Dubai – Meet Dominic Nowell-Barnes, the man behind The Giving Movement
Conscious consumerism is a buzzword, and we all know that those “buzzwords” tend to become words that are just thrown out without any clarity or conviction. This is where the brand born in Covid The Giving Movement fits. This brand of sustainable streetwear and sportswear made in UAE has been a total disruptor. Just over 15 months old, The Giving Movement appears to have ticked all the boxes to be a conscious fashion brand – and has gained a cult following in the region. With nearly half a million Instagram followers, fashion influencer Karen Wazen and Emirati lifestyle influencer Taim Al Falasi are just a few of the local celebrities who have raised the brand awareness on social networks. But it’s not just all of fashion, The Giving Movement has also caught the attention of the average consumer.
Sofia Gomes, a welfare professional, first purchased her parts while in lockdown. Athleisure is her daily uniform and she still wears it regularly. “During the pandemic, I realized how important it is to support local brands. It’s sustainable, inclusive in size, culturally sensitive (they also have modest pieces), produced in an ethical and socially responsible manner. We need more projects like these in Dubai, ”she said. The local brand uses sustainable materials (such as recycled plastic and bamboo) and has a return policy – donating Dh15 for every purchase to its partner charities (they have already donated over 700,000 $). Every detail has been thought of, including the packaging in biodegradable vegetable starch to its supply chain and fair working conditions and wages are a priority for this brand. Barely two years old, The Giving Movement is on the way to becoming a key player in changing fashion consumption habits in this region.
The man behind the movement
British expatriate Dominic Nowell-Barnes launched The Giving Movement (TGM) in April 2020. The 31-year-old moved to Dubai six years ago and was immediately drawn to his ‘sky’s the limit’ business approach “. The founder of the fashion brand started trading on eBay at the age of just 13 and arrived in Dubai seven years later when he was “arrested on his way to Mumbai to find equipment for my business at the time “. Serial entrepreneur, he understands that to have a goal, you have to make a profit. “To survive and thrive in any business, you have to offer a good value proposition and, most importantly, have huge points of difference in your industry. TGM was formed by looking at what was missing in the area, then taking every point – whether it’s donate, manufacture locally, or source sustainably and meet the challenge – until so that we can find a way to achieve it.
Today, it employs a team of 60 people at its head office and their website delivers to over 160 countries. Not a sustainable brand that believes in small capsule editions, there are over 100 styles for men, women, and kids (including a modest collection). “I think it’s important to note that it’s not the breadth of the product line you offer but the percentage of sales of those products (how much you sold at the end of a season versus how much you sold at the end of a season? what’s left) which ensures you are aware of your decisions about what to produce in a collection. The fashion label includes size and ranges from a UK 6 (XS) to UK 20 (3XL). waste, Nowell-Barnes makes no apologies for its competitive approach to the business. “Our vision for TGM is to take market share from unsustainable brands and give back in order to transform the industry. Have clothes to wear is a necessity and our goal is to make sure that these garments are both good for the planet and its people. “As with any business, being sustainable is a work in progress.” As we expand globally , we are aware of the carbon footprint of deliveries and we have e committed to be carbon neutral by the end of this year, which will be detailed in our transparency report. This conscious approach, mixed with a keen sense of commerce, is a phrase that sounds too good to be true.
A New Age approach
As a product category, sports and loungewear seem basic and their price is high (a basic women’s sweatshirt costs 499 Dh). More than a handful of local athleisure have been launched in the past year, but none have tasted the success The Giving Movement has enjoyed. And while mission statements are important (theirs is “small acts multiplied by many people can transform the world”), without the right mix of products a fashion brand cannot be successful. As it widens, The Giving Movement’s color assortment is vast, as are their shapes. In a sweatshirt, for example, you can find cropped, oversized, zip-up, hooded, and drawstring options in different fits. But this entrepreneur believes loungewear is a concept that’s here to stay. “I think we will see loungewear continue to develop over the coming seasons and form a permanent place in our wardrobe in the future.” There is no doubt that The Giving Movement defines what new age fashion is. It touches all of today’s fashion watchwords – from being aware, responsible to being inclusive, sustainable, local and ethical. This is a guilt-free purchase, a logo you can display with pride.
While many sustainable fashion brands end up being small to medium-sized businesses, for this fashion founder the sky is the limit. “In a post-Covid life, awareness of sustainability increases. With increased awareness, brands, suppliers and manufacturers are focusing more on it.
The brand is also on track to meet the goal of donating $ 1 million to its chosen charities – Dubai Cares and Harmony House – both tackling issues related to nutrition, health care, and health. health, housing and education. No wonder Nowell-Barnes describes it as “a move towards sustainable, local production and a move to disrupt the typical e-commerce business model by donating a portion of the sale of each item to those who have it.” no longer needed in the world ”.
Community brand, you don’t just buy a piece of clothing when you make a purchase from TGM. It’s clothes that tell a story, that define what it means by social responsibility, and while its story is set in stone, its product mix is open to change, whether it’s new colors or new colors. the introduction of a modest collection. That’s what young brands need: a solid foundation with just the right amount of flexibility. With the focus now on global expansion (within the UAE in addition to their own website, The Giving Movement is present in leading stores such as – That concept store, American Rag, Galeries Lafayette, Harvey Nichols and e-tailer Ounass), this will be the real acid test for the brand. As Louise Nichols, former editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar Arabia and fitness professional, says, “I can fully understand that this is a phenomenon. I’d love to see if it can go beyond geography, though.