you know, that passion sort of always been there. But I did end up in finance and with a focus on emerging markets, which, you know, as kind of, you know, a girl from the cornfields was just amazing.

00:05:15:24 – 00:05:44:14
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
You know, I really got to travel the world and and loved sort of the the intersections at which, you know, emerging economies said because, you know, I’m fortunately it is most often the case that one does not make sort of one’s own bed and there are so many external forces that one is buffeted by. So I really I did enjoy the sort of intellectual peace of the, you know, the the political, the socioeconomic, the economic.

00:05:44:14 – 00:06:18:01
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
It was very, very interesting. But I spent, you know, really kind of the latter two thirds of my career at Morgan Stanley kind of rebuilding and building back up. You know, these emerging markets, businesses that across the industry had kind of gotten hit pretty hard, the financial crisis. And that was kind of my first taste, I think, really kind of entrepreneurship and loved it and loved building teams, you know, love solving client problems, really just enjoy that aspect of it in particular.

00:06:18:01 – 00:06:43:16
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
But I was super focused throughout on, you know, how the heck was I going to take my skill set and my energy and try and build something that felt super purposeful and lasting? And in 2017, you know, I, I really just hit the place where it was. It was just time to make a change. And I said, you know, what do I want the next 20 years to be about?

00:06:44:04 – 00:07:08:04
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
And for me, it was really clear that the answer to that had to be purpose. You know, I had to drive my energy in that direction. And I thought initially that I was actually just going to switch gears and move from a focus on emerging markets into ESG. You know, essentially on the asset management side and the firm was great and I ended up taking a sabbatical and that is sort of a funny thing happened.

00:07:08:04 – 00:07:39:00
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
You know, I figured, well, gosh, before I part of an investment process that seeks to redirect and deploy capital along the lines of environmental, social and governance factors to more positive impact. I should really have a better sense of know how these major industries are throwing off these major externalities, negative externalities, unintended consequences. And for the for the most part, you know, is fairly understandable to anyone who’s been following, you know, markets and industry for any kind of material period of time.

00:07:39:00 – 00:07:59:19
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
But the one that really caught me off guard was actually the apparel industry. And I was just I was just shocked by the magnitude of the problem, the complexity of the problem, the overall opacity of the industry, including to those who actually operate in it.

00:08:00:21 – 00:08:07:08
Philippa White
Talk to us about it. So I think obviously this is a huge turning point for you. Yeah. What did you learn?

00:08:07:11 – 00:08:37:23
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
Well, first and foremost, I would say that the the impact was far more sort of deep and kind of insidious than I thought. You know, I had this understanding at the outset that the industry could be incredibly wasteful and that in particular that there were, you know, some pretty severe labor issues and in fact, fashion in particular. But I really didn’t have that nuanced perspective that, number one, you know, clothing is basically either an agricultural product or it’s made of oil.

00:08:38:11 – 00:09:04:11
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
There’s not a whole lot in between. And and there are some pretty significant implications to both of those. So, you know, water or sorry, cotton, rather, you know, as a as a crop takes up, you know, very small percentage of our global cropland. But is one of the biggest users of chemical insecticides and and pesticides and and fertilizers with huge impacts on biodiversity and health.

00:09:05:01 – 00:09:27:15
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
So that’s just an example on the agricultural side. And then on, you know, on the plastic side, you know, it’s one of the biggest contributors of, you know, Microfibers in our oceans. So, you know, I really didn’t have that kind of nuanced perspective in terms of like sort of at both the raw materials stage and then the sort of degradation stage, you know, the level of problem there.

00:09:28:16 – 00:09:57:22
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
I also equally did not appreciate that the issue of labor and living wages is not just a problem of fast fashion. It’s very much endemic to fast fashion, but it really includes a pretty wide swath of industry, which is incredibly problematic. And then third, kind of going to, you know, to the animal welfare piece, there’s also, you know, just huge, huge degree of impact on on animals in supply chains.

00:09:57:22 – 00:10:53:05
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
And so really, it was just eye opening on on so many levels. And and just just shocking, I mean, just genuinely, really quite, quite shocking. And what was interesting to me was that in addition to that, we’ve been on this path really for the last 30, 35 years of going from supply chains in apparel that were already fairly problematic but relatively more vertical, where our suppliers were either owned by companies or at least very known by companies to this situation where production had just spread out all over the world, really driven by lowest cost and outsourced with very little visibility and very little accountable bility.

