Harvard | Mr. Forbes U30 & Big Pharma
GMAT 640, GPA 3.4
Harvard | Mr. Brightside
GMAT 760, GPA 3.93
Wharton | Mr. Asset Manager – Research Associate
GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
Ross | Mr. FP&A
GMAT 730, GPA 3.5
Kenan-Flagler | Mr. 10 Years In Finance
GMAT Not Required / Waived, GPA 2.65
Harvard | Mr. Australian Navy
GMAT 770, GPA 3.74
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Hanging By A Thread
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
NYU Stern | Ms. Civil Servant To Fortune 50
GRE Writing May 31st, GPA Undergrad: 3.0, Graduate: 3.59
Harvard | Ms. Social Enterprise/Healthcare
GRE 324, GPA 3.5
Harvard | Ms. FMCG Enthusiast Seeking Second MBA
GMAT 730, GPA 3.1
Stanford GSB | Mr. Former SEC Athlete
GMAT 620, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Mr. Supply Chain Photographer
GMAT 700, GPA 3.3
McCombs School of Business | Ms. Registered Nurse Entrepreneur
GMAT 630, GPA 3.59
MIT Sloan | Ms. Designer Turned Founder
GMAT 720, GPA 3.5
Kellogg | Ms. Not-For-Profit
GMAT TBD, GPA 4.0
INSEAD | Mr. Big Chill 770
GMAT 770, GPA 3-3.2
Harvard | Mr. Captain Mishra
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Ross | Mr. Dragon Age
GRE 327, GPA 2.19/4.0
Wharton | Ms. Type-A CPG PM
GMAT 750, GPA 3.42
Harvard | Ms. 2+2 Trader
GMAT 770, GPA 3.9
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Young Software Engineer
GRE 330, GPA 3.60
NYU Stern | Mr. Indian Analytics Consultant
GMAT 700, GPA 3.0
Chicago Booth | Ms. Start-Up Entrepreneur
GRE 322, GPA 3.4
Columbia | Mr. RAV4 Chemical Engineer
GMAT 750, GPA 3.62
Wharton | Mr. Big 4 M&A
GMAT 760, GPA 3.5
Harvard | Mr. Aerospace Project Manager
GMAT 740, GPA 3.58
Columbia | Mr. Ambitious Veteran
GMAT 700, GPA 3.1

A Dapper Beginning for Yale MBA Students

Amanda Rinderle and Jonas Clark are both second-year MBA students at Yale School of Management

Amanda Rinderle and Jonas Clark are both second-year MBA students at Yale School of Management. Photo courtesy of Anthony Clark

Organic this, organic that. The synthetics-free movement has swept the farming industry and grocery stores nearly to a point of annoyance. Hipsters across the country flock to Sprouts and other natural and organic food stores. And increasingly, mainstream shoppers are seeking additive-free products, with Walmart and Costco stocking organic foods and, according to the Organic Trade Association, sales of organic edibles in the U.S. rising nearly 12% in 2013 to $35 billion. Many consumers want to know where products come from and that they are created in a socially and environmentally responsible manner.

Amanda Rinderle and Jonas Clark left full-time jobs to gain MBAs from Yale School of Management with one goal in mind — to create a socially and environmentally responsible and mission-driven company. After a year of romantic and idealistic dreams and research, they settled on the textile industry. They decided to produce dress shirts.

The idea stemmed from frustration and curiosity. Rinderle and Clark, who are recently engaged to each other, were tired of clothes wearing out and falling apart soon after purchase. They were fed up with spending a lot of money on clothing just to have it fall apart, and then repeating the process. They discovered a trend used by nearly all clothing companies — “fast-fashion.”

The factory in Massachusetts.

The factory in Massachusetts.

SLOWING DOWN THE PROCESS

Fast-fashion is the idea of producing clothing quickly (duh) and cheaply. “There is an average of a 2.7 (times) markup on clothing,” says Clark. “A shirt with a $100 dollar sticker might only take $15 to make.” The added cost comes from markups first by the clothing company and second by the stores selling clothes.

Clark and Rinderle set out to change the textile game. They wanted to produce quality clothing with low markups, with materials sourced from environmentally conscious cotton producers. The brainchild of this goal is Tuckerman & Co. Named for their favorite New England hiking trail, the company is set to begin selling shirts today (October 29) via a Kickstarter campaign.

The duo began by seeking the best organic cotton. According to a 2011 study examining conventional cotton growth, it takes about one-third of a pound of chemicals to grow enough cotton for a shirt. It takes three-fourths of a pound of chemicals to make a pair of jeans. After contacting nearly 300 cotton suppliers, Clark and Rinderle settled on a broadwoven mill in Italy that gets the organic cotton from Egypt. The buttons are made of “vegetable ivory” from Panama and the shirts are stitched together with the custom Italian fabric in an 1870s textile mill in Fall River, Massachusetts.

CREATING A NEW CONVERSATIONTuckerman Shirt Seated on Bench 2

“Customers are much more aware and concerned about where products are coming from,” says Clark. “Supply chains will need to be transparent and ethical. The early movers for this were in the food and beverage industry. Then it moved to fair-trade. We are hoping to start the conversation around how clothing and other textiles are produced.”

Clark and Rinderle intend their business to spark positive dialog about change. “We don’t want the conversation to be doom and gloom of pesticide use,” says Clark. “We want to inform the customer how they can make a difference in the world by doing something as simple as buying clothing.”

The shirts will only be available through Kickstarter and directly from the website to begin, but the long-term goal is to build a well-established direct to consumer e-commerce model. Shirts are currently going for $110 but Clark and Rinderle say will be creating a casual line soon with shirts around $80.

DON’T MISS: HOW YALE SOM CLIMBED INTO THE TOP TEN