Fleeting.ly: Dress in Dreams

SingaporeGuizhou, China
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Fleeting.ly is a platform that connects disadvantaged communities to better-off networks, enabling the former to earn decent incomes and the latter to be a part of effective social change. This e-commerce marketplace makes consumer-led justice accessible at the click of a mouse!

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if children/women from developed and developing communities can learn from each other and create greater economic impacts together?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

In Guizhou, women of ethnic minorities face limited life opportunities. When compulsory education ends, they often have to trade-off education for work in order to earn a wage for the family. The sort of positions and possibilities open to these women are extremely limited. Children in these communities lose out from the outset, due to the lack of preschool facilities and even toys to play with as well.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Through Fleeting.ly, we bring design and capital from developed markets to consult for women makers in disadvantaged communities. The sale of their handicrafts on the platform will provide a source of direct income to these groups. Over time, they will be able to obtain transferable, marketable skills that expands their range of possible options. We leverage on pre-existing assets and skills of these women (their fabric and embroidery skills counts a lineage of thousands of years!) and amplify these into economic impacts while preserving a cultural craft. Higher incomes earned not only elevates the status of these women, but empower them to access more opportunities such as advancing their education, upgrading their houses, etc.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Students in developed countries selects a community (curated by Fleeting.ly) that they want to support, fundraise for creative designs for these fabrics/embroidery and solicit orders, products gets delivered to users through Fleeting.ly, students earn a surplus (and business skills in the process) and creators get paid. By working closely with local groups (youth committee, village committees) to identify suitable beneficiaries and amplifying their outreach through the Fleeting.ly network of supportive educational institutions, we promote skills transfer and empower creators in these communities to enjoy sustainable livelihoods - so that parents need not leave their children behind as local economic opportunities are revitalised.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

We have visited 3 villages thus far and identified 19 direct beneficiaries to work with. We project a pilot impact of 100 women and children directly in these villagers, and 25 students from international schools over the next 1 year. We expect the incomes of these women to increase by at least 20% on average, the children to enjoy better IT facilities for work and play (1 computer to 5 children) and enhanced sanitation in the village (at least 2 toilets per village). Within 3 years, we aim to impact 1000 women and children directly. Further, we aspire for 1 in 2 parents (in these communities) that has left for the city to return to the village and enjoy direct/ancillary economic opportunities made possible by Fleeting.ly's work. We further expect our surveyed participants to express a greater sense of achievement when asked using the Cantril ladder.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Community-wide co-operatives would have been formed to ensure that every stakeholder's interest is protected and that our relationship with the villages will continue to be a meaningful one that benefits all parties involved. Every year, supported villagers will host 800 tourists annually on average and enjoy better transport infrastructure made possible by the return of men and flow of tourists. Favourable working relationships with local bureaucrats and village elders will protect our ongoing developmental work in these communities as well.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Participating students who hope to kickstart this social e-commerce project will have to pay a participation fee for the use of our platform and relevant support services. Further payment will be levied in the form of bonus features ordered as well. From every sale, a transaction fee is charged. These revenue streams will ensure the sustainability of the venture.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

http://matcha5.com/ creates a marketplace exclusive to rural and underprivileged artisans, giving them the opportunity to set-up and manage their own e-store. Fleeting.ly differs from matcha5 by connecting 2 groups of people together: disadvantaged women and students in international schools, to facilitate peer learning and cultural exchange. We are also different in positioning ourselves as a marketplace for the conscious consumption of goods and experiences FIRST and FOREMOST - as we believe strongly that the products have to stand for themselves first.

Founding Story

When I made the journey to a Chaozhou village, there was this girl that I had met. We started talking because I was afraid of the dog in the Circled Dragon House compound (I have had an unpleasant run-in with a Tibetan mastiff before). I asked, "do you study nearby?" only to find out that she is of primary 2 age but has already dropped out of school to take care of her younger brother (as seen in the photo above). The family was from Guizhou originally, so most probably they had come here for work. In that instant, I could see how her entire life would play out for her already. And I could see myself in her and all these other children and feel that surely I can do something - so here it is.


We are a team of school dropouts turned scholars, ex T-mall store and cafe owners, technologists, data geeks and most of all - people who do good with a difference. We believe in the power of commerce to transform entire life trajectories. Currently we are made up of 2 full-timers and 4 part-timers. Gray and Jeremy takes care of partnerships and business development as full-timers; I pass contacts, build curriculum (deliver them too) and manage the team; Jiayi takes care of marketing and sales strategies, Jackson supply chain management and Shubham software development. With our decades of collective experience in community work, teaching, Big Data and e-commerce, we have the relevant expertise and business connections to make this work.
Value Chain: Where does your work fit into the apparel value chain? [check all that apply]

Raw Materials, Consumption.

Your Role: What is your relationship to the apparel industry? [check all that apply]


Target Population: What stakeholder groups do you engage or empower in your work? [check all that apply]

Brands, Consumers, Retailers - Specialty Store, Technologists, Youth.

● Intervention Focus: What are you trying to achieve / influence? [check all that apply]

Access to Essential Services (i.e. Healthcare and Education), Conscious Consumerism.

Lever for Change: Select up to 3 ways your work is helping to transform the industry.

Capacity Building, Training, Technology.

Is your project targeted at solving any of the following key barriers?

A Job is Not Enough: Low-Income Workers Cannot Secure Long-Term Well-Being, Consumers Aren't Motivated to Care: Neither Compelling Reasons Nor Easy Means to Change Consumption Habits.

Does your project utilize any of the innovative design principles below?

Activate Local Know-how for Driving Solutions: Build Opportunities for Workers to Become Leaders, Transform the Chain into a Web: Link Unlikely Sectors that Open New Pathways to Sustainability.

Innovation Inspiration: When you first conceived of your project, did you think of it as applicable to the apparel industry?


If you answered "no" to the previous question, which industry was your project originally aimed at transforming?

Community development, Education, Poverty alleviation.

● Replicating in the Apparel Industry: If your project didn't initially target the apparel industry, how are you specifically tailoring it to do so now?

Put a product focus on fashion and the ethnic clothe made in these places.

Are you nurturing or inspiring others to be changemakers? If so, how?

Yes, we have undergraduates on the team and are working closely with local youth groups to build capacities.

● Tell us about the partnerships that enhance your approach. How have you collaborated with others in the industry to increase your impact?

We work mostly with local youth groups and the International Women's Academy. Seeking to engage fashion labels next.