00:10:53:14 – 00:11:04:17
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
And so many large companies really just fundamentally did not know their supply chains. And so how on earth are you going to start to make better decisions if you’re able to your supply chain? Right.

00:11:04:23 – 00:11:15:12
Philippa White
And obviously, you’re realizing this as you’re trying to figure out, obviously, environmental, social and governance factors and realizing, hold on a second. And people don’t know the supply chains. I mean.

00:11:15:20 – 00:11:16:19
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
They don’t even know.

00:11:16:19 – 00:11:19:05
Philippa White
Yeah, I mean, how can you do that if you don’t know?

00:11:20:01 – 00:11:41:05
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
Totally. I mean, forget about managing what you measure. I mean, if you don’t even know what it is to measure it in the first place, I mean, it’s just crazy. So it was just it was just wild. And, you know, the no no surprise, you know, the amount of information that consumers is going to get from a company that doesn’t even know themselves or isn’t or certainly isn’t proud of that.

00:11:41:05 – 00:12:02:02
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
They do know is going to be pretty meager. So, you know, I just I looked at some of the other consumer verticals that had moved really far ahead of apparel. And I think about food and I think about, you know, to some extent even other areas of CPG like Beauty. And yet Challenger brands had had a pretty material impact.

00:12:02:02 – 00:12:25:21
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
Not so much on changing supply chains in aggregate because, you know, these are all fragmented markets, but on shifting norms and I thought, gosh, there’s a huge opportunity in this in the apparel industry, in the fashion industry for more challenge brands, particularly outside of the outdoor sphere, where I think there have been some really fantastic players to go.

00:12:25:22 – 00:12:48:09
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
Yeah, like Patagonia has been so much organic, sort of alignment with their customer base, given shared values, but in other parts of the market as well to really, to really move the needle in terms of modeling what was possible in terms of how you could operate as a company, but also shifting expectations for consumers about how companies would operate and how they would communicate with them.

00:12:48:16 – 00:13:15:21
Philippa White
So you’re seeing these dynamics. You’re obviously now feeling that there’s a real purpose, shouting for your direction and I mean, you then walk away from a successful career in investment banking. You know what? What was that? What happened? What was the catalyst to that happening? And, you know, yeah. Like what inspired you to want to challenge the system?

00:13:17:10 – 00:13:37:04
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
You know, it was it’s such a strange thing to communicate because so many people have well, maybe not so many people. A good number of people have communicated like this to me, and I could never really understand it. But until it sort of happened to me and it was just I couldn’t not do it. And I don’t know how else to describe it other than that.

00:13:37:04 – 00:14:03:12
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
I mean, I really felt compelled to do this like, like nothing else in my life. And it was just information I could not unknow and I couldn’t turn away from. And, you know, and I felt like I had something to offer, I think. So it’s sort of fundamentally those two things. And, you know, I could have stayed could have stayed in finance, but I was you know, I couldn’t not take the risk.

00:14:03:18 – 00:14:15:06
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
And I thought, I’ve got to give this a shot. I’ll never forgive myself. I don’t I feel like there’s something really to do here. And so, you know, I did spend a bunch of months doing research first before I pulled the trigger.

00:14:15:12 – 00:14:35:00
Philippa White
So it’s always fun, isn’t it? I remember well when I was sort of doing the up until 1:00 in the morning after a full day’s work trying to pull together my business plan and the thinking in the Oh God, it’s exhausting. But yeah, it’s also really motivating and exciting when you sort of see some things come together. See, I can imagine that was exhausting, but exciting to see that.

00:14:35:14 – 00:15:04:20
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
Yeah, no, it was it was great. And, you know, I mean, I was super lucky because I had taken the sabbatical and they were generous. Yeah, they were so, so generous. And, and I probably had a dangerous amount of time on my hands, so, you know, to hatch a plan. But, but yeah, you know, I incorporated during that sabbatical and really spent a good four months doing some pretty significant research to make sure that I felt like there was really something there was really something there.

00:15:04:20 – 00:15:17:19
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
And then that was terrifying. You know, pulling the plug was genuinely terrifying. I still remember it was May 1st, 2018 and yeah, it was, it was it was scary, but it was great.

