This issue of NFTs Driving Change puts the spotlight on Not Your Bro, a metaverse movement celebrating and empowering women and the LGBTQIA+ community, and their new NFT drop on IMVU.
Typically, I’d tell you that Sunday mornings are for lazy breakfasts and great reads in bed. But staying in would be such a shame with Spring blooming in full swing. I, myself, am writing this from my garden amidst plants I still can’t name and a Robin occasionally flying about. If you have read this column before, you know this is your cue to take your read outside and touch some grass. While I cannot promise you a great read, I guarantee some food for thought, something inspiring, or maybe even a pinch of hope.
Welcome to NFTs Driving Change—a monthly column where I highlight projects and creators using NFTs and other Web3 tools to create real-world impact. In this issue, I’ll be introducing you to Not Your Bro, a metaverse movement celebrating and empowering women and the LGBTQIA+ community, and their new NFT drop on IMVU.
Not Your Bro Shows How To Use NFTs For Good
Not Your Bro is a 10K NFT collection from artist and designer, Natalie and social worker turned “tech sorceress”, Georgia. As the name suggests, the project takes on the male-dominated NFT space to represent women and the LGBTQIA+ community. Moreover, the all-women-led project focuses on using NFTs for good by donating a portion of the proceeds to charity.
When the collection dropped in March last year, the project donated 10% of its proceeds to multiple charities. All in all, they donated over $200,000 USD to OutRight Action International, Malala Fund, Save the Children, and Girls Who Code. Their initiative to support and raise awareness of non-profits won them the award for Most Impactful Charity NFT Project at the 2022 NFT NYC Awards. Besides, they boast a partnership with Boohoo, a leading global eCommerce retailer.
This week, they dropped an NFT collection in IMVU—the leading social web3 metaverse, featuring a set of limited edition LGBTQIA+-friendly NFT items. They will also donate a portion of the sales to Outright International.
Q&A with Not Your Bro and IMVU
I spoke to Natalie, Co-founder and artist, Not Your Bro and Maura Welch, VP of Marketing, Together Labs, the parent company of IMVU, to learn more about their collaboration.
(The quotes have been edited and condensed for clarity)
NFTE: Tell us about the latest Not Your Bro drop on IMVU. What can users expect to find in the collection, and how does it align with the values of Not Your Bro?
Natalie: As an NFT project founded by proud members of the LGBTQIA+ community, we were delighted to see IMVU, the world’s largest 3D avatar platform, reach out to bring our brand and message to their users. As part of our collaboration, we are releasing a capsule collection of Not Your Bro-inspired wearables. They have been designed by our team and can be purchased within the IMVU ecosystem.
IMVU is a platform where users can feel free to be themselves, often being their true selves in a community of like-minded people. The campaign with IMVU aligns with Not Your Bro’s values of empowerment and being your authentic self. We believe that the partnership will help IMVU users to celebrate their identities and help foster inclusivity.
NFTE: How do you see this collaboration with Not Your Bro contributing to the platform’s mission of building an inclusive culture within the metaverse?
Maura: Since 2004, IMVU has fostered an inclusive culture that embraces individuals from diverse backgrounds, identities, and abilities. As a collective creator-led community, IMVU has the potential to break down physical barriers and provide an opportunity for millions of people all over the world to create, interact, collaborate, and share experiences in ways that were previously unimaginable.
With 67% of IMVU users and a majority of our creators identifying as female, we take a proactive stance in collaborating with inclusive communities in the web3 space. We value and support initiatives like Not Your Bro because they truly give back to their community. And, like us, they are passionate about Web3 and NFTs as a force to expand participation. Together, we aim to dismantle barriers and champion a metaverse where everyone feels respected, empowered, and valued.
NFTE: How did you decide on donating a percentage of sales to Outright International? What motivated you to support their work?
Natalie: Founded as an NFT project for good, Not Your Bro has a long history of supporting non-profits. For a project founded by members of the LGBTQIA+ community, supporting the efforts of Outright International is something that is personally important to us. The work they do to help and support members of the LGBTQIA+ community worldwide is essential. From helping individuals who need support in countries where law enforcement agencies aggressively pursue and prosecute members of the LGBTQIA+ community, to recently helping LGBTQIA+ in Ukraine, Outright International is the largest non-profit organization supporting the LGBTQIA+ community.
