Fashion is among the top industrial contributors to climate change and the greatest exploiter of women on the planet. In fact, fashion is so critical to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the United Nations Sustainable Development goals that the U.N. launched a special alliance to tackle this issue. It’s responsible for 10% of global carbon emissions and 20% of all industrial water pollution. 85% of man-made debris found on our Earth’s shorelines are microplastic shedding from synthetic clothing, which poison marine life and enter our waterways. While 80% of the world’s garment workers are women. Most of them live in developing countries where they earn far less than liveable wages and are susceptible to abuse. Furthermore, The International Labor Organization estimates that 170M children are engaged in child labor, many in the $2.5 trillion fashion industry.
One woman is determined to solve this global problem and facilitate change. Shivika Sinha is Founder and CEO of Veneka who hopes to leave this world as a better place than she found it.
“Fixing humanity’s grand challenges via the power of conscious consumerism is my life’s mission, not just a professional calling”
Founded in 2017, San Francisco based Veneka is a capsule wardrobe styling service that hand-curates 7-10 styles, each sustainable and ethical, that creates 25-50 outfits to support a woman’s life. Fundamentally, the capsule closet is a small collection of essential styles that never go out of fashion and are selected to maximize the permutation of outfits they create. Each of these styles or the entire capsule can be bought by customers after receiving a 1:1 session with a real personal stylist. But only after picking up the styles they love the most during their session with the stylist.
As reversing climate change, ending poverty, cleaning our oceans, educating children globally and solving our most urgent planetary and humanitarian crises, are all impossible without bolstering fashion supply chains that promote sustainability and dignity. That’s why Veneka has the strictest guidelines for human and planetary flourishing in retail today, and are curating only with brands that make a meaningful and measurable positive impact. Through curating capsules at the forefront of sustainability and ethics, and showing women how she can thrive without an endless closet, Veneka is changing the way women consider and consume fashion.
Transforming Business as a Force for Good
Shivika is an award-winning social entrepreneur. Alongside women like Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama and Malala Yousafzai, Shivika has been honored by the U.N’s Decade of Women and The Canales Project with a song dedicated to her life’s work. Shivika received Retail Touchpoints Magazine’s Retail Innovator Award in the “Disruptor” category, which recognizes pioneers in the retail industry. She was named as Direct Marketing News’ 40Under40 “most accomplished, high-level superstars” in marketing. Shivika also won a Stevie Award for Solo Entrepreneur of the Year. Shivika is a TEDxspeaker and has graced global stages including the U.S. Institute of Peace, Georgetown University, NYU Stern School of Business, Subscription Summit, Brand Innovators and many more. Shivika and her work have been featured in TechCrunch, Huffington Post, Fair Observer, Forbes, Flipboard, and other publications.
Shivika was raised in Zimbabwe, India, Vietnam, Nigeria, and Bangladesh, and was inspired to see first-hand the power of business to affect the poorest parts of our world. After spending a decade in marketing, growth acceleration and strategy for global brands like Alex and Ani, Oscar de la Renta, Gap Inc/Intermix, she dedicated her life to the values she cared about most deeply. Even though, this decision propelled her far out of her comfort zone into a new path and ultimately a new life. Today, she strives to use her education and professional experiences to solve some of the most pressing problems humanity is facing. And by accelerating growth for environmentally and socially conscious enterprises, she on a mission to fundamentally change what it means to do business and to do good. “I measure success in two ways: outward change and inward progress. Outwardly, I look at how many lives Veneka has been able to impact by curating ethical or fair trade brands. I review environmental measures like bottles of plastic recycled, the amount of water saved, carbon emissions reduced, and much more. Inwardly I take stock of the wisdom, knowledge and personal growth accumulated through my process. I aim to use work as a vehicle for personal development, and I continuously reflect on my journey and work ethic,” shares Shivika. Whenever humanity’s grand challenges feel too large, “I recall our incredible brands and customers. Our brands have built the most impactful supply chains and manufacturing processes in the world. They’ve uplifted thousands of lives and made a measurable environmental impact a reality. Our customers have endless options about where to shop, yet they chose to support sustainability and human dignity with us. They give me hope, encouragement and the fuel to push forward”, carries on Shivika.
Shivika Sinha, Founder & CEO, Veneka
Shivika kicks her high-octane days by meditating every day. She likes to keep a gratitude journal and often reflect upon her goals and mission. She has abstained herself from coffee and alcohol. She strives to stay fully present in each moment during the day. While on the other times she can be seen spending time with nature, dance, and art. Balancing work and life is hard for everyone. However, Shivika adds that she is fortunate as, “I love what I do, the people I meet as a result of my work, and I take joy in the ability to serve causes greater than myself. I’m very fortunate that my profession is also part of my purpose. My life and work counterbalance each other in a joyful dance.”
Sharing one leadership lesson that she has learned, she expressed, “I don’t consider myself a leader. I am a worker who toils in service of an idea - that sustainable and ethical fashion can help end poverty, reverse climate change, reduce gender inequality and much more. This idea isn’t new and I am not the first to share it. I simply picked up a torch and continued to walk with it, kindling its fire. My life and my work are in its service and I invite others to join me on this journey.”....Let’s create a new future...