Piccalilly: Running an Ethical Business During Covid-19
As we launch the new Piccalilly Summer collection we asked founder, Hannah, about how the Covid-19 outbreak has affected Piccalilly and how they have reacted as an ethical clothing business.
Thanks so much to Hannah who took the time to write this whilst being incredibly busy!
The onset of Covid-19 has tested us as a brand but at the same time it has reminded us of our true values and brought us closer to our community.Hannah, Founder Piccalilly
Covid-19 has had an impact on Piccalilly as our bricks & mortar shops, many of whom have no online presence, closed just as our summer-20 ranges arrived into the UK by sea. As a result we had to postpone the launch of our Summer ranges and a few styles didn’t make it into the UK on time. The result is that we have had to swivel and adapt how we operate to create not only a new normal but have a bit of a rebirth too, which is a little exciting. As a result we are no longer looking to return to normal we’re thinking in terms of creating something different. The onset of Covid-19 has tested us as a brand but at the same time it has reminded us of our true values and brought us closer to our community and our critical connections too, these are our supply chains, stockists and consumers.
Our first priority was to the safety of our staff and also to our supply chains. We also needed to ensure we could pay our manufacturing partner for the goods that they supplied, which we did without being able to launch our summer ranges, and whilst still being owed money from our Summer ranges and the gap was quite large. But the thought of withholding monies just didn’t cross our minds as our purpose has never been about purely making money and we’re not accountable to shareholders or investors so we are able to do what is right and that is to ensure that everyone can eat and live well. We also sent our supplier deposits for future orders we had placed because we always pay 30-50% deposits as part of fairtrade best practice and this money is needed now more than ever. We also wanted our supplier the security of knowing that we’d got their back and we’d find a way to continue operating in these tough times. We’ve been appalled that so many high street brands, including supermarkets who are making huge profits on food and beverage, cancelled orders and paid less for the goods. This has simply underlined to us that we will not be following the same path as many of other brands who choose to operate on the model of the high street we must think big to support small, our new norm moving forward. For too long we have been led down the path of being tied into seasons and being encouraged to launch early and then go into sale and this method of working is no longer sustainable. It doesn’t work for the planet because it’s not environmentally friendly, it doesn’t work for the factory because everything bottle necks at the same time, pressures are put on factory workers and it doesn’t work for the retailers because they are under pressure to sell quickly at reduced prices.
So the idea that we’re waiting to return to normal no longer applies in our case. We’ve got our eyes firmly set on the future and we’ll be looking forward to exciting new ways of operating…. watch this space!
With regards the new summer ranges we couldn’t be more delighted with the ranges. Grow Your Own in particular has come at a time when so many people have taken to having a go at growing their own fruit and veg whilst on lockdown and it’s proved a great activity to do with the kids connecting them to where food comes from.
Shop the new Piccalilly Summer collection HERE