Meet Ary Ohayon, co-founder of the French family brand Arsayo.

The Parisian inspired Arsayo bag is an innovative, urban backpack providing comfort and style. Along with their strong ethos, the bags are environmentally friendly, cruelty-free and durable for a long time, and made in Portugal.

We are happy to announce that you will find Arsayo in the BLIXTIZ Marketplace!


NR: Could you start by telling us a bit about yourself?

AO: I’m Ary, from Paris.
5 years ago, my brother and I decided to go vegan without knowing that our vision of life will completely change. We became activists for the animal rights and we are now organizing events for promoting Fashion brands that create vegan products ethically made.
Today, we run our family business, Arsayo and we are doing our best for combining our parents model with our passion for veganism and ethics.

Arsayo ethical sustainable french brand
Michel (founder), Camille colleague), Ary co-founder

NR: What did you do before starting up Arsayo?

AO: That’s the question that no one in my surrounding can answer… lol
I used to be a team leader for managing live and on-demand virtual events for financial communication.
It still sounds a bit unclear, isn’t it?

NR: Tell us about Arsayo – how did it all start?

AO: First my father, Michel Ohayon, who used to work in the bag industry for more than 30 years, founded the brand with a very unique backpack design.
A few months after, he needed help for presenting the invention he created on the secure closure to a very famous contest in France (the Lépine competition). I promised my dad that if we win the Gold medal, I would switch work for 100% to Arsayo. And that is what happened!
By the way, Arsayo means the names of the 3 children (Ary, myself; Sabine, my sister; Yonathan, my brother… Ar,Sa,Yo! :))

vegan bag brand vegan backpack
Charlotte Maignan and Ary Ohayon

NR: Do you work full time with Arsayo?

AO: Yes! Outside of “work”, I co-organized a big march for the animal rights in France, I participate to different actions for veganism in the Fashion world and I train myself for the half Iron Man race.

NR: What is your mission with Arsayo?

AO: I am actually associate and my family and I do EVERYTHING! (well.. almost!)

NR: What has been Arsayo’s greatest success so far?

AO: The invention on the secure closure (patent) has been awarded by the Lépine Competition (2 gold medals) and the French Republic (Ministry of the Interior medal).

NR: What has been the biggest challenge so far?

AO: 2018 has been a year of challenges!
We decided to stop working with the Chinese manufacturers (after 30 years of collaborations) and we switched all our production to a new factory in Portugal.

vegan backpack cork Arsayo
Arsayo Corc Collection

NR: How does your overall marketing look like today?

AO: We have the pleasure to work with our new colleague, Charlotte!
She is responsible for Marketing and we do some promotions on social networks.

NR: Do you use Influencer Marketing today? If yes, what has been your experience so far? And which are the most important factors for you when evaluating influencers to partner with?

AO: I have to admit our experience was a bit disappointing but I guess we were “beginners” in our way of selecting influencers.
And 1 day, we met by chance a lady that communicated a promotional code on her stories and we received 27 orders 🙂

NR: What’s next for Arsayo – any exciting plans or news you want to share?

AO: More ethics!
Definitely, the future of Arsayo is proposing the best solutions for Fashion but also for the people, the animals, and the planet.

Arsayo Links:

Website & Shop

Instagram

Facebook

Say Hello to the founder of Plant Faced, Charlie McEvoy! Who started the vegan streetwear brand with only $50 in her bank account.

PLANT FACED represents the new movement in fashion today, 100% ethical and vegan – making streetwear kind and cool.

Or as they describe themselves: ”We are the global lovechild of fashion, design, art, music, skate, surf, street, tattoo culture, and a plant-based, cruelty-free lifestyle. We are streetwear minus the sweatshop. We make wearable threads that don’t hurt the earth. We aim to spread messages and start conversations. We aim to be more than a brand – we are the Plant Movement.”

Keep on reading to learn more about Charlie and Plant Faced amazing journey so far.

Plant Faced is also one of our beta brands that you’ll find in our platform, which we are thrilled about!⁣


NR: Tell us a little bit about yourself!

CM: Hello! I’m Charlie, originally born in New Zealand, lived the past 2.5 years in Berlin, now currently living the dream traveling the world for a little while. I run Plant Faced and also work as a freelance visual designer, meanwhile spending my other hours cooking, eating, hanging with friends at dinner tables, parks or dancefloors, skateboarding, and watching Netflix documentaries.

NR: Where in the world are you right now? And where are you going next? 🙂

CM: I’m in Sydney, Australia right now, escaping the European winter for as prolonged as possible; was in New Zealand for 3 weeks last week visiting my hometown. Next up is Taipei, Taiwan!

