At Navygrey we sell directly to you, the customer. We're what you call a 'direct-to-consumer' brand, known in the industry as DTC. There's quite a few businesses now out there like us. The key difference is that this means there are no middle people, such as department stores or e-commerce platforms to distribute, market and sells our products. Our jumpers just go from us, to you.
We feel that working in this way creates a more positive and fairer experience for both you and us. Below we've outlined some of those key benefits.
1. The price
When you sell directly to customers, it means companies do not have to build in lots of additional costs to the final price, often referred to as ‘mark up.’ These mark-up prices mean that brands have to increase their prices so everyone in the process can take their cut. It's understandable, as retailers need to cover their costs and they're responsible for marketing and selling the product and distributing it.
What it means in real terms is that a garment that could retail for £160, has to be marked-up to somewhere between £320, even £420. We didn’t want to do that.
The downside is that it can take smaller brands like ours time to gain exposure. And you also can't find our products in the shops. And it also means it takes us a while to perfect every aspect of bringing a product to you because we take responsibility for all the distribution of our product and we have to find our customers - you - from scratch. Retailers already have their customers.
But... we have a confession. We like being small. We like growing slowly and organically. It takes time to build good things. We learn more quickly this way - and that's what we're here for.
And when we receive emails from new customers who say they have recently discovered us and our jumpers are just what you're looking for... well, that makes us very happy indeed. That brings us onto our second reason.
2. Getting to know you, our customer
Selling directly to you means we can get to know you. We learn what you like, and more importantly, what you don’t. The colours you’re keen on, the sizes that work, the perfect sleeve length. You ask us what jumper would be perfect for your daughter’s 30th, your anniversary...hey, even your wedding. (Ice White, it’s very popular, funnily enough). And we like being there to answer them.
We’re only as good as the products we make and the service we give you.
And to make good things, and treat you well, we feel that the best way to do that is directly. No grey areas.
3. The environment
We only produce to our calendar. We don’t need to create new jumpers every month to satisfy the traditional retail seasons. This means we only produce what we know we are going to sell. That’s why you don’t see our products going into sale at the end of a said ‘season.’ It means there’s no waste. Over-production and over-consumption are two major problems in the fashion and retail world and we do not want to contribute to that.
We do understand that by producing in smaller batches, we can sell out. And it’s frustrating when we sell out of a signature style and it won’t be available again for a few months. But we believe this slower approach is better for the environment. Personally, we also like the idea of really thinking about whether we want something or not. If, after a couple of months it’s still on your mind and the jumper is back in stock…then go for it. We’re so grateful for every purchase. Choose well, as they say.
By being direct, we can also control every aspect of our packaging. We don't have to put our jumpers in something that we do not feel is right, just because a third party retailer demands it. All of our packaging is traceable to source - made from organic and recycled materials - and when you wholesale, it's not always possible to keep to that.
In a nutshell, we hope that helps in explaining our model and why you won’t find us at one of the standard department stores – bricks and mortar or online.
We're consumers ourselves, so we do understand that it can be handy to visit retailers that have multiple brands on offer. I've worked on the shop floor of a department store and I know that being able to try things on and compare different pieces is convenient and all part of a good retail experience. It's just not something that we can make work right now and we hope you can understand that.
There is one place you can find us other than our website – and that’s Reve-En-Vert – a gorgeous curation of wonderful brands from clothing, to homewares and beauty - each one making good things, better. We work with them a little differently, which is why we are able to be stocked there.
If you ever have any questions about our model, or approach then please do drop me a line – firstname.lastname@example.org.
And to answer the question 'who owns Navygrey,' we're very open about this. It’s family owned and run. There's a small team of great women making it all happen and every day I'm so thrilled they're part of the journey - along with every single customer. Honestly, we couldn't do it without you.