SK Innovation’s social enterprise finds success

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SK Innovation’s social enterprise finds success

Morethan, a social enterprise supported by SK Innovation, is set to post 400 million won ($353,575) in annual revenue, an all-time record, this year, the petroleum refining arm of SK Group said on Tuesday. The business earned 100 million won last year.

Morethan is a fashion retailer that makes bags and small leather goods under the “Continew” brand using upcycled textiles and components from scrapped vehicles, making use of waste material and protecting the environment - similar to Switzerland’s Freitag brand.

The company gets its materials from companies including BMW and Tesla. SK Innovation decided to support the firm after a public recruiting process for its social enterprise business in July 2015.

“Morethan is not only eco-friendly but also has contributed to job creation,” said Lim Su-kil, executive vice president of public relations at SK Innovation. “We plan to offer various support in infrastructure, logistics, PR and global expansion to help it grow into a globally renowned social enterprise.”

With 16 employees currently, Morethan launched an independent store at the Seoul Upcycling Plaza, which the Seoul Metropolitan Government opened on Sept. 5. Shisegae’s Starfield shopping malls in Goyang and Hanam as well as a pop-up store at Hyundai Department Store will feature the brand.

SK Innovation has been engaged in various social enterprise businesses as part of sustainable corporate social responsibility activities instead of a one-time donation.

The company is behind a bakery in Jeonju that recently found huge success with its bread containing bibimbap, or rice mixed with vegetables and marinated beef.

Morethan plans to prioritize hiring underprivileged people including North Korean defectors and helping them grow financially independent.

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