The textile industry is often critically referred to: fainting women in Bangladesh and unethical labour conditions. The clothing brand ISAY chose to rethink and locate their material production in Scandinavia.
In 2008, the entrepreneurs Soeren and Britt Andreassen took ownership of the clothing brand ISAY. Tough competition and economic decline was the starting point, and the pair quickly decided that their focus should not be to grow as big as possible.
– Our mantra quickly changed. Instead of trying to be the biggest, we chose to offer quality across the board, says Soeren Andreassen, Sales Manager and one of the owners of ISAY.
Knitted in Denmark
This also meant rethinking production time, and the first step was to get well acquainted with all material suppliers and factories that take part in the production of the finished products. It was in this process that they started searching within their own national borders.
– We located Scandinavian factories that produce fabrics of the qualities and standards we were looking for, says Soeren Andreassen. The fabrics are labelled Knitted in Denmark, and by producing in the local area the designers ensure that production takes place under desired conditions. Sales Director at Bellina Creations, Dermot Kelly, who markets ISAY in the United Kingdom elaborates:
– Having one of the production stages in Scandinavia removes any doubt in our minds on inadequate working conditions in the productions of fabrics. Here, everything from wages, factory conditions and environmental concerns are in order, says Dermot Kelly. ISAY started using the Scandinavian factories two years ago. The rest of the production takes place in factories with all the necessary CSR regulations and certifications.
From a tough start to fourfold turnover
When Soeren and Britt Andreassen took ownership of the brand in 2008, they quickly realized that innovation was needed and the necessary path to take to survive in the industry. Customer relationships are also taken very seriously by the company and the success clearly shows this.
– Good customer relationships have certainly helped us succeed in a tough market and our retailers are our primary partners. It is important to listen to them, as they have great knowledge of the market, says Andreassen. And this strategy seems to be working, as the couple, in addition to Scandinavia have established themselves in the Netherlands, United Kingdom and Ireland, as well as in Australia and New Zealand, which is an unaccustomed export market for small, Scandinavian companies. In total, ISAY have experienced a fourfold rise in revenue.
ISAY is a Scandinavian clothing brand that produces clothes to colourful women with curves and opinions. The collection is complete, and the brand is both swanky and feminine. The brand has approximately 90 retailers in the UK in addition to several European countries, as well as Australia and New Zealand. http://www.isay.dk
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ISAY Britt andreassen The textile industry CSR Scandinavia Soeren andreassen Bellina Creations Scandinavian production CSR regulations and certifications Isay.dk Knitted in Denmark Dermot Kelly
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