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3 reasons social enterprises need to collaborate with big names

R2R\\\'s founder tells us why
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Rags2Riches Inc. is a for-profit social enterprise based in Manila creating eco-ethical fashion and home accessories out of up-cycled scrap cloth, organic materials and indigenous fabrics by working with women living in the poor communities around the metro.

The group aims to empower women in the communities by giving them access to the formal economy, increasing their income and providing them with additional skills-based, financial and health training.  

”R2R’s philosophy stands upon its four bottom lines: people, profit, planet and positive influence.  Some of R2R’s products include envelope clutches, beach carry-alls, shopping bags, tote bags and necklaces, which are currently sold in the Philippines,” R2R chief executive officer Reese Fernandez-Ruiz said during the launch of the Oliver Tolentino collection at Greenbelt 5, the Tolentino is the third celebrity designer R2R chose as a partner. The first two were Rajo Laurel and Amina Aranaz-Alunan.

In the world of fashion, which R2R is a part of, it seems that good intentions and product quality are not enough to sell a product; thus, the collaborations with the famous names in the business.

Entrepreneur.com.ph asked Fernandez-Ruiz why it is important for collaborations and why it is needed by a social enterprise like R2R. Here are the three reasons:

1.    Better quality

A collaboration does not stop with the design. "When you create tie-ups with the big designers in fashion, they do not only implement their designs but also the quality of the products," said Fernandez-Ruiz.

2.    Brand association
If brands are names of products, the designers\\\' names are the same. "By merely associating your brand with the name of the designer already increases the value of your brand. In our case, it boosts the morale of the mothers in Payatas who creates the bags," said Fernandez-Ruiz, adding that people who do not know your product but knows the designer will also notice your product.

3.   Marketing strategy
Bottomline, a collaboration is a marketing strategy. "Partnering with a known brand is a good way for a social enterprise to get good exposure," said Fernandez-Ruiz.

Photo shows detail on some of the collection of Oliver Tolentino for R2R

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