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How to Start a Sustainable Fashion Brand | Workshop Recap

Hi Lovely Boss Ladies,

This week we diggin' deep into our past workshop and spilling some secrets that will help you launch your fashion brand.

We had the incredible opportunity to co-host a workshop alongside the lovely Selina Ho, founder of Recloseted, a team that helps launch and scale sustainable fashion brands. Alongside consulting, Recloseted also offers the Conscious Label Launcher, a progressive program to take founders from ideation to launch, a program that Boss Lady Collective is also a proud graduate of 🎓

Listening to the workshop, we had such amazing key takeaways that we knew we had to share with you all. Below are our 5 favourite tips for a successful launch:

Key Takeaway #1: Use a Customer First Approach

When making decisions about your business, your product and your marketing think about your customer. And we are not talking about just thinking about what they might actually want. We want you to begin talking to your potential customers. What are their needs? What are they currently missing in their lives? What do they look for in the clothing they purchase?

By making decisions with your CUSTOMER as the FOCUS you are making sure each step of the production process that you are creating a garment that your customers will actually PURCHASE. Ladies, the key to any business is revenue.

Key Takeaway #2: Start Off Producing in Small Numbers

Now I know with the ambition and drive that each of you possess that you probably also have lofty goals of producing large numbers of garments and selling out. This is completely attainable but it takes work and patience. When starting out and learning about what garments are in demand and which are not, producing in small quantities has a number of benefits:

  1. Customizable. By creating a robust business model, you have the ability to customize the garment to the needs of your client. This results in avoiding fit problems, the most common issue when it comes to clothing. This also has the added bonus of creating a very happy customer (build that loyal customer base 😉)

  2. Control Over the Process. Using a local seamstress instead of a large production company allows you to ensure ethical labour practices and to oversee the garment being produced. You are supporting local and using ethical practices; now that's what we call a double win!

  3. Eliminate Waste. With large garment orders you are making an assumption about how many garments you will sell. From personal experience of being new to the fashion industry, our assumptions did not hit the mark the first time around. For this reason we have pivoted to only offering local, pre-order practices.

Key Takeaway #3: Be Scrappy & Creative with Your Dollars

When starting a fashion brand, your expenses can start adding up rather quickly. You are going to need every penny to get your business off the ground. This is why we recommend being creative with your money. Think of ways to save without sacrificing the quality of your product.

What is the best way to allocate your marketing budget to get the biggest bang for your buck? When spending, ask yourself, is this a want or a need for my business? As your business grows, you will have more money for those needs but in the beginning its essentials only.

Key Takeaway #4: Focus Your Time and Energy

We had to learn this one the hard way. When you are creating your own business, you are on your own requiring to wear many hats. It is so easy to spread yourself too thin by wanting to be on every social platform, overworking yourself on things that do not move your business forward or getting distracted by the new big thing.

We learnt from Selina to focus on two social media platforms and grow your presence. When choosing these platforms ask yourself where are my ideal customers spending their time? Keep your goals at the top of your mind, when taking on something new always ask yourself does this bring my business closer to its goal?

Key Takeaway #5: Build Your Community First

Another one that we have learnt from experience - you do not need a product to start building your community. The best thing is having a community to launch your product to. This cannot happen without you taking the time to build your online presence. There so much that you can share with your community about your business while developing your garment.

Your community that you are building is also the best place to ask questions too when making decisions about your products. For example when we were rebranding the design of Boss Lady Collective we had help from our community. Because we had taken the time to build our social media presence, we simply polled our community to find out what everyone liked best.

Before we finish off, we want to take the time to invite you to our upcoming workshop taking place on February 27th at 11:00AM-12:30PM PST. In this virtual workshop you will learn the art of rewiring your inner mean girl mindset, secret to loving your body and yourself, and some tricks boosting your self-esteem. For more details on our workshop and to register, check out our event page!

Sending you love, joy & positive vibes,
Annie & Sav

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