Each year UK businesses spend half a billion pounds, an average of £120 per employee on uniforms and promowear – 99% of it ends up in landfill. Meanwhile studies show that 81% of customers expect businesses to be doing something about sustainability.
Our business to business department has grown from demand. We started as small startup with a big ambition – to redesign the clothing industry. As a fashion brand we build a supply chain with organic materials, renewable energy and auditing for range of social and sustainability criteria to ensure our materials, the environment and the people in our supply chain find balance. We also created interactive traceability maps which lets customers find out where their clothing comes from and how it’s made. It has been a hit with mindful consumers but real success has come from a different quarter: this kind of traceability is exactly what procurement professionals want from a UK T-shirt supplier.
“It’s not that people don’t care about this stuff, it’s just super hard to make the right choice when you can’t see where stuff comes from or how it’s made. It turns out that many buyers out there experience this frustration every day.”
The last part, affordability, is something we care deeply about. Sustainability as a luxury is an oxymoron. We must design solutions to the issues which anybody can participate in. We develop technology to automate large parts of the manufacturing process at our UK factory. We reinvest the proceeds of our efficiencies to offset the normally higher cost of organic t-shirts and renewable energy. We also created a real-time printing service to enable startups to access our supply chain without any barriers to entry. It’s called Teemill and it’s free. By sharing the benefits of our technology, we have scaled quickly and the uniformity designed into our processes allow economies of scale to be shared across large and small customers alike.
Our tech enables us to make more sustainable products more competitive.
For our customers, this is good for business too. Goals like reducing carbon or more sustainable procurement are included in the price. When we look at the issues in our economy and environment, this kind of innovation means companies can be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
In the 21st century, consumers expect buyers and sellers to work together to solve the challenges in our supply chains. As a business, we’re working to make it easier for procurement professionals to do something about sustainability in a way that does not make concessions on product or price – in fact we’re finding that far from being a compromise, the benefits of sustainability and business growth often go hand in hand.