Hi I’m Sim. I don’t share much writing but this week I’ve launched my brand called Fundamentals, this is the story about why.
What work i’ve been doing previously.
So I’ve been working freelance for the last couple of years and my main source of income has been working for one of the top 100 richest people. I guess it’s a pretty unique situation to be in but it was a strange one. I’ve learnt a lot from doing it, not least things to help me in my quest with Fundamentals.
In this time I’ve found myself working to source the family’s christmas presents in August. Thats a lot of prep time but trust me it is needed and I am loving that I am not doing it this year.
Basically I would find myself bringing in clothes of ridiculous value, creating products which any child would dream of and seeing jewels which I would never even want to be able to afford.
This work really inspired me to start Fundamentals for the following reasons:
- No matter how many clothes you buy you can never be happy (apparently) — I think this is due to the nature of fashion and its fast moving pace which I think has trickled up from fast fashion to luxury label — now we have luxury labels having more shows, more collections, pre collections and cruise collections than ever, all to keep up pushing product in our faces.
- Even if you’re paying for expensive items they won’t last long
- When you spend a lot of money on clothes they won’t necessarily be ethically made.
- It is possible to make any product you’ve just got to have enough money.
- A plain t-shirt can cost over £100
- A lot of the time you are just paying for the brand name.
Basically working for billionaires brought me to a place where I wanted to move totally in the opposite direction of the lavish lifestyle. I wanted to go back to basics, to strip back consumerism and find products that are modern day essentials and even modern day items which aren’t essential that make you live a more comfortable and balanced lifestyle.
There is a tendency to always keep up with the trends and make sure you have the latest thing, this just isn’t economical in anyway. (I can now here fashionistas shouting in my head so please forgive me I do understand, but you’re totally getting ripped off)
I do perhaps see that we should maybe compromise somewhere between wearing the same uniform as everyone else and everyone adhering to the trends whipped up by the top fashion houses every season.
How I shop
So since I moved to London about 6 years ago I haven’t always had the wage of someone freelancing for a billionaire. But I have been around the fashion and retail industry and I do know a few things which make Fundamentals work for the customer better than any of the things you’ll see on the high street.
The last couple of years I’ve been buying from a lot of plain things. I buy black jeans from uniqlo and grey, navy and black t-shirts and shirts from Our Legacy, norse projects and other (mainly) Scandinavian brands. I’ll often buy Nike trainers and I’ve been buying the same boxer shorts since I was 12 from H&M. As a whole I’ve been building up a basics wardrobe for myself.
Here’s the thing;
- My Uniqlo Jeans as great as they are, are pretty mass produced, in fact I’ve never gone back to a Uniqlo store and been able to find the exact same jeans again. Which shows they aren’t as trend- less as they may seem.
- My Boxers have fallen apart after a year, but I’ve seen that as good enough as they are cheap. Though, I must add I do get myself into cold sweats thinking about the poor child that made them, but what can I do I am unprepared to pay £20 a pair for Calvin’s. Oh wait, they’re made by the same poor child.
- My Basics from the Scandinavian brands have been made ethically in Portugal or somewhere else in the EU, they’ve lasted me a long time generally speaking but I did pay £75 for a t shirt so you’d hope it would carry all of these qualities.
So Sim, What’s your problem?
Well guys, the problem is that I don’t have to put up with this. I’m telling you now that retailers, big stores and big brands have driven the prices up, without addition to quality. Currently you’re getting bad quality with expensive price tags.
Mostly pricing in the fashion industry works like this as a minimal mark up:
So Essentially you’re paying around 5x the cost price for a product. i.e if something costs £20 to produce, you’re paying £100.
So what if I told you it doesn’t have to be like this. What if I told you I don’t want to sell through retailers, I just want to sell direct to you my customers…
How I’m going to do this.
Well hello there a new way of doing things…
So after my experience in fashion, and billionaires and retail. I am telling you now that I can bring you the best essentials on the market which…
ARE GREAT QUALITY — RETAIL AT A FAIR PRICE
Basically I’ve worked sourcing things all over the world for Billionaires, but why do they get to have the best things just because they can throw their money at it. What I want to do is provide everyday essentials in clothes, accessories and even homeware. Manufactured by real people who are paid a proper wage and sold to you are a price which may be more than a slave made product, but it won’t be much more. Moreover, because I get the privilege of selling products to consumers who care, I’m going to show I care by sharing my profits with small charities around the world.
So to summarise;
- I won’t be selling through big retailers.
- I won’t be making heaps of profit to shove my products in your face on a daily basis.
- I will be using worldwide suppliers and manufacturers but they WILL be paid a fair wage.
- My customers will come first and I promise that to you.
- Yes I am scared.
What else I hear you say… well it doesn’t quite stop there…
A few more features I’m looking to build into my mission are of course the social responsibility factors (notice i didn’t put corporate in front of social responsibility, because yes EVERYONE has a responsibility for this not just corporations).
One of the big things I wanted to do with this company is to be a Bcorp. Bcorps are companies which pledge to stick to strict guidelines on how they run their companies, to be better employers, better for their consumers and better for the world — Check out more here: https://www.bcorporation.net/.
I’ll be documenting each product with a little product file so you know exactly where everything you purchase will be from and where it was made. So whether you’re buying a shirt made in England or some socks woven in the far east, I’m going to honest with it for you.
So what is Fundamentals?
OK so I can say all of this but what is Fundamentals actually going to be like.
Well at this point you could go and look here: www.fundamentals.london or you can carry on reading.
I’ve worked with a very close friend on a few concepts as I bore the idea of Fundamentals and we came to the end of it inspired by what this brand could do so my brand essence is as follows:
Not only this but we want each product to represent our values and therefore each will have the following attributes:
Oh and also, the brand has several different strings to it’s bow in terms of product. I sort of came up with this through thinking about different essentials for different parts of my life and how I can bring them to the world. So they are as follows.. yes this means you will get essential products, well made for the following aspects of your life and there may be more to come. How exciting.
Right so you want to see the actual products now don’t you. As I’m writing this samples are still in production, I’ve got production things coming out of my ears and it’s a little nerve-racking if I’m honest.
OK cool. So what else do you need to know? Well, probably a lot. Get in touch with me any way you wish and I’ll be happy to chat.