by MR Magazine Staff

Sovereignty Company, a first-of-its-kind circular social enterprise and not-for-profit, was recently launched in Los Angeles. Sovereignty empowers fashion entrepreneurs of color to collectively solve climate change and inclusion challenges. Through Sovereignty’s support, these entrepreneurs will redefine and disrupt fashion, equitable wealth creation, and the creative workforce economy. The not-for-profit will focus on three areas of impact: a nonprofit Fashion CEOs Accelerator, a sustainable fashion brand SO.TY, and the Vision 33 impact funding plan.

Dr. Corneil (Neil) Montgomery founded the not-for-profit building upon his experience as a creative social impact executive in Fortune 50 companies, global not-for-profits, and consulting. He has secured partnerships with Wells Fargo and Lexus and gained early support from fashion influencers and thought leaders, including sustainable fashion blogger Aditi MayerJames Higa CEO of Philanthropic Ventures Foundation,  Edwina Kulego vice president of international and business development at Informa Markets Fashion and founder of Essentials By Edwina. Sovereignty’s goal is to realize a diverse, inclusive, equitable, prosperous, and circular fashion society for BIPOC communities. The non-diluted accelerator will help fashion designers and entrepreneurs of color design and launch sustainable fashion business models and brands.

“Designers of color helped shape fashion history and evolution but are still underrepresented and lack the resources and connections to build and grow their careers,” says Neil Montgomery, founder and chief executive officer of Sovereignty Fashion CEOs Accelerator. “Our goal is to advance fashion entrepreneurs’ careers by giving them the tools to build sustainability into their brands and define their reputations as change-makers, leaders, and influencers in high-end fashion, which they so deserve.”

The Fashion CEOs Accelerator provides resources to fashion designers and fashion entrepreneurs to design and launch sustainable and circular business models. Sovereignty will focus investments in Environmental Social Governance (ESG) impact-driven, startups, early growth fashion brands and tech companies that are building the future of circular and sustainable fashion with a particular interest in funding BIPOC and underrepresented founders with pre-seed or seed capital. All designers in the program will receive a $50,000 non-diluted cash grant, eight months of immersive education and training, peer support, hands-on mentorship, and connections to a network of sustainability and circular fashion experts to help them launch or grow their brands.

Charles Harbison, a sought-after creative director for global modern luxury lifestyle and consumer products is partnering with Sovereignty to serve as the chief fashion director for SO.TY, the sustainable fashion arm of the enterprise. Harbison has dressed notable celebrities like Beyonce, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Ava Duvernay, and designed and directed sustainable lines for Ungaro in London, Cult Gaia & Nicholas in LA, and Banana Republic. Four percent of the profit from SO.TY will be directed to Sovereignty’s Fashion CEOs Accelerator.

“Fashion makes up a huge part of the waste in our landfills, which impacts the environment in detrimental ways,” said Charles Harbison, chief fashion director for SO.TY. “We have tools to create sustainable models through slow and neo luxe fashion movements that uphold high-end fashion aesthetics. Sovereignty and SO.TY are working to be at the forefront of democratizing access to the next wave in sustainable design.”

SO.TY and Sovereignty Company aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, and 13, the Paris Agreement on climate change, and the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action, sponsored by the United Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The Vision 33 Impact Fund will launch in November as a funding arm to invest and further support sustainable and circular fashion brands and tech companies growing under the Fashion CEOs Accelerator Program.

During the first year, Sovereignty announced the Fashion CEOs Accelerator and hosted the first SO.TY fashion show in Los Angeles. The next moves for the company include producing multicultural content for climate change, launching the first Fashion CEOs Accelerator cohort, opening the Center for Sustainable Circular Fashion Innovation in Los Angeles, announcing the Change Coalition and members at Climate Week in New York City, and launching the impact fund with seed investors. Sovereignty will raise $21 million in year one to further fund the accelerators program, scale our impact investments in #netzero fashion solutions, and empower underrepresented communities.