NR: How do you maintain a work/life balance?

CM: It was especially tricky for me in the beginning when I was working full time and building Plant Faced on the side… I didn’t really have much of a balance – my social life consisted of being on my laptop working a lot whilst sitting in the same room as my housemates, trying to multitask. Nowadays I’ve gotten better at it; it’s all about time management really and planning the week in advance to prioritize.

Charlie McEvoy – Founder of Plant Faced

NR: What did you do before starting up Plant Faced?

CM: I was working as the assistant to the director of a dog accessories company – pretty much the dream job art directing & photographing cute pooches, running the socials, etc. After that, I worked as a graphic designer at two different startups in Berlin.

NR: Tell us about Plant Faced – how did it all start? And what made you take the first step?

CM: I guess I always had an entrepreneurial bone and was just itching to find the right idea that resonated with me… well one day not long after turning vegan, I had this lightbulb moment that I was passionate about streetwear, design, and business – and I couldn’t see anyone making clothes that would spread this new message I was so passionate about in the way I’d like to wear it, so why not start something myself?
I spent about a year just dreaming, brainstorming, sketching, bouncing the idea around before I finally decided to take the leap and launch something.
It’s funny because the very first T-shirts I used to personally screenprint by hand with a small setup I bought off eBay, in the kitchen of the sharehouse I was living in. I always have a laugh with my old housemates about how far it’s come since those times!

vegan ethical streetwear
Plant Faced

NR: How long have you been a vegan, and how did it all start?

CM: I think it’s been about 5 years now – I stopped counting! I was pescetarian for a long time before that; I always thought becoming vegan was really extreme and difficult, but then I made a friend who was vegan and started to become aware of more people following this lifestyle via social media, etc, that it suddenly didn’t seem so radical – I decided to look more into it, doing research, trying recipes, watching documentaries. Eventually, I decided to give it a shot – firstly slowly swapping milk for non-dairy milk, etc, etc, and then never looked back.

NR: When you think about the vegan movement today, especially vegan businesses, what are you most pumped about?

CM: It’s so awesome to see the success that some of the major food brands are having – eg Oatly, Fry’s, Miyoko’s, Beyond Meat – and how quickly they continue to grow and receive major investments. It only reflects the potential we have for this movement to continue to scale, and I’m so excited to see how quickly we can continue to take over the mainstream and change the norms.

NR: Do you work full time with Plant Faced?

CM: As of only October last year, pretty much yes, which has been a long time coming! I do some freelance design work as well on the side, and planning to launch an ethical vegan business-focused design agency sometime in the near future, but for now, Plant Faced is my #1 baby.

NR: Did you set any particular milestones/goals that you wanted to achieve before you went full time?

CM: Yes, I set some savings goals, but I surpassed those and then I ended up still sticking it out much longer in my job, because I had it cozy, and I was still scared of making the jump. In the end, I just more or less played it by ear by feeling that I finally had enough of a cushion to last me through how I wanted to spend the next year or so, and enough regular sales coming in.

NR: Your Instagram account is gorgeous! What do you think has been the key to the brand’s success on social media?

CM: Thank you! That’s really kind. I think just having a keen eye for posting aesthetically-pleasing, interesting, diverse imagery, and thinking about what people would like to see in their feed.
We’ve also done a lot of collaborations & giveaways in the past, as well as interacting with like-minded people we think may like to see our content, has helped a lot.

NR: Which are your top 3 tools for Instagram? (Creating, curating, planning, automation, analytics, etc)

CM: Afterlight, VSCO, and ColorStory for editing. Planoly for scheduling automation.

NR: How do you work with marketing today?

CM: Most of our marketing just comes organically through our Instagram account, but we also do some paid social ads, email marketing, and of course all the offline events (markets) we travel to.

NR: What have up to today been the most effective marketing tactics for Plant Faced?

CM: Last year we did an insane amount of offline marketing in the form of traveling to vegan festivals all around Europe & the US to make an appearance – which is still my favorite part ever of running this business and I think has had a huge impact! Getting to meet & chat with all our customers face-to-face and being exposed to the amazing energy that happens at these events, is completely priceless.

NR: Do you use Influencer Marketing today? If yes, what has been your experience so far? And which are the most important factors for you when evaluating influencers to partner with?

CM: To be honest nowhere near enough! I know this is one area I really haven’t put enough focus into, but I’m only one person trying to keep up with all the other things and so just haven’t quite put the effort in. Usually, it’s when I notice someone organically, they like some photos, or even message directly, and I think their vibe fits ours, then I’ll ask if they’d be interested in a collaboration. The most important factors I look at would be their aesthetic (their style or the way they carry themselves), their values and beliefs or how passionate they are about veganism, engagement, and the quality of images.

