Status: Active - early stage
Type: Social enterprise
Refugee investment category: R1, R3
SDGs addressed: 8, 10, 12
Headquarters regions: Minneapolis, MN
Summary: Founded by Mohamed Malim, a Somali-American entrepreneur and former refugee, Epimonia is a fashion company dedicated to raising awareness around refugee issues in the United States. Epimonia sells fashion accessories, including a bracelet made out of recycled life-vests previously worn by refugees. Epimonia sources its life-vests in partnership with the non-profit organization, Refugees4Refugees, which sends its volunteers to Lesbos, a Greek Island where many refugees arrive. The final “embracelets” are then made in the Netherlands by refugees employed by the Dream Factory, owned by Mr. Malim’s uncle Omar Munie, a Dutch-Somali fashion designer.
Potential refugee impact: Supporting refugees is fully integrated into Epimonia’s entire value chain. After sourcing its materials through a refugee-supporting non-profit, Epimonia employs refugees to craft the “embracelets” before selling them in America. Following, Epimonia reinvests 50% of its profits in initiatives which benefit the broader refugee community in America, including partners such as the Dream Refugee Mentorship Program, the International Institute of Minnesota, and USA for UNHCR. They have also collaborated with Love your Melon to create hats that utilize materials from live-vests as well. Epimonia is in the process of moving their manufacturing process to Minnesota, at which point they will continue to employ refugees to create their accessories and apparel.
Investment thesis: Mohamed Malim has already sold almost 1500 bracelets and has visited over 20 college campuses to raise awareness around Epimonia and broader refugee issues. Mr. Malim is also in the process of building multiple college chapters focused on refugee awareness. Research has shown that consumers, and millenials specifically, are increasingly driven to support ethical fashion companies and Epimonia is well positioned to take advantage of this consumer shift.
Structure: Epimonia is a social enterprise founded in the United States.