Our Campus Celebrity this week is Paul Donati: UEA student and budding entrepreneur who has just launched his own company ‘Catching A Fish In Norway’. ‘CAFIN’ is a premium quality, ethically minded and environmentally sustainable clothing brand and art collective. Despite only launching recently, the innovative brand has gained considerable attention and multiple international orders.
We sat down with Donati to find out a little bit more…
Name: Paul Donati
Degree: Law with French Law
Favourite UEA memory: The Ziggurats
Tell us a little bit about ‘Catching a Fish in Norway’:
“CAFIN is a premium quality, ethically minded and environmentally sustainable clothing brand and art collective. While all of our clothing is organic, ethical, carbon friendly (and made with renewable energy!), we try to use our profits to help important social causes, like the current crisis in Nepal. The clothing is accredited by the Environmental Justice Foundation, the Fair Wear Foundation, the International Labour Organisation among many other ethical and environmentally sustainable NGO’s which all support our cause (have a look at our ‘about’ tab!).”
What inspired you to launch your own company?
“Last summer I met an amazing businessman in Hong Kong, who showed me the power of the Internet and business. I also got advice from my friend’s mum back at UEA, who simply said there was no excuse not to try a business in the digital age. So I thought I’d give it a go – but I wanted to make a business which also gave something back to the world, hopefully all while pushing for positive changes in the fashion industry.”
How did you start this project?
“It started back in October 2014. I had lots of support from the University, from the Oli Bennett Foundation, as well as a business mentor (B. Michael) back in London. My friends, family, and others at UEA have all helped me bring CAFIN together. While I struggled at times to keep it all organised and moving forward, along with my degree, support from everyone around me and a real desire to make the business work is what allowed me to start it all up.”
Tell us a little bit more about the artists involved:
“Some of the artists are friends of mine, some of them are artists who I’ve got in touch with due to their amazing talent. All of the artists involved are either students or graduates, based at Camberwell Arts College, Kingston Uni and others, and are from all across the UK. They are all up-and-coming illustrators, some of whom have designed for huge brands such as Nesta, Vice and the Guardian. The aim is to attract more artists like this – it’s really a great form of publicity for them too. “
What is the future for ‘Catching A Fish In Norway?’
“Who knows!! Hopefully CAFIN will be at least a little success!! While it would be nice to pay off a little bid of my University debt, it would be great if the brand really had a positive impact on people who are in need.”
Why should Her Campus readers get involved with CAFIN?
“Well!! If they want to help a small brand start up, and if they equally want to help us make positive changes in the fashion industry. CAFIN boycotts sweatshops and offers an entirely ethical approach, both on society and on the environment. If HC readers like the idea of a fair living wage, fair working conditions and little pollution on the environment, they should, definitely, get involved.”
How can Her Campus readers view your collection or follow you on social media?
“You can view the collection here on the website www.cafin.co.uk, and most importantly support/like/follow us for fantastic deals, offers, posts and more on our social media pages”:
Twitter – @cafinclothing
Instagram – catchingafishinnorway
If you want to talk to Paul directly about the project, contact him via any of the CAFIN social media pages or come and visit the CAFIN team at their Spitalfields Stall on June 15th.