NR: Your design and branding is spot on- love it. How do you find inspiration and new ideas?

CM: Thank you! Most of the designs currently on the site are by me, indeed; I’ve been working on commissioning a few illustrators to come up with our next designs to breathe some fresh air in, however, which I’m pretty excited about.
I travel constantly so probably most of my inspiration comes from being in a wide variety of environments, the people around me, streetwear brands I follow & admire, music, street fashion, Pinterest, I skate as well so the scene & community around that can be pretty uniquely inspiring. Whenever inspiration strikes, I turn to my holy grail of the Notes app and jot down any idea/tagline/concept that’s popped into my mind, to save it for later.

NR: Up until today how have you funded Plant Faced?

CM: I started with about $50 in my bank account to my name, used that to place a small order of blank organic T-shirts with the screen printing equipment I had, on the small kitchen table I mentioned above.
I kept costs down just continuing to print by hand and do everything myself until sales got steady enough for me to justify outsourcing to a screen printing company I liked, and things have just scaled steadily from there. I’ve bootstrapped since day one but should mention that I also worked full time, then part time, for 2+ years, whilst doing this as a ‘side hustle’ (which in reality was like another full-time job!).
It’s pretty insane to look back at how far things have come, and I’m definitely living out my dreams.

vegan and sustainable fashion
Plant Faced

NR: Do you’ve any exciting future plans for Plant Faced?

CM: Absolutely – going to keep bringing out more awesome products & collections, doing cool things, launching the PF design studio I mentioned earlier, traveling to more vegan festivals around the world – the sky’s the limit!

NR: Who are some of your favorite inspiring female entrepreneurs?

CM: I would definitely say one of my best friends, Lisa, who runs an epic vintage clothing site called The Black Market (www.theblackmarkt.com/) – we’ve travelled the world together, lived on the same block in Berlin together for years, and continue to bounce ideas off each other, sharing in our wins & lows, I’m really grateful to have her in my life to go through this journey with!

NR: Based on your experience with Plant Faced, what’s the best advice you can give someone who wants to start up a business in the same niche?

CM: Make sure you really love and will be passionate about what you want to start for years to come, because you’re going to put in a lot of long hours and make some sacrifices in the beginning, but if you truly enjoy and get joy from it then it will never really feel like work!
Also, be hungrily seeking out information to learn as much as you can about everything that will help you in growing it – the internet is an absolute goldmine of intelligence for everything you possibly need.

Plant Faced Links:

Shop & Website

Instagram

The fashion industry can be a dirty bastard. That was why four danish guys decided to do something about it, and started up Organic Basics – sustainable and ethical underwears, GOTS certified organic cotton, but with a constant focus on textile innovations.

Organic Basics is one of our beta brands that you’ll find on our platform, which we are so excited about!⁣

We sat down and talked to Maria de Luna Visa who is the Partnership Manager at Organic Basics, enjoy! 🙂


NR: Tell us a little bit about yourself!
MLV: Positive, extrovert, and a little bit of a control freak. Born and raised in Barcelona, I love spending time reading Swedish literature and talking about politics. I’m in love with spy movies and series, Netflix has saved my life.
I’m an early bird – my daily meditation is going for a long run by the beach at 6:30 am, then I’m ready for the workday.

Maria de Luna Visa

I started to get into the sustainable lifestyle a couple of years ago, first by buying organic food and cycling everywhere. Later, I started to get more interested in sustainable fashion and energy saving.
I consider myself flexitarian, I barely eat meat and when I do, I make sure it comes from sustainable sources.
I can see myself as a vegan in some years, but this is a path that needs to be taken step by step.

NR: What did you do before Organic basics?
MLV: Studying, a lot, maybe too much…I graduated in both Business Management and Classical Music, and I took a Masters in Music Business.
After graduating I worked for over a year as a freelancer in the event industry (festivals & concerts), mainly undertaking tasks of Project Management and Sponsorship. It was very exciting as well as exhausting.

NR: Tell us about Organic Basics, what do you do, what are Organic Basics ethos?
MLV: Basically better made. Consciously created. Designed to last. We put sustainability at the center of everything – we work with innovative and natural fabrics that cause less harm and partner with factories that take care to minimize their environmental impact.

