Our MADI Apparel video won a Gold Telly Award!

We have some ultra exciting news to share!

MADI Apparel Brand Film is the 2023 Gold Telly Winner in Non-Broadcast - Beauty, Fashion & Lifestyle.

A Telly award is a very prestigious award, and our hats go off to Tectonic video team out of Chicago for filming, directing and producing this film of our brand. They're the real winnners, we're just merely the subjects!

What are the Telly Awards?

The Telly Awards is an annual competition that honors outstanding achievements in video and television productions, and winning a gold Telly award means that a video or TV production has been recognized as an exceptional piece of work in its respective category. The Gold Telly Award is one of the highest honors and a mark of distinction in the tv and film industry.

Think of a Telly Award like an Emmy or Golden Globe award, but for a broader range of video and tv productions, including advertising, branded content, documentaries, animation and more. 

Why did we make this short film video to begin with?

Here's how it all started! A few years ago, we applied to an open calling for a grant offered by Five Media. (FYI - since this day, Five Media re-branded to Imagine5.) We were blown away to be selected as one of Imagine5's newest partners and very few grant recipients amongst hundreds of applicants. 

We then formed a three year partnership. Each year, Imagine5 supports us in multiple ways:

1. They donate charitable funds to our non-profit 501(c)3, MADI Donations. Their donations cover seamstress training and continuing education training for sewers earning a living wage in our city to make our products. Their donations help us continue to advance and champion for the cut and sew industry in our city, Kansas City.

The process works like this:

- Customer purchases of our MADI Apparel products fund the actual living wages that we pay our cutters, sewers and pattern maker to produce our products.

- Imagine5's donations fund additional training costs and continuing education. Example, when we add a new sewer to our team and they require many hours of sewing to learn each of our products, or when we add a new product into our collection and all of our existing sewers need to learn how to make this new product. This can be very costly for small businesses like ours, and Imagine5 helps ensure that this extra training doesn't eat away from our profits, and gives us the opportunity to keep growing.

- Their funding of our seamstress training not only helps advance the fair wage cut and sew industry in our city, but it ensures sustainable ongoing work for hardworking people in our city to continue earning a living wage making our products. Through Imagine5's support, we're also able to continue promoting and screaming loud and proud that we're part of only 3% of the world's fashion brands to pay a living wage. Their support helps grow our living wage micro factory teams, and helps us provide ongoing opportunities for locals in our city.


2. Imagine5's charitable funds also contribute to our underwear donation drop-off travel, postage and empowerment events. 

Here are the details on the above:

- For every item you buy from MADI Apparel, we donate a pair of biodegradable underwear to requesting organizations all over the world. It's you, our customer, who is funding that donation pair of underwear through the cost of your purchase. HOWEVER, donating underwear requires additional funds - that if it weren't for our supporters like Imagine5 - would eat away at our profits and hold us back from remaining healthy and stable financially.

- Many don't consider these costs, but it can be quite costly to "make a difference" :). Donating underwear to our requesting organization partners requires funds for postage (to ship), travel (to occasionally reach partners in person), and for empowerment events. Once or twice a year, we make a big splash for one or two of our partners. When we go in person, we volunteer our time (to plan and execute) an empowerment event for residents of domestic violence shelters like Lotus House in Miami, or Journey House in Kansas City for women transitioning out of incarceration. Our goal is to bring hope and empowerment through special experiences that include our underwear donations. We set up a table of underwear for women to shop from, we bring professional photographers to take professional portraits for the women to keep forever, makeup artists, flower bouquet bars, etc. Thanks to Imagine5 for helping make these special events happen.

In addition to Imagine5's charitable funds support for our non-profit arm, they also help with marketing and promotional leverage to push along our mission and areas of impact. 

Here's how that looks:

- Last April, Imagine5 (Five Media at the time), contracted an amazing impact-driven film crew called Tectonic out of Chicago, to capture our story and various elements of impact. Tectonic traveled to us in Kansas City - with lots of gear in hand :) - to film our entire ethical production process for an entire week. 

They filmed this incredible three minute short film, we launched it in spring of 2022, and a whole year later the video won a Gold Telly Award! Phew, what a ride!

 - Imagine5 is constantly coming up with great ideas for promoting our environmental and humanitarian impact. We're currently working with humanitarian photographer Tara Shupe to photography our entire process - from living wage manufacturing, to small batch cut and sew operations in Kansas City, to the artistic historic crafts of pattern making and more. Tara Shupe is an international humanitarian photographer and filmmaker focused on capturing stories that empower women and communities, and we've been lucky enough to work with her for over five years on various projects.

This project - funded by Imagine5 - will launch on Imagine5's instagram in a series of carousel posts this summer, so make sure to follow them!

Thank you to the entire team of Imagine5, for all of your support. And biggest congrats to Tectonic for this incredible 2023 Gold Telly Award!

June 16, 2023 — Team MADI

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