Why We Sale

26 March 2024

Why We Sale

Some of our original Kuwaii customers (bless you and thank you for your loyalty!) may remember that in the olden days of Kuwaii, a Kuwaii sale was VERY rare. We would only ever mark down once per season, at the very end of the season, and we’d just mark down a really small percentage, only the few pieces that were just the few left over sizes or styles that hadn’t sold yet.

We were so proud of our decisions not to mark down regularly. We choose a different path to the mainstream: we choose to produce such a small and curated amount of pieces that we essentially cut out requiring to go on sale and instead invested our energy into making a product that we could stand behind fully with our full integrity.

Our business grew, and one small shop eventually became three.

Firstly, having three retail stores and a busy online store mean that we need a lot more stock now than we did back in the old days! Our stores each hold about 200 items of clothing and 15 pairs of Shoes – then when you add in a few spare pieces in each colour and size – we’re talking about holding 500 items in each of our stores at any one time. That seems like a lot doesn’t it? But really, it’s a very, very small amount for a business of our size. We produce incredibly leanly, in small runs. So similar businesses to us that produce offshore might have triple that amount per store.

So our first point is stock: and when you have more stock, you need more chances to sell it. And being a seasonal business, our selling season is relatively short – sometimes a certain colour might not perform as well as we thought, or for a certain reason in production we may have a few pieces in excess. Having a sale helps us move some of those pieces, and in doing so, allows us to make valuable income which we can invest into our next season’s designs, or back into our staff, makers or improving our processes.

Since Covid 19 came along, the interruptions to our supply chain have been massive and far reaching. One of the main implications we struggle with is that our fabric suppliers have increased their minimum orders, and that shipping fabrics takes much longer now, and is so much more unreliable than it previously was. This means that we might have to order a fabric earlier than we used to, in order to ensure that it arrives on time to meet our production deadlines. Both of these scenarios mean we often have to order more fabric than we would have ideally. It’s a really tough time for all businesses who rely on shipping at the moment and the implications on our product from these interruptions have been profound.

While we have chosen to keep our production supply chain very small, human error still occurs. Recently we placed a production order for a very limited run of 15 Shell Tees. The cutter was confused, and cut all the fabric we had given them, which left us with 59 Shell Tees. We work so hard to prevent these errors – but in any manufacturing business, mistakes can happen, And in these situations we are left with excess stock due to no fault of our own.

Finally, while a sale is really, really important to a small businesses cash flow and stock management, the other amazing thing we see each time we run a sale is how many people wait, save up, and really plan and invest on their sale purchases with us. Our mission is to be an alternative to fast fashion, so every person who saves up and buys from us on sale is a win for slow fashion. We know that buying locally made, quality clothing and footwear is an investment. And it’s not the cheapest option. We really value each person who makes the choice to shop consciously, and by offering them a sale to help them access our products: we don’t see this as a bad thing.

We’ve always been so proud of the way our product wears and lasts: and the resale value that they hold. Kuwaii pieces are coveted second hand. They can sell for 30% of their retail value (something more worn) to 50% for something lightly worn. Our pieces are not throwaway fashion. They hold intrinsic value, made to last in quality but also in their timeless designs and fabrics.

When shopping at any time (sale or not) we’d encourage you to choose well and buy carefully. We’ve put together this list via @thegreenhub to help you on your way

Do I need it?
Would I buy it if it wasn’t on sale?
How often will I wear it?
Is it made well and will it last?
Who made it?
Why am I buying this?

In the incredibly complicated world of fashion and small business, managing production, staffing, marketing, retail and a host of other things that our team is juggling at any one time to keep our business running, we are happy to announce our End of Season sale. Let this be your chance to choose carefully: turn away from mindless consumption, and buy well. Treasure your purchase, and know it’s helping a small business doing our very best.

With love,
Kristy & The Kuwaii team xo