Children are the future of tomorrow but if they aren’t healthy will they be able to contribute for the benefit of their homes, society, country and the world? This question has been making rounds for years.
Taking India as one of the research project, UNICEF’s report has stated that one in three of the world’s malnourished children live in India.
The figures baffled Chloe Hoole, the founder of Darlo.
Darlo is a new babywear brand with a serious ethical conscience. A brand that is truly different to anything else on the market, and motivated by a social mission.
With every purchase of their baby clothing, Darlo will provide a whole week’s worth of meals for a child in India.
The Darlo range is produced from Indian organic cotton and manufactured in Indian GOTS (global organic textile standard) accredited factories to further enhance their ethical credentials. The desire to give back to the community where the clothing is made was a key reason for Darlo supporting children in India.
Furthermore, UNICEF’s report is what inspires and motivates Chloe.
It was whilst travelling that Chloe, 30, from Sheffield, first started to dream of Darlo.
“I was overwhelmed by the lack of opportunities for children in developing countries and was constantly thinking of how I could help.”
Darlo believes in ‘little giving changes lives’.
Back in the UK, Chloe and her partner James Little, from Southampton, set out on their start-up journey from the living room of their East London flat, determined to turn Darlo into a reality. “From the very start of our journey, our social aim was at the heart of our business,” explains Chloe. “We registered with Social Enterprise UK to use the power of business for good! We felt this had advantages to operating as a traditional charity dependent on fundraising and donations. We wanted to create a self-sustaining framework that saw our social contributions grow as our business did.’’
A chance meeting at an Indian Business Council event led them to meet Neishaa Gharat, Voluntary Director for Mumbai based charity Project Crayons, who have been creating support structures for children & youths in marginalised communities since 1999.
Project Crayons provide education, shelter, food, love and support for the children under their care. “It was important to us that we worked with like-minded individuals who are continually motivated by the work they deliver, creating an impact in the communities they work. We instantly hit it off and we both got very excited about the prospect ahead,” says Chloe.
Darlo and Project Crayons together decided to create a food programme. Chloe explains: “We wanted to help the charity free up resources away from food costs for other areas of their work such as education or health checks. With so many children under Project Crayon’s care the food bill is not insignificant. We aim to cover all food costs for the charity but eventually set up further projects to help others living in the slums of Mumbai.’’
With this clear goal in place, Chloe secured initial funding through Start Up Loans, a government backed initiative to support budding entrepreneurs in the UK. “We meet some amazingly talented individuals through the scheme who have been willing to help at every stage,” she says. “We owe a great deal to our mentor for her support and guidance because if we are being honest, at the start it’s all a bit overwhelming and you need all the help and advice you can get!”
After a year of hard work and careful planning, Chloe and Jim’s goal to make a difference in India is about to become a reality: “When you buy from Darlo not only do you get a beautiful item of baby clothing, but you also know you are bringing a smile to a child’s face far away in India as each purchase provides them with meals for a week. That’s a special feeling! We simply want to make it as easy as possible for us all to participate in a little giving.”