2022 was supposed to be the year everything went back to normal. But not quite… We all (mostly) forgot about COVID, only to have our anxiety return around inflation, interest rates and the climate crisis –– which never went away and roared back with a vengeance across 6 separate flooding events throughout the year just in Australia.
Despite all these challenges, 2022 was another incredible year for Citizen Wolf. As always, that’s entirely thanks to our wonderful customers who believe in our mission to unfuck the fashion industry – with 499 of them putting their money where their mouths are by investing in our Birchal crowd equity campaign.
Here we recap some of the most memorable highlights from the year that was...
2022 BY THE NUMBERS
"We moved factory, added Sweats and Polos to the mix and also became 100% circular – all while making more Magic Fit® garments than ever before" – Eric Phu, Cofounder
$1 MILLION TO UNFUCK THE FASHION INDUSTRY
"We could not be more humbled by the support, including many of our best customers who took a giant leap of faith to become our business partner." – Zoltan Csaki, Cofounder
The single biggest 'thing' we did in 2022 was our crowd equity raise on Birchal where 499 people invested over $1 million dollars in our vision to shift the fashion industry from the destructive mass production model towards a climate-friendly Made To Order model.
Whilst the campaign was live for only 6 weeks, it was many months of prep work behind the scenes to get ready – from writing the video script to crunching the numbers and creating the insanely detailed offer document, which gave our Cofounder Zoltan shingles (really).
But we hit our goal of $1 million and in the process were incredibly humbled that the large majority of these new investors – 68% to be precise – were existing customers. We are thrilled to have you on the journey with us, and this really is just the beginning…
EPISODE IV: A NEW FACTORY
"More space allows us to optimise our processes and scale our impact by creating clothes more quickly" – Eric Phu, Cofounder
The other radical change in 2022 was moving to a new 600 sqm factory in Marrickville, a full 3.5x bigger than our last abode. We still haven’t painted the front, but if you haven’t yet visited please book a fitting or factory tour and come and say hi. It’s our third factory (but fourth space), and we could not be more proud of how far we’ve come from the 2 desks we began with at the startup coworking space Fishburners way back in 2015.
50% RECYCLED AND 100% CIRCULAR
“The future is already here, it's just not evenly distributed” – William Gibson
We’ve achieved a lot in 2022, but we’re most proud of launching our newest fabric to achieve true – aka 100% – circularity. This fabric is a blend of 50% recycled cotton made from the offcut scraps from production coupled with any clothes returned via our Take Back scheme.
Taken together, that makes Citizen Wolf perhaps the only truly 100% circular brand on the planet. And we could not be more chuffed to shift the sustainability goal posts once again, proving that what most people consider impossible has already been achieved.
21,381 SQ. METERS OF FABRIC ACROSS 27 NEW COLOURS
Jasper Green sold out in only 63 days!
Even though the core neutrals – white, black, navy and grey marl – make up the majority of sales (~61%), colour is an incredibly important part of our business and last year we launched 27 new colours. Some sell more quickly than others, but they are all limited edition and designed to sell out. In 2022 the fastest selling colour was Jasper Green which sold out in only 63 days!
Why do we love colour so much? Because it’s personal. For example, that Jasper Green is a cool mid-tone which makes some skintones glow, but others... not so much. Which is why we also offered 4 different greens over the year.
We can only offer this many colours because of our Made To Order (MTO) model. Because we only make what we sell, it doesn’t matter whether it takes 63 days or 63 weeks to sell through a colour. Eventually we know it will sell and that’s why our velocity of new colours is not at all at odds with our industry leading sustainability commitments.
2.4 MILLION LITRES OF WATER SAVED WITH BLACK FRIDYE
"2022 was our most impactful Black Fridye event ever with 26% more garments dyed than the previous year" – Zoltan Csaki, Cofounder
For the fifth year in a row, we ran our ‘anti-mindless consumerism’ Black Fridye campaign across the Black Friday weekend. We’ve tried a few different iterations over the years, but this year we reverted to partnering only with Nique who kindly offered up their store footprint as collection points again.
2022 was our biggest Black Fridye yet, with almost 500 garments overdyed black, saving them from landfill as well as saving 2.4 MILLION litres of water in the process.
DID YOU SEE US ON TV?
"We had 12 speaking engagements and recorded 4 podcasts this year" – Zoltan Csaki, Cofounder.
We’re lucky enough to have been on national TV a bunch of times, and this year our Birchal campaign landed us on the Channel 7 News which was ace. Beyond that:
- We had 12 speaking engagements
- We recorded 4 podcasts
- Our Cofounder Zoltan was named #10 in the Top 50 People in Ecommerce by Inside Retail magazine,
- Zoltan was also interviewed as part of the Powerhouse Museum’s 100 Climate Conversations project, Australia’s most ambitious climate-focused cultural project showcasing 100 visionary Australians who are taking effective action on the issue to offer an inspired narrative of invention, community and resilience.
MOST RANDOM THING?
Marc Andreessen became a customer. Yes, really.
We made a replica of Bob Hawke’s famous America’s Cup blazer from 1983 for our good mates at Hawke’s Brewing Co who opened a cracking pub (dangerously close to our new factory) with a wall full of memorabilia.
But perhaps the most unexpected thing to happen was Marc Andreesen doing a bit of mystery shopping. True story.
We went to Birchal with a simple plan that we are going to ruthlessly execute in the coming 12 months – 1) scale beyond Tees into new products, 2) scale the factory to make faster, and 3) scale internationally.
Onwards and upwards for 2023!