00:15:17:19 – 00:15:21:15
Philippa White
And talk to us about what you’re doing now. What what is this?

00:15:22:08 – 00:15:53:01
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
Yes. So another tomorrow. You know, we really think about ourselves as innovating at the intersection of sustainability, design and technology to reinvent currently to reinvent fashion. So we’re an end to end sustainable luxury brand that integrates technology to deliver transparency and a full circular economy through owned resale. And, you know, we’re really here to treat clothing as an asset.

00:15:53:05 – 00:16:15:18
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
So I kind of hate the word luxury. It kind of makes my skin crawl and I say it to sort of connote quality. But really, we think about at the core of the problem of this industry is that we start treating clothing like an asset and we started to treat it as if it’s disposable. So how do we democratize access, start to democratize access to really high quality clothing?

00:16:15:18 – 00:16:37:23
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
And how do we keep it in circulation for as long as possible? It’s kind of like the antithesis of the system as it currently works. And so so that’s you know, that’s really what another tomorrow does the women’s wear brand today and the broader ambition is to continue to add value both for people and planet through innovating at this intersection of design and sustainability and technology.

00:16:38:07 – 00:17:04:24
Philippa White
Wow. Do you drew a parallel with Patagonia? And I mean, that’s their marketing as well, isn’t it? Its own, yes. And that is how it should be, really. I mean, that’s fantastic. Talk to us about some of the biggest surprises that you’ve had on this journey. And, you know, good and bad, what what’s what’s been hard, but also what’s been really eye opening and exciting fact.

00:17:04:24 – 00:17:36:02
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
There are so, so many good examples and both in both buckets, I guess I’ll start with maybe a little bit of a mix of the two. The first, I mean, we were shocked that given how much sustainability was at least part of the lexicon, you know, three years ago when we were getting started, how much we struggled to actually find materials that really would bring together the kind of level of quality and craft with sustainability, we just couldn’t find anything.

00:17:36:05 – 00:17:52:05
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
And so we ended up making almost entirely custom materials. But in order to do that, it actually brought us all the way back to the farm. And so we source, for example, our wool from these two ethical farms in Tasmania.

00:17:52:09 – 00:17:52:20
Philippa White
Wow.

00:17:52:21 – 00:18:13:23
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
And if you had. Oh yeah. If you had asked me at the beginning, oh you’re going to be sourcing raw materials directly at the farm, I would have said you’re crazy. But that’s actually what we felt that we have to do based on what our animal welfare and environmental welfare and human welfare parameters were. And we learned so much from that process.

00:18:13:23 – 00:18:33:06
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
And this goes to one of the positive things that I’ve learned, which is just that, you know, sustainability is inherently local, you know, and what makes sense in one place doesn’t make sense in another place. And so really having that connection back to the farm, that grounding in science kind of became the cornerstone for how we how we source everything.

00:18:33:06 – 00:18:58:15
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
And so that was an incredible experience. And and really one of the major positives that I’ve taken away from this is just how much I’ve actually just learned from people at every single step of the value chain and how inherently collaborative this industry is, which is, you know, not something can be experienced really in finance. You know, finance is not the most collaborative, collaborative industry, not a word that you hear a lot.

00:18:58:15 – 00:19:20:23
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
I mean, there are exceptions to that, of course, but, you know, it’s and part of that is because the industry is made up of so many people that that are in very specialized roles. And they all have to come together to make it all happen. And so there’s that sort of inherently collaborative nature of bringing together people of different, different disciplines and expertize.

00:19:20:23 – 00:20:00:22
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
And and that’s just been incredible. You know, from the farm to chemicals specialists and mills and craftspeople and technologists. You know, I’ve just learned an incredible, incredible amount from people. And I think there is a lot of hugely positive intention to do things better, which I think is, you know, these are these are all super positives. I think on the negative side, I think that generally speaking, the press narrative and the marketing narrative around sustainability just moves so much faster than reality.

00:20:00:22 – 00:20:15:24
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
And that I think is particularly problematic because it gives a perception that a lot has changed. And I think that’s really dangerous at a time when real change.

00:20:16:08 – 00:20:17:04
Philippa White
Needs to happen.

00:20:17:04 – 00:20:17:24
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
Really fast.

