Starting a local brand: is it worth it?
With all the current uncertainty in the world, the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, and many other unfortunate global events, there is now more than ever a strong demand for brands people can trust. We are speaking here mainly about the fashion industry, but we believe this applies to most other industries as well.
More and more people are now realising that you can get by without impulsive purchases and it is better to invest in the things that really matter and will last. The crisis has also unveiled the importance but also vulnerability of small businesses which are heavily dependent on not only local demand, but also tourists from all over the world. Naturally many of us have started supporting local manufacturers and producers, and choosing the products made by small companies over big corporations.
As founders we ourselves have been inspired by the trend of entrepreneurship at small and local scale even prior to the crisis. We had the drive to build something to call our own, to leave a mark on an industry. Together, this passion for the fashion industry and for entrepreneurship culminated in the founding of Capsule Studio.
Founding the company in Amsterdam, the city we both call home, felt natural and right. Amsterdam is home to a growing number of fashion startups, and to the annual Amsterdam Fashion Week. The ecosystem of startups, freelancers, retail, and events, is in place and ready to support the launching of new brands. What’s pretty crazy is that in the building where our home and HQ is there are the offices of three other brands as well.
Although the fashion market is extremely competitive we still felt that there is a clear gap that we can fill. Our idea was to create a 100% local supply chain without outsourcing the work to low cost markets. With such a high standard in mind we wanted to go beyond traditional sustainability concepts but also create designs that truly stand out and empower.
Our mission is ambitious and we believe it is the right thing to do. Although some mass market brands are trying to minimise their environmental damage they still lose the sustainability battle to smaller brands simply because of the quantities of production, unsustainable logistics methods and aggressive approach to demand generation. As a local brand we produce in limited quantities, choose more environmentally friendly modes of transport and we don’t offer big discounts and aggressive sales. In this way we want to encourage our customers to shop mindfully rather than impulsively.
And last but not least mass market does not offer the same originality which small brands do. Have you ever had a situation when you bought something amazing from Arket or Zara, you proudly wore it to town, only to see someone else wearing exactly the same thing? This is obviously less likely to happen when you wear an item from a small brand which by design is more exclusive and unique.
Direct to consumer brands are truly disruptive and can bring immense value to the consumers and bring the whole industry to the next level. Hence why we are excited to enter the market and bring something new to you.
Next time we will take you behind the scenes of our supply chain and will shed light on the process of finding the suppliers. Stay tuned:)