Nick Savaidis | Etiko | Fair Trade | Impact Investing |TFS008

Today’s guest Nick Savaidis is the Founder of Etiko (clothing), and Jinta Sport, (sports equipment), ethical brands committed to fair trade, traceability, and sustainability.

Since establishing these businesses in 2005, Nick has been awarded numerous sustainable and ethical awards.

Released on the eve of the third anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh, the 2016 Australian Fashion report – The Truth Behind the Barcode reviews the practices of many iconic brands in sold in Australia. This is the third report and once again Etiko has been awarded the A+ rating.

Nick’s awareness of social justice began at a young age. Growing up, he witnessed inequality in his home and in his community where his mother, and other women in the neighbourhood, were poorly compensated for the garments they sewed for high-end brands.

After working as a high school teacher, and in a remote aboriginal community, Nick decided to draw on the experience he gained in each of these jobs and combine it with his passion for social justice to develop a for-profit social enterprise/business that creates a positive social impact.

Join our chat as we discover and discuss:

  • How Nick’s interest in fair trade inspired by his family’s struggles when he was young
  • Yurrampi Crafts: sourcing local t-shirt designs of aboriginal art
  • From distributing the No Sweat brand to developing his own brand
  • The use of organic cotton and sustainable rubber, and becoming the first non-food company in Australia to be Certified Fair Trade by FLO
  • The Australian Fashion Report created in response to the Rana Plaza tragedy in Bangladesh
  • The benefits of GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) and Fair Trade US accreditations
  • Minimum wage vs. living wage
  • The steps they are taking to become investment-ready
  • Market demographics and strategies for reaching their market
  • The power of social media in building their brand
  • The challenge of encouraging people to apply their values to their purchasing decisions
  • Profit sharing and giving back to communities
  • The importance of setting up a board of advisors or mentors
  • The impact of working with a team to help grow your business


  • “Business doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. It actually can be a positive thing.” @etikofairtrade #NickSavaidis
  • “Some accreditations allude to being ethical but when you scratch the surface, they’re guaranteeing the absolute minimum.” @etikofairtrade #NickSavaidis
  • “You can’t sell a t-shirt for $5 or $10 without exploiting someone in the supply chain.” @etikofairtrade #NickSavaidis
  • “We have proven you can create an ethical supply chain in fashion.” @etikofairtrade #NickSavaidis
  • “The reality is that if you’re a sustainable business, you’re not going to have much an impact on anyone’s life. I needed to become a generative business, one that generates social impact and profit. Without generating profit, we can’t generate social impact.” @etikofairtrade #NickSavaidis

Episode Resources:

Nick’s top tips :

  • Get yourself a team. Work with others, their strengths and partnerships. Not having resources will hold you back.
  • When considering accreditation, choose the one with the most clout to give your brand the most credibility.
  • If you have the drive and the will you’ll find the resources to make things happen.

Gratitude –


Sung by Vince Jones   Old Mother Earth Knows  Modern Folk  link  Written by Horace Silver

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