00:20:18:00 – 00:20:19:24
Philippa White
And yeah, right.

00:20:19:24 – 00:20:45:13
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
And so, you know, you look at that messaging and it’s really easy to forget, but oh wait, you know, it’s still the case that more than half of clothing ends up in a landfill within a year. And it’s still the case that organic cotton is something like 1% of the global cotton supply. And it’s still the case that nothing has meaningfully changed in terms of garment workers and the fact that over 90% of them don’t earn or don’t earn a living wage.

00:20:45:13 – 00:21:07:10
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
And yet it feels like if you’re just reading the headlines and you’re just looking at marketing, that a lot has changed. And so that that to me is, is a major, major issue. And it’s really brought to life for me just how critically important regulation is and not a sexy topic. And no one likes to talk about it.

00:21:07:10 – 00:21:31:17
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
But I think that it’s something I believe in really, really strongly. Just because the economic incentives are so strong not to move this tanker too quickly. And we don’t we just don’t have the luxury of that time. So I’m a big believer in regulation that that really formed the basis of why we do so much work on the advocacy side of things as a company.

00:21:32:10 – 00:21:55:10
Philippa White
Talk to us about how you because it’s an interesting one when you were talking about the marketing and how basically the consumer isn’t actually aware, one of the problems that you’re obviously aware of and the reason why you set up another tomorrow, but also like you said, marketing moves quicker than what is actually happening. How is your transparency?

00:21:55:11 – 00:22:08:01
Philippa White
How do you educate your customers? How does that work? Because it’s a big job. It’s also exciting because it’s an educational job. How does that work? How do you get the message of.

00:22:08:01 – 00:22:35:02
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
So we’ve we’ve learned that and I guess this probably won’t be surprise you, but, you know, everyone digests information in different ways and with different levels of curiosity. And so, you know, we really approach it from a from a bunch of different levels. So on the one hand, because every single product that we make has its own unique digital identity, we can communicate with extreme specificity, a granularity at the product level.

00:22:35:02 – 00:22:59:18
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
So you can scan a QR code on the content label and you can see not just the entire provenance of the product, but why we actually made the decisions that we did across the supply chain. That’s where we think we can do better. So I love that, particularly because I think that it shows that it’s possible and hopefully it starts to shift the bar for how consumers expect companies to communicate.

00:22:59:18 – 00:23:22:14
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
So I think that that transparency is a big piece of it. We also put put that information on the like the product detail pages of the website and then we have a really, really extensive sustainability section that really breaks down, you know, all of our policies. And again, why we make the decisions that we do about materials we use materials we don’t use.

00:23:22:14 – 00:23:35:24
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
That’s kind of been the most popular part of that section. And then the third, you know, really the third way that we communicate is, is by finding long form narrative journalism and all that.

00:23:35:24 – 00:23:36:15
Philippa White
So great.

00:23:37:04 – 00:24:07:06
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
I it’s this is one of my favorite things that we do and we don’t, we don’t do a huge amount of it because honestly it’s expensive to do. And with COVID, it’s really, it’s hard for people to travel and you actually have to get staff to source in many cases to really do as well. But one of the things that I learned early on in the customer or at the time prospective customer focus groups, was that where people actually made some pretty substantive shifts in their purchasing decisions?

00:24:07:19 – 00:24:25:24
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
It was through information that they learned in this format because I think that as humans we really connect with this idea of of storytelling and to be able to, you know, and to be able to do that in a very factual, high quality journalistic way is just not something that you see much. And, you know, even in mainstream press.

00:24:25:24 – 00:24:38:07
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
So we did a really long piece on organic cotton and we did another one on the wool industry. So I guess in short, we really kind of throw the kitchen sink at it. But you answer a question.

00:24:38:12 – 00:25:01:02
Philippa White
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. But I mean, there’s so much there and it’s it’s so it’s there’s a lot of opportunity for content. And the more transparent you are, the more that your customers trust. You want to know more, buy into your story, buy into your reason for being it’s yeah it’s fantastic. And I and I saw something recently. You’ve opened a.

00:25:01:02 – 00:25:02:11
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
Shop. Yes. Yes.

00:25:02:11 – 00:25:04:16
Philippa White
And talk to us about that. That’s a big deal.

