International Women’s Day is a global day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women — so we thought it was a great opportunity to introduce you to the women who make magic happen at MANRAGS and celebrate their successes!
Meet Tina Elias.
Co-founder and Brand Director of MANRAGS, Tina launched the brand with her then 9 month old son on her lap.
Having previously worked as a successful commercial and fashion photographer for over 10 years, Tina launched a fashion eCommerce store (the only multi brand eComm retailer to exclusively stock Australian designers at the time) which was successfully acquired in 2015. Her next venture was discovered after a conversation with husband and co-founder — Michael Elias.
“After washing Michael’s socks, which had become a hot topic around his ANZ office, I noticed that the quality was really poor” Tina said. Being fed up with socks that fell apart after a few wears, the duo conceptualised a men’s sock and underwear subscription club, named MANRAGS!
Since its launch in 2016, the brand has undergone a number of iterations — the most recent of which has had a significant impact on Tina (and, the planet!). “Introducing circularity to MANRAGS has been hugely important for us as parents and also for our planet” explains Tina. “As a mum of two, I became increasingly aware of the impact that ‘fast fashion’ was having on our planet and the kind of world I would eventually leave behind for my children if our socks had no purpose other than to eventually end up in the bin.”
It was then that the brand entered it’s next phase as the world’s first circular subscription, with Tina and Michael taking responsibility for the entire life-cycle of their socks — ensuring that they never had to end up in landfill. But it didn’t end there… Tina realised it wasn’t enough to only take responsibility for MANRAGS products — “I learnt that 953kg of textiles were being dumped into Australian landfills every single minute so I thought, why wouldn’t we accept ALL socks for recycling?”
What came next was the world’s first sock recycling initiative which saw the brand explode. In just 5 short months MANRAGS were able to divert over 509,960 socks from landfill (more than 12.5 tonnes), and they show no signs of slowing.
“We’re really proud of what we’ve been able to achieve so far. We know we don’t have all the answers, but to make a difference you need to start somewhere. So, we’ve started with socks!”
Meet Jess Origlasso.
Community Engagement Manager of MANRAGS (and their first hire back in 2018), Jess works directly with founders Tina & Michael to develop strategies for effectively communicating and interacting with their community, but she also wears a number of other hats within the 5 person start-up. “My role is very multi-faceted, no two days are the same!” explains Jess. Tackling aspects of customer service, copywriting, social media, email marketing and fulfilment ensures that she’s across the needs of the customer in many areas of the business.
“Working across a number of areas in the business gives me a huge advantage I haven’t previously had, as it means I get to be directly involved in the customer experience from their first interaction with us on social media or email through to the arrival of their order” says Jess.
With an 8 year background in eCommerce customer experience and copywriting, her understanding of the digital landscape has helped to nurture and grow an engaged community of advocates for the brand’s next mission.
“Since our directional shift to a more ‘purpose-driven’ brand I find myself coming into work each day with a huge sense of purpose. Knowing that as a team we’re working to improve our impact on the planet gives you even more motivation to succeed and create something epic” she explains.