My name is Ruby and I do research and development. I am quickly going to tell you a bit about how I ended up here. My journey began around age 15 when I had to choose what I wanted to take for my A-levels. Going to an art college in London studying business, sociology, psychology and philosophy was an interesting experience considering I had chosen the least artistic subjects – this is probably because I am the least artistic person I know.
Yet it was here where my deep love for psychology began to blossom and I decided that I wanted to carry on with further education studying just this. Before embarking on this adventure, however, I took a gap year. I wanted to work and earn some money but I also wanted to go away and find new experiences and new challenges (despite being so young!). I have always felt a deep desire to help people in some way or another and so I spent 4 months in Arizona at a mental health clinic where I provided a helping hand.
Not only did it open my eyes to the array of methods to try and help people, but it was the beginning of my understanding of sustainability and what it means. Daily life wasn’t simply centred on peace of mind but also about looking after your environment and culture. There were vegetable patches where the patients would cultivate their own food and they were made to participate in equine therapy. Equally, there were numerous discussions of caring for our environment and creating a caring culture. This opened my eyes to how the environment touches everything and it impressed me that it was a big part of treatment.
After this I took my degree by the horns; I had been accepted into Royal Holloway University to do a bachelor of science in Psychology. Here I decided to hibernate behind my books for the next 3 years. When I finished I started to search for a career – I wanted to point it towards caring for the world in which we live, in some way.
I was lucky to have Matt come along just as the search had begun to look fruitless. I had been told before our first meeting to read a book by Blake Mycoskie, the founder of TOMS shows, called ‘Start Something that Matters’. It’s an incredible story about a man who goes to Argentina and comes home with an idea and a dream and turns it into something spectacular. So going in I knew he wanted to create a children’s clothing range that made a difference but I had no idea how he was going to achieve this.
When I arrived and Matt turned up he sat down, talked with me a bit about the book and then took out his tablet from his bag. Here he brought up 5 sketches he’d done himself of what he wanted his collection to look like. There were so many ideas in his mind but hardly a business plan. But what Matt captivated me with was his story (or ‘fable’ as The Fableists would say) about sustainability and how to get children and parents excited by it.
This is not an easy message to get across to people, but in one meeting Matt had hooked me, and so began our 10 month journey that had led us here. I have been able to watch a wonderful transformation as a man’s brilliant idea has been put into action. In a mere 10 months so much has happened and everyday I learn more and more, I have been privileged to be involved in such a unique and special project.