In the latest episode of our True Connections Podcast, Alan Hooks speaks to Walfredo della Gherardesca. Walfredo is the founder and CEO of Genuine Way, a tech company that enables brands to better communicate their environmental sustainability and corporate social responsibility to ethical consumers through the use of blockchain technology.
Listen to the podcast
Click on the player below to hear Alan’s and Walfredo’s conversation:
Walfredo della Gherardesca had been working as a lawyer in one of Italy’s largest Law firms for two years before he started his first e-commerce business for aggregating food manufacturers. Having grown up in an Italian family with roots in the food and wine industry, it was only right that this was where his entrepreneurial aspirations began to blossom.
However, after travelling and meeting sustainability change-makers from across the globe, Walfredo began to identify with a new type of consumer that seriously considered a product’s environmental and social impact when making purchasing decisions.
Combining an interest in blockchain technology with a passion for sustainability
In an increasingly eco-conscious world, companies are jumping onto the misleading ‘greenwashing’ bandwagon in order to give the impression that they are environmentally responsible. Walfredo decided he wanted to help consumers make purchases that genuinely aligned with their values – and hold companies accountable to their ‘eco-friendly’ narratives. It was at this point that decided to combine his interest in blockchain technology with his passion for sustainability.
Working with blockchain experts, Walfredo founded Genuine Way. As a B2B business, Genuine Way helps its clients validate their sustainable messaging through independent retrieval and analysis of documentation, certificates, lab tests and receipts. By using Genuine Way and its blockchain technology, companies solidify their sustainable credibility and are more likely to get the competitive advantage Walfredo believes they deserve.
A year and a half later his company is working with 42 brands across 7 countries to help conscious consumers make purchasing choices that align with their social and environmental values.
A large part of the negative environmental impact within the fashion industry stems from consumption habits.
Although the food and beverage sector are a large proportion of Walfredo’s clientele, 50% of the companies he works with are in the fashion industry. In a bid to fight ‘fast-fashion’ where trend-based, poor quality clothing is pumped out and quickly scrapped, Walfredo has created the ‘Wear me thirty times’ challenge. This gamification encourages customers to take a selfie every time they wear an item of clothing in order to win a prize once they have hit the 30-wear mark.
Passion, people and perseverance
The young entrepreneur plans for Genuine Way to become the largest ecosystem of ethical brands using blockchain in the world by the end of 2022. This will play a significant role in accelerating what he calls “the evolution of consumers”. In order to sustain the momentum for conscious consumerism, Walfredo intends to launch an app to show customers the positive impact their environmentally-friendly purchasing choices make. Not only will this help the process feel more rewarding, but it will keep consumers motivated in pursuing a more sustainable way of life.
When asked about his advice for ambitious entrepreneurs, Walfredo points towards passion, people and perseverance as the catalysts of his success. This unwavering passion appears to be the driving force behind his mission to ensure that conscious consumerism isn’t a short-term trend, but an achievable way of life for more people.
Having a good idea is one thing. Pushing through and implementing it is another. We portray entrepreneurs who share their personal stories and reflect on lessons learnt.