CSR Report 2023 / Chapter 1: Building Strong Foundations

As you read in the introduction, Patine was created in 2017 with the ambition of creating a new fashion brand model, as demanding on style as on its environmental and social impact. At the beginning, when there are only a few employees, when we are like a young lover with butterflies in our stomach, we tell ourselves that these principles are unshakeable. It is when the first turmoil comes, that our great principles are put to the test. So how can you not throw away your principles and sell your soul to the devil? Even more when we want to grow? In this chapter we tell you what safeguards we have put in place and our choice to finance our growth through our customers rather than investment funds.

Certifications.

Why bother looking for certifications if you are already sure of your values? Because it allows us to be challenged by an external organization, to put in place safeguards, to signal to those who do not yet know us that we meet criteria that they know and to encourage new brand models. In order to guarantee this long-term commitment, we must therefore put safeguards in place. In 2021, Patine therefore became a mission-driven company and in December 2022, we obtained our B Corp certification.

We explain to you below what that means!

What is a “mission-based company”?

It is a status governed by the PACTE law of 2019 which is obtained by respecting 3 legal obligations:

- define the purpose of the company clearly and include it in the statutes

- associate objectives in terms of environmental and/or social impact

- set up a mission committee which ensures that they are always a priority



What's the point?

It is a way for us to formalize our commitment to grow without ever deviating and to provide a framework that allows the team to take responsibility, align and be effective. It is also a way of highlighting, at the national level, the need for a new business model.

In June 2022, there are around 650 mission-driven companies in France... out of 3.82 million companies in total #happyfew We believe that this framework is particularly useful for fashion companies like ours, driven by creativity. Many of us are animated by good feelings. To want to do well. We have a lot of ideas, tend to create long lists of projects. However, in terms of responsibility, we observed that we are on a ratio of 5% creativity 95% effort to have an impact. The Mission-Based Business framework requires us to concentrate our efforts, to avoid dispersion, fragmentation and any risk of greenwashing.

Our four environmental and social objectives associated with this mission:

• Develop and enable the adoption of responsible and fair consumption behaviors that are desirable.

• Design the best possible products and services for the adoption of desirable and virtuous lifestyles.



• Improve business and fashion industry practices, individually or collectively and with existing or innovative solutions

• Promote transparency, humanity and humility for brands and their relationships with customers, suppliers, competitors and territories

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Our mission committee is made up of figures from various professional backgrounds with plural and interdisciplinary skills who bring their expertise on: ready-to-wear, eco-responsibility, food, logistics, impact, and sustainable development.

- Thibaud Ledunois, our favorite fashion activist.

- Delphine Plisson, entrepreneur, queen of eating well and founder of La Maison Plisson.

- Marie-Anne Vincent, VP at Sweep, expert in green finance.

- Priscilla JOKHOO, our mentor from the French Fashion Federation.

- Emmanuel Giraud, from the adapted company ASAR Développement.

- Lucie, our financial director.

What does “being a BCorp” mean?

BCorp is the most well-known and trusted label worldwide awarded to companies that meet demanding environmental and social impact criteria. To assess compliance with these criteria, B Lab, the independent association which created the B Corp label, has developed a questionnaire of more than 200 questions divided into 5 categories (environment, employees, community, governance, customer ·es) for which you must obtain a score of more than 80 points to be officially certified. It is a tedious process which requires providing precise information and figures, both on the carbon impact of each garment and on the volumes of water used or the working conditions at our production partners. This certification would therefore not have been possible without the rigorous work of Maïa and Lucie who started the process at the beginning of 2021: thank you <3

What's the point ?

First of all, even before being certified, the BCorp evaluation grid allowed us to take stock of our actions, compare them to demanding criteria and produce new data that we were not yet measuring: c It is therefore a fantastic tool to become a better version of ourselves! Then, the certification obtained is tangible recognition, for you dear community, for our partners and for all those who do not yet know us, of all the actions implemented over the past 5 years to measure and reduce our impact on the environment, make our partners work in the best conditions and pursue a model of reasoned growth thanks to aligned governance, financing and community. Finally, this certification is in line with our status as a mission-driven company, our community fundraising on the ethical financing platform Lita.co and more generally our “Patine Season 2” project. that is to say our desire to be 1: always more coherent and 2: always more creative and inventive with constraints which are for us “the new normal”.

So yes, it will never be enough to have a label or certification but it is proof of consistency, transparency and it is, for you, as for us, a way of evaluating ourselves and motivation to continue to innovate!

Since its creation, Patine has chosen dynamic growth but at a reasonable pace since we set very demanding rules for design, production, distribution and communication. Before our fundraising, the brand was 100% self-financed, which means that development was achieved solely through revenue growth. The brand has been profitable since the first t-shirt was launched for pre-order in 2017. The development of the activity has been achieved thanks to product development and proximity to the community without advertising. We could have continued at this pace but why stay in our comfort zone when there are so many things to invent? The question of financing is a thorny one: how can you be sure to grow while maintaining your social and environmental objectives? This is the reason why we launched a community fundraiser: to finance the growth of Patine with shareholders who are 100% aligned with our project and who will never ask us to choose between growth and respect for the environment. This is the question we asked ourselves and the answer was there before our eyes: our customers, those who know us best since the beginning of Patine, should be our shareholders. If you are a Patine customer, you received an email on October 28, 2021 entitled “become a Patine shareholder”. 2 hours before, there was panic in the studio because the URL of the page no longer worked but we ended up getting through it. Above all, we were very stressed at the same time as very excited to offer our clients the opportunity to invest in Patine. Two months later, we closed our 600,000 euro campaign.

What does ethical fundraising mean?

For us, the whole challenge was to raise funds that were in line with our ethical commitments: it was not just a question of “finding money” but of finding investors who were in tune with our ambition for reasoned growth and which will never place profit above commitment.

Preparing for fundraising is not easy: you had to start by going through several selection committees with the LITA team.

LITA is a community financing platform that allows citizens to invest from 100 euros in companies that demonstrate a positive impact on the environment and society. Once these selection committees had passed, we had to prepare our campaign for you, our clients, and explain to them what fundraising is. We made a film!

Today, we have a newsletter dedicated to our shareholders, who we inform of the company's development stages. We submit surveys to them to find out their opinion on our strategic directions and we keep them informed of new Patine releases so that they can help us raise awareness of Patine.

Do you also want to raise ethical funds? Leave us your email below to receive our (humble) advice and the right questions to ask yourself before getting started!