Transparent fair trade
Runa is a transparent, fair trade fashion brand targeted at young professionals. The Runa difference lies in its transparency and the personal touch to purchases. When you purchase from our online store, you can see the exact impact which your purchase has had on one of the workers involved in crafting that item, through a monthly-updated video profile of their work with Runa, as well as the amount they were paid for their part in making the item.
Made in Bogota
We spent a few weeks in Colombia in the summer of 2013 understanding the particular way in which opaque global supply chains had affected small- and family-firms in the capital Bogota (you can read the blog which outlines details of the trip soon), and finding the best people to work with in line with our vision of being transparent, personal and impactful.
Travels and a multinational background compelled Alex to turn his skills with spreadsheets towards more humanistic ideals.
From museums to PR agencies, from Cambodia to New york, Laura has taken an ethical turn with her PR experience.
Christian, a Frankfurt dweller with a sense of humour, applies his analytical mind to humanistic projects.
Alex feels most at home in diversity, which is lucky for him, since he grew up in London. His Spanish mother whisked him off to Spain several times a year throughout his youth, and his street smart Polish-Ukrainian father instilled in him a drive to put the fortunate circumstances he had been born in to good use.
He took a gap year after high school, and used the earnings from his gap year job at an oil trading firm to travel. He has now visited over 25 different countries, from Uzbekistan to Brazil, is bilingual in English and Spanish, and speaks three other languages to varying degrees of proficiency.
In his final year at Oxford University studying philosophy, politics and economics, Alex is a Department Head at Oxford Entrepreneurs, was the Co-President of Oxford Roundtables, and has received sporting honors as the President of the Oxford University Athletics Club.
He has extensive experience in finance; having been taken under the wing of an oil trading executive at the age of 16, for whom he worked for 4 years modelling shipments of oil into South America, part time during his high school years and full time on his gap year, Alex has also interned at a hedge fund in New York.
Alex is looking to base his future on putting the financial and linguistic skills he has acquired to a use which aligns them with his upbringing and the lessons learnt from his travels. In Runa he sees an incredible opportunity for people to feel good about their purchases which bring real opportunities to people from places in which they are predominantly lacking.
MARKETING & PUBLIC RELATIONS
Laura is originally a “Berliner”, but feels at home between London and Essex. She has a definite Wanderlust, but spends a lot of her time studying in Oxford.
Already with an impressive amount of marketing and PR experience under her belt, Laura enjoys applying her creativity to various industries, brainstorming new campaigns and putting them into practice with a devilish efficiency. Feeling at home in various different cultures, Laura likes to mix travelling with work and has enjoyed positions in Berlin, New York, Munich, Cambodia, Freiburg and London.
Boasting a variety of different interests and talents, ranging from music and the arts to gaming and medieval German literature, Laura brings lateral-thinking (outside and inside the box) to the team.
CHRISTIAN SCHROEDER DE-WITT
Christian is based in Frankfurt, the financial heart of Germany, and yet he has an excellent sense of humour. In his free time, you might find him engaging in such hobbies as collecting masters degrees. He already has two from Oxford University – one in theoretical physics, and one in computer science. With more than 10 years of coding experience – from web development, to microprocessors, to super-computers and general purpose GPUs, we sometimes question whether Christian will be able to cope with the task he faces with Runa.
He felt an affinity towards the project from the go. Being half-Chilean, he is very interested in South American development. His altruistic tendencies do not end there, however, as he has put his impressive knowledge of programming to social projects, such as teaching migrant children Jacari, consulting a FTSE30 on tidal energy, and undertaking projects involving big data macro trends with regards to natural-disaster-struck areas.
WHY WE’RE DOING THIS
We are a young team, though we remember growing up without cell-phones as much as we’re conscious of the constant ping of Facebook notifications on our smartphones today. The personal dimension of way back when is something which we feel has been both added to and lost with modern technology. With Runa we are seeking to reinject the personal dimension to the purchasing process – which in turn allows being responsible in your purchases to be rewarding, because the human impact is directly visible to you. People enjoy doing good for others. However, people also lead hectic, busy lives, full of challenges to which pragmatism is the only answer. Runa does not try to ignore these facts – rather, it works with them. Our online shop will offer not a time consuming, moral exercise with a heavy discourse of responsibility, but rather, a feel good moment upon your purchase, where you can see the positivity of doing things how we all feel they should be, deep down.