00:25:05:04 – 00:25:24:18
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
Yeah. We’re super excited. You know, I think it’s it’s so important to be able to have real conversations and build community. And so it’s been on our really kind of on our roadmap for ages. We have planned to open actually one right before COVID hit. Thank goodness we didn’t sign that lease. That would have been.

00:25:24:22 – 00:25:25:09
Philippa White
That would have been.

00:25:25:23 – 00:25:45:09
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
Fairly terrible. But so we kind of we waited and this opportunity came up at the end of last year. And so it’s basically kind of we think of it as our first kind of flagship retail. But really it’s it’s a space for dialog as much as it is a space for shopping. So people can obviously touch and feel and try on the product.

00:25:45:10 – 00:25:50:13
Philippa White
Going to say I like that makes such a difference as well because you talk to people there to understand.

00:25:51:15 – 00:26:17:08
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
Oh, it’s, it’s amazing. I mean, you just get so much information, totally different experience and really learn what’s important to people and respond to their questions and and they can scan the QR code in person before the purchase. But we have a great setup also for really for, you know, dialog around, around substantive conversations around climate and and also, you know, creative industries.

00:26:17:08 – 00:26:29:06
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
So we’re very excited, actually. Our first talk that we’re going to be doing in September is with MAXINE, but with her with her new book out on the on the fashion industry, which I’m really excited about.

00:26:29:23 – 00:26:38:05
Philippa White
Wow. It really is bridging these worlds of your family, isn’t it? The artist? I mean, it comes full circle, doesn’t it?

00:26:38:05 – 00:26:40:00
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
It really does. It’s pretty funny.

00:26:40:13 – 00:27:02:16
Philippa White
It’s beautiful. And, you know, it’s funny as well because I studied business and I mean, I talk about this quite a bit, actually, but I remember chanting at business school, you know, the main goal of business is to make money. I was like, Oh God, this just makes me feel a little bit ill. And my family come from the sort of, I call it the helping people industries.

00:27:03:06 – 00:27:30:13
Philippa White
And it’s, you know, if I look at what I’m doing now, it’s, you know, did I love chanting now of business school? No. Did I realize that that didn’t really suit me. Yes. But I’m actually so pleased that I studied business because I learned what I needed to learn to make what I do now and helping people, industries helped sort of inspire what TIEdoes.

00:27:30:13 – 00:27:48:11
Philippa White
And I just think it’s funny, isn’t it, how life is almost like puzzle pieces, you know, it all kind of fits together eventually and you maybe don’t know the path that it’s going in, but then suddenly you start to see this picture start to unfold. You’re like, God, everything happens for a reason. I needed to do that. That was all part of the plan.

00:27:49:00 – 00:27:50:10
Philippa White
Yeah, absolutely.

00:27:50:13 – 00:27:51:07
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
Absolutely.

00:27:51:09 – 00:27:55:11
Philippa White
I feel that. Tell me, who inspires you?

00:27:55:11 – 00:28:26:13
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
Oh, so many people. I’ve actually so I was sort of maybe selfishly, I’ve put together this this series through the company called Women for Tomorrow. And I take so much inspiration from, you know, women, people in general, but women also who are really leading with such tremendous courage and vulnerability in their industries. And so we’ve kind of pulled together this group of people and we profile them.

00:28:27:03 – 00:28:48:00
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
And so many of the people that I admire are part of that. So the first person that that we profiled who I just adore and look up to is Parliament also, who is one of the co-founders of the Women’s March. She’s also an incredible filmmaker and activist and really has done such amazing work on immigration issues in this country.

00:28:48:00 – 00:29:29:16
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
So she was one of the first Jacqueline Novogratz, who’s become an amazing personal friend and just, you know, such a pioneer in the area of impact. You know, as the founder and CEO of Acumen Fund. Oh, wow. Yeah. She’s she’s just amazing. But, you know, so many women. So I mean, I suppose my my inspirations are kind of, you know, fairly far and wide, but just really it’s kind of I think about it as like, you know, the originals who just, you know, have have the courage to kind of boldly push forward and create change, you know, either either as artists or entrepreneurs or entrepreneurialism.

