The way clothing affects us is so interesting it even has a scientific name: “enclothed cognition”. This is the idea that clothes impact the way we think and that the clothes we wear or see others wearing can change our thoughts and behavioural patterns.
But it comes at a cost.
Black Friday is in just over a week and amongst all the websites and stores doing their countdown for big sales I sit here in my office holding a pair of GNGR Bees in my hand and journeying back to the very start of this brand.
GNGR Bees was born of the dual passions I have for women empowerment as well as for saving our planet. It was born with a purpose that was so much bigger than having endless collections to sell over and over and over again until you (my customers) couldn’t find any more drawers to stuff activewear in. In fact, I have decided that the only way fashion can exist hand-in-hand with the environment is by through immediate and drastic disruption.
Disruption of our relationship with consumption and our seemingly insatiable hunger to buy, buy & buy. Disruption of that conditioned pattern of behaviours where we purchase clothing already mindful of the purchase that will follow or knowing that the garment will be out of season in a matter of months and will then be replaced. An endless cycle of buy-wear-dispose, which, all too sadly, we have become accustomed to repeating season after season and year after year.
On a phone call with my mother today, she asked me how much of a discount I would be offering this holiday season. I said none. She couldn’t understand, “everyone is expecting it”. My answer was simply that my customers don’t. My customers understand that every penny that comes through my business has a purpose. That it leaves GNGR Bees as quickly as it arrives to fulfil that purpose. That purpose may be to pay our community partners in Sri Lanka or Rwanda (or the for now secret one I have just taken on board) or spent in R&D as we work on finding new ways to improve our ability to rescue (and re-rescue!) materials.
Everything (and I mean this when I say it), every thing has a purpose here at GNGR Bees. So discounting a piece that has had so much love put into it and carries a story which we are proud of would only serve to take away something from the purposes that are the very essence of GNGR.
When you buy GNGR Bees, you are telling a story that goes beyond words. It is a statement you make with your wardrobe, so why diminish this just to get a “good deal”? We often forget that these “deals” come at a cost of the environment and the people that have made the garments for brands that don’t advocate for a sustainable and kind future. Sure you feel good, but it is one-sided, somewhere someone or something pays the price.
And so, this holiday season, and the many that are to come, GNGR Bees will not be having a sale. If you wear GNGR then this is what you already know:
1. GNGR Bees is not a fast fashion brand. We like things slow, made out of materials that have been rescued and transformed into products that are safe, with quality and comfortable to wear.
2. There are no seasons in our calendar. Everything you see at GNGR Bees is built to be worn any time of the year and also mixes and matches with previous collections and future collections.
3. We believe value should be provided every day, not only a few days over the year. Our profits support our partner communities so we are able to keep developing projects together and embracing more partners and empowering more people that do good in this planet. People who wear GNGR Bees don’t believe in discounting the good they do.
4. We are different. Born to empower and disrupt on our way through - following big fashion trends and concentrating on a few dates of the year such as Black Friday, Singles day, Cyber Monday and Boxing day provokes mindless consumerism, and that isn’t what we want for the world of today nor for the world that we will pass on to our children.
On that note, I’d like to say thank you to all of you who constantly support me and my business. To those that see the brand for what it is and what it is striving to achieve.
Know that there are very exciting plans for the future but nothing happens without your support today. So thank you.