One day, as part of a ‘reality check’ on costs of samples, early on in a new role, I very nearly fell over when I compared the adoption rates of styles versus a number of samples teams were generating through the range building process and how that was affecting the good ‘ol bottom line.

Where I had thought (& hoped) we were at a 2-1 style adoption rate, we were actually looking more like a 7-1 adoption rate. This was indicative of a company discipline that had somewhat waned over the years and it obviously struck me as one of the biggest drains on our operating costs and those of our suppliers. What followed a very rigorous and timely ‘culture change’ across buying and design teams. Sound familiar?

Obviously, there’s the cost of this to our businesses, but then there’s also the price we’re paying (as well as the suppliers, to whom those costs are high and resources are precious) which is very much about the bigger picture. It’s also the price that our environment is paying, one that many of us would like to champion.

You know this story – I know you do – and we’re all in touch enough with how the word ‘landfill’ makes us feel – so how could we address this as a new future-facing fashion tech business? Where can we evolve the fashion business to become a more planet-friendly place?

Luckily for us, the way RangeRoom has been constructed is entirely around the mantra “Product is King” – it was easy to ensure that this need would be part of the solution. By asking our fabulous manufacturing partners to produce amazing photographs of their products – we would already be able to ensure that the costs of samples (especially the ones that never get adopted) would be drastically reduced. And our suppliers absolutely stepped up, offering up clear, digital photographs that were a true representation of their items and ranges.

So how will it all work? Your ‘palette’ (or Range) that you generate on the RangeRoom platform – which shows the photographs of your suppliers’ products – or your edits – can be viewed (along with prices, fabric details etc) and can all be weighed up and discussed by the cross-functional team members who need to weigh in. All in the context of your entire range. All this, before sending off for a single sample – saving resources, time and money on unnecessary samples. All your sample reviewing can be done virtually on our platform. You can then pat yourselves on the back, secure in the knowledge that you just played your part in reducing waste in the once sample-heavy world of fashion retail. Fashionably frugal. Feels good, doesn’t it?

This way of working – viewing all your products together in a virtual showroom – means that stockrooms around the globe can be used for the actual, final edit. This can also – ultimately – influence the culture you work in, so that new ways of working and the technologies that come with it, drive a more efficient and ‘conscious’ work culture. If working in a more conscious way and thinking about how we can impact the way our industry works why not have a look at our #roomie Libby’s series of articles about Big Little Impact, her words perfectly articulate the steps you can start taking if you haven’t started, yet.

Whilst we’re working to continually improve this experience – along with your help – we’re really excited about this ‘Less Waste’ approach to a day-to-day reality of our business.

Picture credits: Flower photo: by Lina Trochez & title image by Kris Atomic both on Unsplash

Don’t hang about – check it out: www.rangeroom.com

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