This week we are celebrating 9 years of Gather&See. So often when you are in the day to day running of a business and all that entails time just seems to run away but we believe it is so important to step back, take stock, and mark your milestones.
We are in a very different place to where we were 9 years ago. The sustainable fashion landscape has changed before our eyes - on the whole for the better. The way we all shop is evolving. The world is still careering towards critical levels of global warming and collectively we have an increasingly urgent responsibility to do whatever we can to protect our precious planet.
In the past year it really feels as though Gather&See has found its feet. For 9 years we have stayed true to our core values of what we want to deliver our customers - amazing sustainable fashion that is a joy to wear, and that makes a difference. There have been incredible ups and downs - constant hurdles to climb and the inevitable juggling act that comes with managing a business at the same time as brining up young families. But, as the haze of new motherhood and a fledgling business begins to lift, we are starting to see our first baby - Gather&See - emerging from a pipe dream into an established, authoritative platform with a strong identity that we are truly proud of.
Along with our vision and core values, there are two other things without which Gather&See simply wouldn't be where it is today. They are our amazing brand partners and our equally amazing customers.
Small ethical brands with extraordinary stories and a common drive to do fashion better are lifeblood of Gather&See. We are welcoming more and more new brands and are endlessly inspired by their passion. In all honestly it is so hard now for start up brands with great ideas to succeed. They are up against huge brands with endless budgets for whom sadly sustainable fashion has become little more than a marketing strategy. Greenwashing is real and it is doing great harm to small brands that need nurturing. This year we have had to say goodbye to too many ethical brands who have not been able to continue in the current climate and it is one of our biggest worries that we'll be left with a lack of choice creativity if we do not put our faith in these young brands who are often leading the way where the big boys follow (badly). Many small brands we support are not only freer creatively, they provide much needed jobs in rural communities, preserve traditional techniques and offer a genuinely transparent supply chain. These are things that huge scale brands simply can't do, and are the things that our mindful customer cares deeply about.
And that brings us to our brilliant customers - it is their belief and real understanding for the essence of Gather&See that is so humbling and makes us so hopeful for the future. Though we have grown it is still just two of us - so we answer all queries in person and get that direct feedback like only independents can . After 9 years, we really feel like we know our customers - we are on the same wavelength and we are so grateful to have earned their trust and belief. Introducing them to new brands and helping them to discover new pieces is a total joy and we are really starting to see a ripple effect in terms of getting a better way of shopping - the Gather&See way - out there. It's about building relationships, having a dialogue and fostering authentic, healthy and fair connections between customer, brand, platform, all the way to back to garment worker and farmer. And we are darn proud of it.
Thank you for supporting Gather&See, for getting us and for sharing our vision. Now on to year 10...