© Organic Basics

NR: You’re the Partnership Manager at Organic Basics, tell us what you’re working with on a daily basis.
MLV: I’m part of an 8 people team. We are looking for new influencers and secure long-term partnerships with them. And of course, a big part of the work is keeping the relationships with the influencers alive, helping them with anything they may need and keeping them posted with all the new releases and campaigns.
I’m specifically focused on paid collaborations and optimizing our processes by finding new tools.

NR: Which are the most important factors for you when evaluating content-creators to partner with?
MLV: The main factor is if there’s a match between the content-creator and Organic Basics’ values. The more values and interests we share, the better.
Of course, we also take into account the reach, engagement, and platforms the content-creator is present on. Based on this data we evaluate a collaboration and the best partnership strategy.

NR: What is your most common objective for Influencer marketing campaigns?
MLV: As a digitally focussed brand, we need to be active and present on Social Media, making sure that new people discover Organic Basics.
There’s a big focus on brand awareness and content creation, even though sales are also a strong KPI in our campaign evaluation.

NR: What is the best part of your job?
MLV: People – inside and outside Organic Basics. We are not a group of work colleagues, instead, we are friends.
There’s nothing better than receiving emails from influencers who are really happy with Organic Basics’ products, values, performance, and people. They can easily make your day with a nice word and recognition for your hard work. It’s always very appreciated.
And I also want to mention how much I’m learning about sustainability, in so many different areas. I really feel I’m being part of this big an important change to implement a more sustainable lifestyle in everyone’s day-to-day life.

NR: What is the hardest part of your job?
MLV: Everything is a challenge! But an exciting one.
We are a small company growing really fast. I don’t think people imagine the small team that we are behind this brand. Sometimes the company grows faster than the team and we need to work really hard to keep accomplishing goals and follow our customers’ expectations. But then you receive a nice email from an influencer, and everything was worth it 🙂

Organic Basics Shop & Website
Organic Basics on Instagram
Organic Basics on Facebook
Organic Basics on Youtube
Organic Basics on Twitter

© Dante Monteverde (@tirro_). Model Leticia Vigna (@le_vigna)

Meet the founder and artist behind Animal Facing Left.
Animals Facing Left is one of our beta brands that you’ll find on our platform when it’s launched, which we are super excited about!⁣
Yesterday they launched their campaign #animalsfacingextinction, this month focus is to help save the pangolins together with World Animal Protection. Find out how this innovative and inspiring project came to life, and the journey so far.


NR: Tell us a little bit about yourself!
AFL: I am an artist and animal rights activist, and an entrepreneur.

NR: Are you vegan?
AFL: Yes, and vegetarian since birth.

NR: What was your main reason for choosing a vegan lifestyle?
AFL: Growing up with vegan parents kind of lead me to this lifestyle, and it became my own choice in time. I just can’t stand the thought of killing an animal, It feels wrong and terrible. I don’t see any difference between Shaul, my 17 years old cat and any other animal. This love I have for animals just doesn’t fit with eating them.

NR: Tell us about Animals Facing Left – how did it all start? And what made you take the first step to start up Animals Facing Left?
AFL: Animals Facing Left was conceived as an art project to raise awareness of animal rights and raising funds for animals nonprofits.

I believe awareness is the main tool for supporting animals in our social media era, and activism through the community is the other half of our journey. As an artist, to collaborate with nonprofits is to combine these approaches in order to create a wider, stronger impact.

-AFL

NR: Could you tell us more about the #animalsfacingextinction campaign?
AFL: Each month this year, we will be releasing a new design that highlights the plight of a certain animal. We have now partnered with World Animal Protection and 10% of proceeds help save the pangolins.

World Animal Protection has an activistic and community-based approach, which reflects my own artistic point of view. So many animals are in need of our help and we have reached a point of no return. The survival of many different species is at imminent risk, and the livestock industry is the most inhuman approach to date.

I believe awareness is the main tool for supporting animals in our social media era, and activism through the community is the other half of our journey. As an artist, to collaborate with nonprofits is to combine these approaches in order to create a wider, stronger impact.

Shop & Support AFL and their cause

Pangolins have earned the reputation as one of the most illegally trafficked mammals. There are eight species of pangolins, four in Asia and four in Africa. While there is lots of coverage of the scale of the illegal pangolin trade, our footage reveals just how cruel and painful the practice is for these gentle animals.

World Animal Protection

NR: Do you work full time with Animals Facing Left?
AFL: Yes, and even more than full time in the last year. 🙂

NR: Cool, how and when did it turn into a “real business”?
AFL: For an artist to transform into a business is a lot like the butterfly process, it takes such creative thinking to make this cocoon form its shape and fly.

Calling it a “real business” is a tricky title because it has nothing to do with any other projects I had. I need to invent the path as I go.

