In Karün we believe that the biggest problems we are experiencing in the world (climate change, inequality, pollution, etc.) are symptoms of a way of thinking that has led us to build - among other things - an economic model that encourages practices focused only in the maximization of economic profitability, leaving aside issues that are fundamental for the harmonious development of our society, such as the conservation of biodiversity, the empowerment of local economies and the awareness of the consequences of our decisions. Companies in the world up to now have been created under this way of thinking and have built business models with productive chains that follow a linear and extractive logic.
(Watch video "The Story of Stuff" as a reference).
Joining the global change of paradigm movement, we want to prove through example that it is possible to change the way we do business; that from Chile, with recycled and/or natural and renewable raw materials, responsible productive processes, working together with rural communities and collaborating with people from Italy, Sweden, France, USA, Colombia and other countries, we can create a high value product which is an equal to the world's leading companies and instead of a linear and extractive production process, we aim to use circular and regenerative processes - that regenerate natural ecosystems and reactivate local economies.
Sunglasses are a symbolic tool that can demonstrate a change of paradigm in one of the world's largest and most polluting industries; Fashion.
At the time we are living, it is fashionable to be "green", which has become more profitable, causing more and more companies to communicate that they are "sustainable" as a marketing strategy to convince consumers. In such a changing world, fast, competitive and with so much information available, it is becoming increasingly difficult to know who are really working for a profound change and who are taking advantage of trends.
The task we have as a society is titanic, because it implies a rethinking of why we are building companies and how we operate them. It involves rethinking business as we know it.
In Karün, we are not looking for the easy way. We want to prove that it is possible to build new roads.
We do not seek to make or communicate that we make an "ecological product" just because we use recycled materials. Recycling is not a solution, but a small first step.
We seek to rethink our supply chain of raw material.
We are working on ways to source raw material that converts what is now waste into a source of income for different communities that are affected by pollution. Use wastes that have a negative impact on our society as a raw material for high added value products that can compete in international markets. And then, use part of the income from the sale of these products to help boost local and rural entrepreneurship and innovation, where we believe that the true development engine for Latin America is.
We have constantly asked ourselves how to achieve that a country that is accustomed to export raw material, starts to generate a value creation mentality. It is not easy, but it is possible. In Karün, we have decided to address the problem as a long-term process and build the solution step by step; research and development of different materials, the ability to design high quality products, working together with rural communities - which is one of the most important and complex pillars - productive processes that allow us to scale production and ensure a first level quality, the logistics that allow us to reach international markets, the distribution and differentiation strategy to compete in these markets, the legal structure that supports this ambition, the message and how to communicate it - which is one of the key points to inspire more people - and last and one of the most difficult; the funding to make all of this possible.
Each of these points is a complex transformation and process. Doing them all at the same time is impossible. That is why we must understand that to achieve this, we must go step by step, have a long-term plan and build it with professionalism. It is a process that must be approached through collaboration, understanding that we are not able to do it alone. By opening ourselves to learning from others and complementing our abilities with those of us who are better than ourselves in other fields, such as our great Balloon Latam friends whom we will present in depth later on - and a large number of business people and entrepreneurs who are part of groups that seek to work under the same objective, as are the companies that are a part of "SistemaB" (B Corps).
We must change the mentality regarding the type of entrepreneurship that can be set up in Chile. Stop imitating models like Silicon Valley and realize the incredible potential that we have as a country if we pay attention to our own culture, our own idiosyncrasy and dare to throw ourselves into the void of the unexplored, trusting that if we act together with a common goal of building a better society, we can reach results never thought before.
I invite you to question the path we are following in our own lives:
What are we working on? How does the company in which we work manage to generate the necessary income to pay our salary? Are there ways to change or improve? With whom do we get together and what kind of things do we do and talk about?
These questions are not easy and usually generate fear that paralyzes us. If we want to build new paths, we must face these fears and start acting. It's not easy, but I think it's worth it.
For comments, questions and suggestions please write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thomas Kimber, Founder