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Sales Partner Profile: Liminal Apparel (NZ & Australia)

Posted by: comms
Jul 31, 2014

The power of sales equating to freedom - the motivation for Liminal Apparel's involvement with Freeset

Jared Gardiner (left); Jeff Ward (right), founders of Liminal Apparel

I run the NZ arm of Liminal Apparel; my colleague, Jeff, handles Australia from Melbourne. We are part of a wider group of businesses - a café, a farm, a fair-trade gift shop, a coffee co-op. I do marketing, sales, admin, a bit of everything. We are small, but we are trying to be sustainable, and to take on more people.

Visiting Freeset

We started Liminal Apparel six years ago. We visited Freeset with no big schemes. We went to see if it was an option, with t-shirts in mind. We went round India with Kerry [Hilton – Freeset co-founder] for six weeks, sourcing cotton, forming a team, sewing our first t-shirts. I was taking a year off. I was working for a bank but wasn’t sold on it, and Jeff had just finished a Marketing degree. After what we had seen, we thought we’d give it a nudge in NZ.

Great impact

I am loving it. It’s tough work, but it’s rewarding. I wouldn’t want to do anything else. The impact is so great. The power of sales equating to freedom, and the ability to measure success in people, when previously success was measured by figures and targets. It’s an honour to have an opportunity to sell Freeset products.

I want to make money so that I can redistribute it to the producers. There is no “us” and “them” – there’s an “us” and we are all in it together. It doesn’t matter what country we’re in. Everyone should have the same opportunities to put food on the table, a roof over their heads, to pay for a doctor.

We get to see the impact of the work when we visit Freeset in India. The jobs that are created mean freedom for women. It’s solely about that- not the product or the sales. We can be in business here in New Zealand and have a positive impact over there in India. Normally over here in the West it’s the other way around. Knowing that we are creating jobs, and that people are being set free as a result, is what it’s about.

Viable option

We want to prove sustainable, so that this business can be replicated, to show that this is a viable option for anyone. Graduates and professionals can do a job that makes a difference. We are not a charity, we make money, and we want to grow not to stagnate.

My favourite Freeset bag is the Getaway. It’s a bag me being a guy would wear- there wasn’t a lot in the range previously.

If I could meet anyone in history, I think it would be pretty cool to meet Desmond Tutu. Probably everyone in this line of work says him!

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