NR: If you can dream, what is your ultimate goal/vision for Animals Facing Left?
AFL: I wish to collaborate with ethical brands/designers/artists in order to spread the message and to keep developing the brand In hope of making it an internationally spread community.

NR: What is the best part of your job?
AFL: I enjoy all parts of my work. From drawing to business development and creative thinking. I enjoy meeting other people that share the same vision for the future of animals on this planet, and the hope we can make a change carries me forward.

NR: What is the hardest part of your job?
AFL: Building a business around art is not a simple task, I would say the hardest part is the marketing, and how to find the ways to promote something that is basically heartbreaking, like our Animals Facing Extinction campaign for example.

NR: How do you find inspiration?
AFL: I find inspiration mostly in nature, although, making a brand is not only about finding inspiration, it’s about converting inspiration into the brand’s vision. I don’t wait for inspiration to arrive, I work every day and it shows herself from time to time.

NR: How do you work with marketing today?
AFL: I work with my sister, which is the branding manager of Animals Facing Left and we focus this year on our #animalsfacingextinction campaign for saving endangered species. We focus more on making partnerships than marketing for selling goods. This year we are partnering with World Animal Protection to raise our brand awareness and to support their important work.

NR: What have up to today being the most effective marketing tactics for Animals Facing Left?
AFL: It’s too early to say at this point because our marketing campaign just started this January.

NR: Do you work with influencer marketing?
AFL: I do not, Just now getting to know this world and learn it, and feel that with my cause and ethics it can be a great collaboration.

NR: What are the most important factors for you when evaluating content-creators to work with?
AFL: That they share our values for animal rights and ethical production.

NR: Until now how have you funded Animals Facing Left?
AFL: I am the sole investor currently, and hoping to find the first funding sometime this year, with the hope grow and continue developing this project, which is very close to my heart.

NR: Who are some of your favorite inspiring entrepreneurs?
AFL: I would say Elon Musk because if a tech geek, and Stella McCartney because of branding and message.

NR: Lastly, for all those who don’t know about animal exploitation, what do you believe is the best way to communicate this information to the “mainstream”?
AFL: To raise awareness through the art, through the heart. That’s my vision.

Shop & Support AFL and their cause

animalsfacingleft.com
Animal Facing Left Instagram


Veganism have for a long time been seen as something extreme and weird, but things started to change and veganism goes more mainstream. More and more people starts to understand the benefits of a vegan lifestyle, its positive impact on sustainability, health and animal welfare. Thanks to this change a lot of Vegan businesses have started up during the last years, food to fashion to beauty brands. It’s no longer a struggle to adopt a vegan lifestyle, and there is no need to compromise on personal style or lifestyle. You can have it all, and at the same time not contributing to the slaughter of billions animals each week, don’t being bad for the environment and take care of your health.
Veganism is 2018 the greatest social justice movement in the world! Today, one out of five girls in Scandinavia choose to not consume meat. We get more and more conscious, and not just about what we eat. The demand for ethical fashion and beauty is also increasing very fast.


Demand for vegan brands

One part of going vegan is through fashion by using bags and accessories made from eco-friendly and cruelty-free materials like PVC, Pineapple leather (Pinatex), mushroom leather, PU fabric, semi PU and organic cotton etc. Right now so many new innovations in the textile industry, that is animal-free and environmentally friendly.

A major shift is going on in the fashion industry, more and more of the high-end fashion houses have stopped using fur during 2017 and 2018, for a very simple reason, the market demands it! I think this is just the beginning, in a couple of years I hope to see exclusion of leather, wool, and other animal-based materials. And already now we are on the way to this, Helsinki fashion week banned animal-based leather as of 2019. The decision was to take “an active stand against cruelty to animals and the damaging environmental impacts that the use of animal leather brings with it”, said its founder, Evelyn Mora. I think this is amazing! And I’m sure many fashion weeks will follow what Helsinki did, and they should, there is no need to harm the environment and killing all these animals in the name of fashion 2018. It’s not modern, and a dying trend.

The rise of sustainable and cruelty-free textile and materials is the future, combined with great style and quality.

According to Rachael Stott, the senior creative researcher at The Future Laboratory, who says “a global boom in plant-based lifestyles”, Gen Z is “a key driving force” in the demand for vegan alternatives. “They are conscious shoppers who want to know where and how their products are made and are actively using social media to cultivate a new dialogue around sustainability issues. As a result, they are voting with their wallets and are buying goods aligned with their ethics.”

The vegan revolution is here to stay. Make sure you don’t get left behind. We need more vegan brands in 2019!

With ♡, Nadia Redlo