All we wanted from Santa in 2020 was an orderly (if not quick) return to normality in 2021. Instead, we got several new COVID variants, longer lockdowns, and a liberal sprinkling of crazy vaccine hesitancy thrown in for good measure.
2021 you were a bloody hot mess!
But despite the speed bumps, this has actually been another great year for us here at Citizen Wolf, and it's all thanks to our wonderful customers. What follows below are some of the most memorable highlights.
2021 BY THE NUMBERS
"Record number of Tees sold this year means our impact has been greater than ever" – Eric Phu, Cofounder, Citizen Wolf
27 NEW COLOURS ACROSS 3.25 FOOTBALL FIELDS OF FABRIC!
Our fastest selling colour this year was Prussian Blue, taking only 34 days to sell through!
Colour is a huge part of our business here at Citizen Wolf. Even though the ‘core’ neutrals (white, black, navy and grey marl) account for the majority of our sales, it’s the limited edition colours that get us out of bed.
Why? Because colour is hyper-personal. For example, the same gorgeously warm British Racing Green that makes some people glow will make others look positively sick, and others again will never wear green.
Multiply this out by all the colours of the rainbow, and it’s easy to see just how troublesome colour can be in the default fashion system of mass production. By contrast, we only make what we sell and we’re in no hurry to sell it. If our mid-tone warm Cactus green doesn’t sell today, it’ll sell next week. It doesn’t matter because we know it’s a great colour that suits a certain person with a certain skin tone and eventually it’ll sell.
Which is why this relentless velocity is not at all at odds with our (very public) commitment to sustainability. Because of our made to order model, we’re able to launch 5 entirely different shades of green this year (six if you include the half blue / half green of Verdigris), whilst promoting conscious consumption and not contributing to landfill.
HAPPY TO BE LOSING CUSTOMERS
"Brands have a moral obligation to step into the vacuum of leadership created by the lack of any coherent policy (other than re-election) in the Australian Federal Government." - Zoltan Csaki, Cofounder, Citizen Wolf
Some people think brands should be like kids in the 1950s – seen but not heard. We think that’s bullshit. We’re not shy about sharing our values / politics, even when we know it’ll cost us in losing customers.
Like earlier this year on
Australia Survival Day – we strongly believe that Australia should change the date as a sign of understanding the hurt this day causes to all Indigenous Australians. That position lost us a bunch of customers, and frankly we're happy to see them go. For what it's worth, we also got many multiples more messages of support.
And speaking of support, we’re extremely proud to offer paid leave to all staff to attend rallies and protests and anything else that helps them speak their mind and contribute their voice to the issues that matter.
In May this year, we shut the factory to attend the School Strike 4 Climate rally along with 10,000+ others in Sydney and millions more around the world. Sadly it didn’t really help in terms of making sure Australia wasn’t the laughing stock of the world at COP26, but that just means we’re not making enough noise.
We also lost a bunch of customers in September with our “Get a Jab, Get a Tee” initiative. Inspired by our good friends at Hawke’s Brewing Company and their "Slab for a Jab" promo, we wanted to do our bit to promote vaccinations as the only sensible path forward out of the COVID mess. So we gave 50x complimentary Magic Fit® Tees to anyone who proved they’d gotten their first vax.
And it was a great success because, again, we lost a bunch of vaccine-hesitant
customers crazies from our list.
Our cofounders Zoltan and Eric are regularly asked to speak at everything from intimate gatherings of industry leaders to gigantic conferences. This year was no exception, though most of them were on Zoom thanks to COVID.
Before lockdown v2.0 kicked in, there was a panel at The Conscious Space market in March, as well as one of the keynotes at the AGDA's ‘Conscious Creator’ event at the Powerhouse Museum on Earth Day (April 22).
However, the highlight was being invited to share the stage with Amy Brown (CEO at Investment NSW) and Erica Berchtold (CEO at The Iconic) at the inaugural Afterpay Australia Fashion Week back in June for a panel titled "The Future Of Fashion Is Intelligent".
ONWARDS TO ‘22
2022 is already shaping up to be another huge year for us, and it hasn't even started! We'll hit the ground running by moving into a new, 3x bigger factory in Jan, plus we'll be expanding our product lines for winter, as well as starting to scale internationally.
There's much more again to come, but for now, we wish you a Happy New Year and all the best for 2022.