How TO THE MARKET is connecting retailers to ethical and environmentally responsible suppliers that empower women

In this #MeetTheMB100 interview, Jane Mosbacher Morris, Founder & CEO of TO THE MARKET, shares how they are providing fair wage work by harnessing the purchasing power of retailers and corporations to benefit both people and the planet to ensure empowerment for women and other overlooked suppliers.

This interview series is sponsored by EY, Hogan Lovells and Babson College.

Meaningful Business (MB): Can you tell us a bit about the issues you are trying to solve and why you selected them?


Jane Mosbacher Morris (JMM): I started my career working in the U.S. Department of State on counterterrorism and women’s empowerment issues. During that experience, I spent a lot of time with underserved and underrepresented populations around the world. What I kept hearing from women in these communities was that there was a severe lack of economic independence and opportunity. So I began to think through ways to economically empower women on a global scale. 


While working in the Office of Global Women’s issues under Secretary Hillary Clinton, I was often in contact with women working in retail. Many of them make their products at home or in a workshop. Slowly I began to think of how to connect suppliers around the world to U.S. based brands. It wasn’t until a trip to Kolkata, India while at the McCain Institute with Mrs. Cindy McCain and the International Justice Mission that the idea for TO THE MARKET solidified my passion and commitment to the dignity of work as a means of economic empowerment for women and other overlooked suppliers. 



Jane Mosbacher Morris, Founder & CEO, TO THE MARKET


MB: How is your work tackling those problems and what impact are you having?


JMM: I founded TO THE MARKET to connect retailers to ethical, environmentally responsible supply chains that empower women. We have fully vetted all 200+ of our suppliers to ensure they offer fair wages and treatment, along with equal opportunity for promotion. Using our proprietary technology, we continue to monitor these suppliers over time, storing new audits and updated certifications on the platform. This ensures that all suppliers in our matrix are operating responsibly and we can feel confident about supporting dignified work through each supplier.


Another key element of our value proposition is the ability to automate impact reports for client’s orders, including metrics like the number of fair wage hours created to manufacture the entire order or how many litres of water were saved by using organic cotton instead of traditional cotton. In 2023 alone, TO THE MARKET created 45,000+ hours of fair wage work by harnessing the purchasing power of retailers and corporations to benefit both people and the planet.



MB: What support do you need in order to scale your business and increase your positive impact?


JMM: Our company team has moved incredibly fast over the past few years and also weathered the impact of COVID. However there’s two main areas where we could use support to help scale the business. First, channel partnership to collaborate and support in distributing the software. The proprietary software has been purpose-built to enable a higher degree of transparency around impact metrics which is well suited for a consultative sales model.


Second, legal support in protecting the IP as it relates to commercialising the software. The sustainability software system was built to propel TO THE MARKET’s core business and we know there are nuances, legal and commercial, that need to be addressed to successfully deploy the software with external users.


MB: How do you work with partners and the wider ecosystem to achieve your mission?


JMM: TO THE MARKET endeavours to engage with our partners, from suppliers to investors, in a way that advances our vision of powering the ethical and sustainable supply chain.  That means prioritising collaboration over competition and finding ways that are “win-win” as often as possible. We sometimes fall short, but that has and will continue to be our north star.


MB: What is your ambition for the future of your business?


JMM: TO THE MARKET’s big vision is to change retail manufacturing to empower people, protect the planet, and ultimately create better products and businesses. This means that we envision a world in which apparel, accessories, and home goods are created in a way that respects the dignity of the individuals that make them and doesn’t adversely impact the environment. 


In the short term, we’re focused on the development and deployment of our technology platform, with a goal of creating a robust tool that can impact a greater number of companies wanting to operate responsibly and report on their actions.


MB: How do you measure success?


JMM: How I measure success is by how effectively I’m able to leverage my own unique skills and personal privileges. What do I mean by this? I mean that true success isn’t a one-size-fits-all concept, it’s about making the most of what you’ve got. We all have our own talents, experiences, and opportunities that make us who we are. Success is taking those personal strengths and using them to create something meaningful.


If I’m a creative type, success could be pursuing a career that lets me express myself through art or design. If I was fortunate enough to get a great education, success is taking that knowledge and doing something positive with it – like giving back to my community. At the end of the day, success is living authentically, playing to your strengths, and striving to have an impact beyond just yourself. It’s about finding purpose and fulfilment in your own way, with the cards you were dealt. That’s how I define real success.





Quickfire questions:


MB: Tell us a mistake you’ve learned from


JMM: When I first started, I didn’t even know what MSRP was or that a normal mark up was 50%! Kathy from Heavenly Treasures had to teach me the basics!


MB: How do you spend your time away from work? 


JMM: Outside of work, you can usually find me spending time with my husband, Nate, and our two rescue cats, Inky and Teddy.


MB: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? 


JMM: Some people will love you no matter what you do. Some people won’t love you no matter what you do.


MB: What is something you wish you were better at? 


JMM: Being better at telling people ‘no.’ It’s tough, but learning to politely decline opportunities that don’t align with your vision is key. Otherwise, you end up spread too thin to focus on what can drive you forward.


MB: What is the one book everyone should read?


JMM: In 2019 I published Buy the Change You Want to See: Use Your Purchasing Power to Make the World a Better Place (Penguin Random House, 2019), a guide that shows how our purchases can make a real difference in the lives of communities around.



Related Posts

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

This website uses cookies to improve the user experience. For more information view our Privacy Policy

Privacy policy
Become A Member