Woman in Tech of the Month: Fatimah Hussain, Founder of Origin Innovation
Woman in Tech of the Month is our series exploring the achievements of brilliant women who are building their technology-based careers. For the first of 2021, we’re excited to tell the story of Fatimah, CEO of Origin Innovation. One of her colleagues told us about her achievements and what makes her so special.
Who is Fatima Hussain and how did Origin Innovation come about?
Fatimah founded the fashion-tech company Origin Innovation, which is developing an end-to-end digital tool that helps fashion companies better manage their supply chains for sustainability. Fatimah has an in-depth knowledge of production processes, so began consulting and managing other brands’ production lines, working closely with start-ups and companies that focussed on responsible fashion. She then noticed a gap in the market around product life-cycle management, eventually leading to her founding Origin Innovation.
We interviewed Fatimah to find out more about her experience and thoughts on gender diversity.
How was your experience of founding a start-up?
It was definitely challenging as I was entering a whole new world. But it’s something I’m passionate about, so I was excited to get started. I had to learn a lot and fast!
We’re currently at the prototype stage, developing our cloud-based software and gathering user feedback from manufacturers, brands and retailers to iteratively develop new features. I’ve been driving the frontend of development, which is really exciting to see, and now I’m working on the backend before going live later in the year. What fascinates me the most is enabling small businesses to use my software so they can fulfil their sourcing needs in a sustainable way.
How can tech support sustainable initiatives?
I think this technology can highlight the processes involved in the lifecycle of a product, which encourages transparency and will, in turn, enable consumers to make more sustainable decisions. Technology can also help track information about the way materials are used and recycled, creating links between upstream and downstream companies. In the future, I hope to use this technology to help companies identify, understand and target areas for improvement within their supply chain and reduce the detrimental effect of clothing production on the environment.
What are your thoughts on encouraging gender diversity in technology – what challenges have you come across and where do you think the opportunities are?
As a single parent, I juggle my parental responsibilities with building a start-up in an already crowded, male dominated industry. My daughter serves as a huge source of inspiration to me and I want to act as a role model to her and other younger girls. I also want to inspire other single mothers by demonstrating that, when balancing motherhood and a career, one does not necessarily have to be sacrificed for the sake of the other.