BUILDING A CIRCULAR BRAND
We launched the brand with a commitment to No Inventory Waste. It wasn't only in an effort to be sustainable, it was to create a smart modern brand.
The strategy to be a circular brand is so extravagant, I will do my best to describe how my brain has planned it out.
When I first started thinking about design, I knew that if I could find the right fabrics, I would be able to make most of my clothing out of the same ones. Our collection is very minimalist, therefore, we didn't need a huge variety of patterns etc to bring it to life.
We started with our first fabric. The performance of it is so high that we make all of our basic products from it. The lifecycle of one of our products is really high as a result. Our cutting is efficient as well allowing numerous pieces to be cut from the same fabric.
When we searched for jacket fabrics, we wanted to achieve the same result. Look for a high performing material that looks great and has stretch.
In order to be a circular brand, the product lifecycle was critical for that.
Then we thought about how to bring the products to life. We knew we wanted to be a customer-centric business. As a start-up, we knew we were limited to what we would be able to produce as we had not received any funding. We had completed two successful Kickstarter campaigns but grew frustrated with the process. We found various ways to improve the process and implemented them in a program on our website.
We call this initiative FUNDIT. This is where as a designer, I can post a new product that has successfully completed sample testing. Then customers can vote on which products should get made.
I can use analytics and statistical planning to identify which products are most likely going to sell therefore reducing the risk by 100% on inventory. This means that when we receive a product the lifecycle is typically less than 30 days of having it.
This has allowed us to build a very high performing inventory structure where we do not have products that fail.
The next step was building our loyalty program. It was important that it was actually a good one. We have 98% enrollment in the program and 88% activity from our client base. This means they are purchasing and redeeming.
This allows us to do liability planning. Inventory that is not performing is a liability and points that are not redeemed are a liability. We are able to use both of them to cross each other out. I feel I might be getting a little too detailed about now.
Then the next plan was what is going to happen with the clothing when they are done with it.
Lululemon and Aritzia lose millions of dollars to their secondary markets. The final piece that turns us into a circular brand is our buyback policy.
We are excited in 2020 that we will start implementing the buyback program. This means that our customers will be able to bring in an item and redeem it for a discount on a new item. We will then create secondhand stores that are operated by our own company. The pieces will be embellished with screen printing, art, studs, etc to make them one of a kind.
It is a complicated and detailed plan. It has nothing to do with the current trend of marketability for the word "sustainable". So many brands have developed elaborate plans to make you believe they care. It is part of who we are. We really do care.
Your responsibility as a customer is to buy our products because they are really good and make you feel good about yourself.
Our job is to make sure that our company has a positive impact.
Together this generates brand loyalty.
We love you!