An MBA Committed to Bring Sustainability to the School Uniforms Sector

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Turning a school uniform into a tool to empower and engage students!

Meet with Matthew Benjamin, MBA 2009, Founder and CEO of KAPES, which makes and supplies sustainable uniforms.

What have you done since you graduated from IUM?

While at IUM, I wanted to get into the superyacht industry, and when I moved back to London, I started working for a start-up at the time called, which was a platform for marketing superyacht charters and sales.

After a year, Tom James, the world’s largest custom clothing company, approached me for another luxury field role. I had two and a half successful years in the London office and then moved to Dubai to open and run an office there, the first in the Middle East. At the time, I was the youngest person in the company’s history to open and run an office.

I spent another two and a half years working for Tom James in Dubai, and during this time, I became pretty passionate about sustainability. This new strong interest eventually led me to start my own bespoke menswear business, with sustainability being a core part of it, Benjamin Siggers.

In 2020 during the pandemic, I started Kapes to bring sustainability to the school uniforms sector: uniforms are made in factories that pay fair wages, we help kids become more connected to what they wear, and for each one we sell, we give a free one to a child in need.

Would you say that your studies at IUM help you in your different positions? If yes, how?

The experience at IUM has undoubtedly helped me – living abroad, working with people from so many different backgrounds, all of that has served me well in my various positions. While I certainly wasn’t a financial management whiz while I was at IUM and don’t profess to be one now, if there was one course that has helped me the most, particularly in starting and running a business, was this one.

You’ve launched your own company. Where does your entrepreneurial spirit derive from?

I’ve always been creative, ambitious, a risk-taker, and a problem solver. I guess those are attributes that lend themselves well to starting a business, and I like the idea of being able to bet on myself.

Was it essential for you to start something that impacts? Why?

Yes, I needed to start something that would positively impact the world. I feel that it is our responsibility to direct our entrepreneurial spirit towards doing something that positively impacts us. I want to make the world a better place and inspire future generations to do the same.

Favorite memory about IUM?

The joint birthday house party that Ahmad Henry and I had. Guests had to be tied to someone else throughout the night. It symbolized one of the significant parts of studying at IUM because it is so small it feels like a family.

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Updated 5 May 2023