Well 2019 has certainly been a rollercoaster of a year! It’s been amazing to see the interest in sustainability increasing, with more people seeking to make changes to their lifestyles to better care for people and the planet.
We had our 3rd birthday, completed our 10,000th order and have sold into 40+ countries (including a little fishing village in Peru!)
In January, Beth came to work with me, running everything creative, Molly joined in September to do our social and we now have Mark sending out all our wonderful goodies. We moved out my house and into our first Manchester office in the Natwest building, along with receiving a place on the EY social impact accelerator.
We were ranked Ethical Consumers top rated fashion brand for the second year running! This year we launched our Better Together and It Matters t-shirts embroidered by Moray Outreach, working with vulnerable adults to provide safe and stable employment. KTO has joined the Found Hea store in Bristol and other online sites like Mae Sue.
We were featured in the Forbes 30 under 30 list for Retail. We won the UK finalist for the Silicon Valley So Gal Pitch Competition Global Final in February! We also had incredible support from the press, being featured in Guardian, Timeout, Dazed, Refinery 29,Guardian, Independent and more. Here are some of our favourites:
- Best Sustainable Brands - Independent
- Sustainable Brands That Won’t Break The Bank - Euro News
- 5 Affordable Sustainable Fashion Brands - Huffington Post
- 30 Under 30 List Revealed - Daily Mail
It has been a joy and a privilege to work with just over a hundred brands for our marketplace. We have been joined by the likes of Jollie’s (every pair of socks sold a pair is given to a local homeless shelter), Lux Luz (profits supporting women affected by domestic violence), Fair Fairtrade drinks and many other people creating beautiful products with style and ethics at the core of what they do! We launched a new category of conscious living products, to help make it easier to live plastic free. Over the year we have grown to over 200 items including reusables, books and more.
We’ve popped up in Soho, Brighton, Old Street (with Lucy And Yak) and Manchester, bringing you over 30 events on sustainability, climate change, modern slavery and other issues.
We still not done any social ads (and were so glad about it). We’ve built genuine connections and learnt how we can support you to shop more sustainably. Our instagram community has grown organically to over 60K. We are constantly thankful for your feedback, encouragement and photos! Keep it coming @knowtheorigin.
Next year, we are expanding our team to ten, raising investment, working with more brands to make it easier to make the best choices, support and amazing causes in the process. We will be working on our website to allow you to see the story of each product, we will be developing our KTO collection and conscious living, along with bringing you lots more events and resources to learn more and connect with others.
We really appreciate everyone who has supported us, through coming to our events, making us brownies or buying a little something online. Through the highs and lows its been incredible to see the positive change that can happen by taking a small step.
Charlotte, Beth, Mark and Molly x