00:29:29:16 – 00:29:51:24
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
I think there’s it takes a tremendous amount of courage, I think, to create greater than larger organizations, in many cases, more so. So I guess maybe not the most distinct answer, but I think that I find constant friction and I find, you know, I’m just in awe of of so many people doing such amazing work right now.

00:29:53:10 – 00:29:58:14
Philippa White
Now, where do you hope to see your company in the next ten years?

00:29:58:14 – 00:30:29:22
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
You know, as far as it goes, it goes back to that sort of Patagonia as North Star. And so far as you know, we really want to be a company of global significance that is, you know, innovating, continuously innovating at this intersection of design, technology, sustainability can to continue to kind of drive the frontier further of what we can accomplish for both people and planet and so, you know, we want to be a big global brand.

00:30:30:06 – 00:30:36:24
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
That’s that’s modeling change at every step of the way. And so that’s that’s the goal.

00:30:38:03 – 00:30:43:13
Philippa White
It’s exciting. Tell me, what haven’t I asked you that you’d like to tell our listeners?

00:30:43:20 – 00:31:07:01
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
Well, I would love to put in a plug for our advocacy work. Yeah, please. While. Well, we always love to help our customers, we genuinely want to be in service of a broader community far beyond those who may or may not connect with the product. And so we’re doing some, I think, important work to amplify some pretty specific and hot button current issues.

00:31:07:11 – 00:31:36:16
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
And so we’re currently working on a combination of supporting change and the old growth forests in British Columbia and stopping the logging. You know, it’s like such a huge issue. One of the, you know, a massive carbon sink home to immense biodiversity with a few temperate rainforests in the world. And, you know, we’re you know, they’re logging trees the width of your living room and as high as the Empire State Building, like on a daily basis.

00:31:36:16 – 00:31:44:19
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
So it’s pretty devastating. So that’s an area where, you know, the Canadian government really needs to hear from everybody. It’s not just a local issue.

00:31:44:19 – 00:31:49:22
Philippa White
How can people how can people find you in this this movement?

00:31:49:22 – 00:32:04:23
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
So if you go to the magazine section of our website, there’s a host of petitions. And so you can find that one there. We’ve been working with Canopy and with Ancient Forest Alliance on that petition, so I really encourage people to look up that.

00:32:04:23 – 00:32:06:24
Philippa White
And your website would be another tomorrow.

00:32:07:05 – 00:32:08:22
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
Com Another tomorrow.

00:32:08:22 – 00:32:11:04
Philippa White
Dot CEO dot C oh. Okay. So yeah.

00:32:11:09 – 00:32:34:13
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
That’s what I would do. So yeah. And there’s a whole bunch of petitions under that area. There are others that relate back to banning chlorpyrifos, which is, which is a pesticide that’s used not just on cotton but on crops more broadly, and it’s used globally. There’s one on garment worker initiative as well as another on animal welfare in the wool industry.

00:32:34:13 – 00:32:50:08
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
So there’s kind of something for everyone, I suppose, but these are, you know, highly specific issues that that that touch the industry, that touch the planet and that I think are, you know, sometimes kind of fly under the radar, but but make a really huge difference.

00:32:50:13 – 00:33:01:05
Philippa White
Great. Well, everyone should check that out. Also, it’s possible to buy clothes on the site. And I think in New York. Yeah. And in New York is where the the shop is. Is that correct?

00:33:01:12 – 00:33:03:02
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
Yep. 384 Bleeker.

00:33:03:15 – 00:33:04:17
Philippa White
384.

00:33:05:09 – 00:33:06:18
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
Yup. 384 Bleecker.

00:33:07:02 – 00:33:15:18
Philippa White
Okay, good. Oh, Vanessa, listen, it has been a huge pleasure to chat with you. Super inspiring. Your mom would be very proud.

00:33:16:07 – 00:33:23:15
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
Well, thank you. Well, it’s a it’s an enormous pleasure to be speaking with you. And I’m equally inspired and honored to be a part of your community.

00:33:23:22 – 00:33:34:20
Philippa White
Yeah, it’s amazing. Well, listen, it’s great to connect with like minded souls, and I just can’t wait to follow your journey. And I’m going to be checking out your your website as well. So take care. Thank you so, so much.

00:33:35:09 – 00:33:36:02
Vanessa Barboni Hallik
Thank you.

00:33:36:07 – 00:33:37:21
Philippa White
Take care.

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