Keeping sleep off the streets.
After a failed business venture, Jamie Green found himself sleeping rough on his cafe floor.
After 12 months he was back on his feet with the realisation that there were homeless youth in the area who were in a much worse situation than the one he had been in himself. With the idea in his head to help less fortunate youth, he set out to create a social enterprise that would do just that: help.
He then set out to start up One Night Stand, a social enterprise that looks at encouraging young girls to be active and aware, and to help other youth that are struggling with homelessness. Selling sleepwear, One Night Stand provides a meal for every young person that is sleeping rough in exchange for every purchase.
Jamie’s idea was to direct the products at youth in order to attract a new audience toward a controversial issue, an issue that is often considered ugly – especially by young people who often lack understanding and empathy regarding homelessness. By using fun and hip clothing, the team thought that it would put a lighter tone on the matter and attract the younger demographic into supporting the issue. This sort of business model is thought to make a connection between people purchasing the product and providing help to people of a similar age group.
Rather than just donating profits, Jamie Green wanted to create a bigger impact by using the ‘profit-for-purpose model’ which guarantees that their company makes an impact with every sale. In addition, Jamie and his team dedicate 50% of their profits to other projects that deal with shelter and employment opportunities for the homeless youth in Australia. Apart from the donation of profits and meals, Jamie and his team are actively involved with the homeless community. They drive around Melbourne in a bus, one they financially support, to provide meals for those less fortunate than themselves. In addition to this the team also works together with the charity Oz Harvest to try understand how homeless youth fall prey to homelessness, and help them better utilise their resources.
The One Night Stand team is composed of various designers and managers spread out across Australia. The designers are based in Melbourne and Sydney, whilst the garments are made in Sydney by a certified organic manufacturer. All their material is organic and brought over from India, where it is then dyed and woven in Melbourne. Whilst their environmental footprint is not their main priority, making an impact is embedded in everything. Therefore, their aim is to run business at the most sustainable practice possible.
The main goal of the organisation is to Keep Sleep Off The Streets – a goal that is admirable, achievable, and driven by personal experience. Dreams should be made in homes, not on the sidewalk.
To purchase one of their fashionable and comfortable sleepwear and thereby donate a meal, please visit: onenightstandsleepwear.com.
The above article by Karina Schulz Wharwood first published on impactsocialenterprise.com in 2015.