"In our business, we have a burning ambition to make good choices for people and the planet, but we needed help navigating the daunting task. Nick and Go Well have given us guidance and mentoring to find our way through. The best part is it is not a one model fits all. Go Well worked closely with us to layout a strategy that's best for our business, and provide us with ongoing support and advice to deliver on it. Go Well's services has been invaluable."
– MAGGIE HEWITT, FOUNDER & DESIGNER
We started working with Maggie Marilyn in November 2018 when the NZ made women’s fashion brand was not much over a year old. Being founded on a vision of using fashion to create a better world, Maggie Marilyn had (and still have) big ambitions, and have a steadfast commitment to doing business based on their values and ethics.
Our work with Maggie Marilyn began with developing a Sustainability Strategy. This first strategy (we have since produced a second) had a big focus on solidifying the work they had already done to ensure they had no modern slavery or human rights violations in their supply chain, and that would be maintained as they grew. This work included the development of a Supplier Code of Conduct and set of Purchasing Practices, a Diversity and Inclusion Policy, a Supplier Onboarding Process, and supporting them with sourcing and finding appropriate suppliers.
While professionalising the social aspects of their sustainability performance, this strategy also helped them better understand their environmental impacts and set goals accordingly. Ultimately it was this first strategy that set them on the mission to become a circular and regenerative business and achieving a 73% reduction in there carbon footprint between FY19 and FY20.
Following completion of the strategy Maggie Marilyn employed our Part-time Sustainability Team (PTST) service which involved fortnightly work-in-progress meetings (WIPs) to monitor progress and solve the inevitable challenges that arose. For us, a key ingredient to Maggie Marilyn’s success in delivering on their strategy to date has been the commitment shown to attend these WIPs by Maggie and her senior team.
Within that first two years, Maggie came to the realisation that despite the glitz and glam that came with being a sought after designer and having garments stocked in some of the world’s most exclusive retailers, they could not achieve their sustainability goals, or stay true to their values and mission doing business that way. So they decided to change their business model.
In late 2019, they announced they would no longer be selling to retailers or stockists despite this generating the vast majority of their revenue. They would be selling 100% directly to their customers via their website and their headquarters in New Market, Auckland.
This decision had been planned. Maggie had already designed a new range of clothing, ‘Somewhere’, that was designed to be more easily recycled by only using one fibre type for each garment (garments that contain multiple blended fibres are far more difficult and expensive to recycle), and for the natural fibre based garments to have the potential of being composted (although it is worth acknowledging there is not a composting facility accepting clothing that we are aware of).
The ‘Somewhere’ range was only offered via direct sales allowing Maggie Marilyn to test the D2C model before making their big decision.
The decision had profound impacts on their business above and beyond the 73% emissions reduction in one financial year (predominantly due to their ability to now ship fabrics and products, rather than fly). By jumping off the crazy revolving fashion calendar, Maggie and her team were able to design at their own pace, relieve the pressure and stress of delivering to the never ending seasonal deadlines the retailers had, increase their buying power of particular fabrics, and give them the ability to commit to long-term supply agreements, tell their story directly to every customer, and receive direct feedback.
Maggie Marilyn now continue to provide their ‘Somewhere’ range alongside their ‘Forever’ garments – their designer pieces that they can design and produce at their own pace.
In addition to changing their business model and reducing their emissions in line with the global target (50% reduction by 2030), Maggie Marilyn have offset their emissions by greater than 100% (carbon positive), produced a GRI Sustainability Report, a Sustainability Progress Report, a Regenerative Agriculture Report, and become B-Corp certified with a score of 109.2.
We’re here to evolve business for the sustainable future.