NFTE: NFT art was widely welcomed by many for its potential to create an equitable, diverse, and inclusive space for artists. In your opinion, has the NFT art scene been able to achieve this? What measures should the industry take to ensure diversity and inclusion in the space?
Natalie: The NFT industry has become more diverse and equitable than when NFTs first gained popularity, but we still have a long way to go. It’s great to see that women, non-binary people, and members of the LGBTQIA+ community have found their space within NFTs. But unfortunately, we are still very much in the minority.
As for measures that can be taken to ensure diversity and inclusion in this space, I’ve been delighted to see the promotion of minority-representing artists and founders by leading NFT marketplaces. Highlighting and sharing works by these individuals is a great step in the right direction. Providing a platform for acknowledgement and awareness is something that will help provide diversity and inclusion. The more minorities representing artists and founders can be seen by the masses, the more others will be inspired.
Maura: We agree with Natalie, the NFT art scene has made strides towards creating an equitable, diverse, and inclusive space for artists, but there are ongoing challenges. To ensure diversity and inclusion, the industry should focus on accessible platforms, affordability, and education/mentorship programs for underrepresented artists.
NFTE: Your website says, “We’re here to make a difference and harness the power of NFTs for good.” What are some of the ways in which people/organisations can use NFTs to create real-world impact?
Natalie: Using NFTs for good was a relatively new concept when we launched in January 2022. For Not Your Bro, we define us doing “good” in a variety of ways. We proudly donate 10% of all royalties we receive through sales of our NFTs to non-profits every month. To date, we’re proud to have donated 100 ETH to incredible non-profits globally.
Another way we wanted to prove that NFTs can be for good, is through the ethos and values that we define ourselves by. Entering the space as a collector in 2021, I struggled to find a community that I resonated with or that contained like-minded individuals. We built Not Your Bro with inclusivity at its core. We welcome all into our community, no matter your sexual orientation, gender or age.
In addition, the open representation of the LGBTQIA+ community within our founding team has provided a lot of members with a sense of belonging and comradery. In a world where historically, members of the LGBTQIA+ were not given a platform to represent or have a voice, we’ve been able to openly support our community members and allies.
NFTE: How do you envision the future of Not Your Bro and its continued involvement in promoting equality and inclusivity in the metaverse?
Natalie: Not Your Bro is on a mission. Outside of proving that NFTs can be for good, we describe what we’re creating as a movement. We’re incredibly committed to promoting equality and inclusivity within NFTs and the metaverse. It’s been an amazing journey so far and we look forward to seeing all the concepts we’ve been working on for a while now come to fruition.
NFTE: Do you have any message for female and LGBTQIA+ artists who are aspiring to enter the NFT space?
Natalie: Firstly, believe in yourself; be your biggest fan and champion. Launching an NFT project or expanding your art into NFTs can be daunting. But if you truly believe in yourself, you’re halfway there. This space is a rollercoaster at times. Without being your own biggest fan and being confident in your concept, the lows of the rollercoaster can be tough. Be innovative and also focus on building your connections. Sometimes it can be hard to break through that “awareness barrier” where you know your idea is incredible, but you just need others to hear about it. Leveraging connections and relationships with others in the space can help here.
Most importantly, when entering the NFT space as an artist, be vigilant. There are many users in this space who will offer paid promotion on their Twitter. They may say they have 100,000 followers, but chances are the majority of them are botted accounts. Work with developers who you personally know, or utilize platforms for creating NFTs and NFT collections.
Maura: To aspiring female and LGBTQIA+ artists entering the NFT space, remember that you are not alone. The community stands with you, ready to support and uplift your creative journey. Embrace your unique perspectives and identities, for they are powerful assets in shaping the future of NFT art. Connect with inclusive communities, seek mentorship, and don’t be afraid to share your voice. Your art has the ability to inspire, provoke change, and make an impact. Believe in your talent, and be persistent. And know that your contributions are invaluable to creating a more diverse and inclusive NFT art world.
- NFT Guest PostsJune 17, 2023Record-Breaking Sale: ‘The Goose’ Artwork Soars to $6.2 Million at Sotheby’s Auction
- NFT Guest PostsJune 17, 2023Snoop Dogg Takes NFTs on Tour With the Passport Series
- NFT Guest PostsJune 17, 2023Crypto Companies Flock to Hong Kong: Understanding the Implications of New Regulations”
- NFT Guest PostsJune 16, 2023FEWOCiOUS’ Signature Style Takes Center Stage in adidas Originals Collaboration