Introducing: Global Citizen Exchange

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Editor: Jake Torchin

Apolis and Indiegogo are embarking on a new long-term partnership called the Global Citizen Exchange, the world’s first transparent design and artisan collaborative marketplace. Our mission is to build a Human Design Company, where the products produced by Apolis address human and environmental problems. The Global Citizen Exchange is a direct distribution platform that communicates complete transparency of the design, manufacturing, and pricing processes in an effort to change the way we buy and sell to better communities worldwide. For Apolis, it is an experiment, scaling social enterprise to create a larger impact by approaching the business model differently. If successful, this new model will benefit all parties involved rather than exploiting, and at the same time drive out thousands of pounds of waste & lost energy from the process, and reduce the cost of goods for the end consumer. The first crowd funding opportunity runs through November 14, 2015.

Raan Parton, Creative Director of Apolis, commented, “Over the years of building our brand we have learned that one of our greatest strengths is scaling artisan groups. We have wonderful examples of past projects that have helped improve people’s lives. Now it’s time to scale this to a much larger level.” For the next 6 weeks, the world will have the opportunity to invest and share in the first Global Citizen Exchange: an industrial design project in Oaxaca, Mexico. Where Apolis has partnered with one of the few remaining glass blowing studios in Mexico, Studio Xaquixe, to design and manufacture a 100% recycled collection of glassware items. 

The process is simple. Each year, Apolis will search the globe to discover an artisan with an inspiring story, deserving of a bigger stage. They partner designers with each artisan group to create products transparently to address social and environmental problems. With the support of the global community, Apolis rallies funding for each collection, scaling up production but only producing what is ordered, to help artisans grow sustainably with no waste. Added Shea Parton, CEO of Apolis, “After learning that 75% of all glass blowing studios have closed in the last 10 years in Mexico due to global competition, we felt it was a great opportunity to communicate the hand blown process and to teach people the value in supporting an incredible project like Studio Xaquixe.”

Previous examples of past efforts that lead to the idea for Global Citizen Exchange include Apolis employing 50 knitters in the Himalayas of Nepal, 12 farmers preparing organic cotton in Uganda, 21 sewers that have helped Apolis utilize Bangaldesh's golden jute handcrafting over 70,00 Apolis market bags to date, and a cross-border collaboration between Israel and Palestine with 73 artisans to create hand-made leather accessories. With each partnership, it became clear that their efforts were making a difference, but could be even greater with the right platform, and new business model.

On October 22nd we will release a short film to showcase the bigger story behind this project and we're so thankful for the partnership from Chivas Regal for their in-depth online series of articles to better document this project. Also we're so grateful for the support from the following press outlets:

Additional details of the Studio Xaquixe partnership will be revealed during our Innovation & Community event on Thursday (Oct. 22) with a suprise guest, RSVP space is limited.

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