Frugi sample sale

 

OK folks….it’s that time again.

We are having a ‘sample’ sale next week.

WHERE? Here at Frugi HQ in Helston  CLICK HERE FOR A MAP

We are now on Wheal Vrose Business park, which is at the end of Water-Ma-Trout in Helston.

Wherever you are coming from, once in Helston head for the Redruth road. Opposite the fire station there is a roundabout. Take the exit into Water-Ma-Trout. Go past the Tanks on your right, then take the next right. Go along that road and take the next right opposite Jewsons the builder merchants.

Follow that road along to the end and…you’re there!!!

WHEN?: Between 10am and 12 noon on 14th October

See you there!

Frugi organic cotton clothes in 2009

Welcome to 2010. It’s a lovely round number isn’t it? This year will see Frugi / cut4cloth turn 6. We’ve been born, gone to pre-school, started ‘big’ school and we’re now in year 2 so to speak.

Since Lucy and I started Cut4Cloth in 2004, organic cotton clothing has emerged from the fringes to become much more widely known and appreciated. Back then we had to explain to everyone what organic cotton was. “Can you eat it?” was the standard quip. Don’t hear that much anymore.

2009 was a vintage year.

We went to India twice to see our manufacturers, meet the organic cotton farmers and explore. We sent Adam, our photographer, along on the second trip. Hopefully, when his feet touch the ground, we’ll get lots of pictures up on the blog and in the catalogue – maybe even some video of it all. (Do people still use the word ‘video’? )

We donated 10K to our two charities. PAN UK (Pesticide action network) and the Cornwall marine strandings network, via our membership to 1% for the planet

We had a brilliant sample sale and gave the proceeds to an Orphanage near to one of our manufacturers, in India.

Some great people joined us, at Frugi towers,  in 2009. We now have an assistant garment technologist, Abigail, a graphic designer, Nathan, and ‘Doris’ AKA Derek in the warehouse!

Oh, and we also sold some amazing organic cotton clothes. The best yet. Thank you to all of our customers for your support, tweets, face-book comments, blogs, chat etc. etc. It’s just brilliant to get your input.

So, to infinity and beyond! 2010 looks set for even more adventurous and exciting. The Spring stock is arriving soon, and hopefully the sun will shine upon us all.

Thank you so much everyone. No really, I mean it. It’s a blast and it really feels like we’re achieving great things!!

Here’s to the future

Kurt

Frugi UK retail brand of the year?

Dear all

We’re all of a quiver here at Frugi towers today.

We’ve just been told, by the company that helped us with our re-brand from Cut4Cloth to Frugi – Absolute design, that we’re up for UK retail brand of the year at the benchmark awards

That’s pretty cool.

Well done Absolute, and well done to all of our ‘Tomorrow’ team for their ongoing brilliance!

Fingers crossed!!!

Kurt

Buying Organic cotton clothes

It’s a tricky thing, this being green and environmentally friendly. On a day-to-day level we can all turn off light bulbs, use Eco-friendly washing powder and washable nappies or Eco-disposable nappies on our babies. Clothes, however, seem to be a  slightly different matter.

You see, when it comes to buying clothes we are torn by the compulsion of desire. Good design and quality manufacturing, coupled with good branding = a great product. It is very difficult to look beyond this even if you err on the, as Jeremy Clarkson would say, Ecomentalist side!

The challenge for clothing companies is, therefore, to make their clothes both desirable and as environmentally friendly as possible. Since we started Cut4Cloth (Now Frugi) 5 years ago, the number of retailers selling, and the quality of  organic cotton clothes they sell has increased dramatically.

Gone are the itchy-scratch hippy dippy garments of the past, replaced by beautifully designed quality clothes.

This is a good thing. It means that more people will buy organic, because the clothes are desirable.  For many, the ethical aspect is an added bonus. 

What needs to happen is for all manufacturing and retailing to operate in as an environmentally friendly fashion as possible. Then, by default, consumers will be buying ‘green’ without knowing it.

Then we can all look ‘cool’ in our amazing ‘threads’…man, without having to do any tie-dying whatsoever. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that you understand….phew )

By

That dude, Kurt Jewson

Act Now broadband Cornwall case study

Act Now, an organization in Cornwall promoting broadband to business, have used us as a case study in ecommerce. We’re flattered, so thanks guys!

Below is a copy of what they’ve said.

 

In 2004, Kurt and Lucy Jewson left their jobs to focus on creating a new business, inspired by their baby’s bottom.

They used washable nappies rather than disposable for their baby, Tom, but because cloth nappies are bulkier than disposable, they struggled to find clothes large enough around the bottom to fit. The number of comments on internet forums from parents in the same boat convinced them there was a sizeable market for clothes that were ‘cut for cloth.’

In a leap of faith, they both  resigned from well paid jobs, cashed in all their investments and established a business to supply organic baby clothes that would fit over cloth nappies.

The first website http://www.cut4cloth.co.uk/ went live in June 2004, but was a disaster. Kurt says: “It did not work properly and did not even feature in the search rankings. We had gone to a web company run by a friend of a friend– but it simply did not work out. We scrapped the site and started again. The next site was great and worked perfectly straightaway. It goes to show it is absolutely vital to make sure you have the right web designer on board. Our position on the search engines went from page 33 to the first page almost overnight.’

Although the website was working well, the orders it was generating had to be processed manually.

Kurt says: ‘It was a laborious process and as our level of business started to grow, it was clear we needed to move to an automated system. We needed software that would link our back-end systems with the website.

This coincided with the business rebranding itself as Frugi (Latin for ‘fruits of the earth’) as the original brand name ‘Cut 4 Cloth’ tied the business too closely to babies in nappies and they wanted to extend the business into organic clothing for older children and mothers.

This meant that a new website was needed to establish the new brand name and deliver the level of automation that was increasingly required.

“A Cornwall based company, IT West, offered to develop a bespoke software system for us on the condition that they could subsequently use the template for other clients. We seized this opportunity to be ‘guinea pigs’ as it meant that for an affordable price we could achieve a level of automation that would normally cost upwards of £60,000 and was normally only available to companies far larger than us.’

The new website http://www.welovefrugi.com/  went live in January 2008.

Kurt says: ‘Using software called Mamut,   the designers developed a system to link the website to our ordering and stock control systems.

‘This means that now if a customer wants to order a certain item, they will see immediately if it is in stock and if not, when it will be in stock. They are told this prior to making their credit card payment and confirming their order. Previously, they would have had to make their order and  then we would have had to manually check if it was in stock and if not, we would telephone them. Of course, if they had already paid and then wanted to cancel, this caused inconvenience for the customer as well as tying up our time. So the new system is fantastic. It is a real time saver for us and improves our customer service.

‘As well as linking to our stock control, the linking software means that we have information about all orders pending, complete orders, back orders, payments taken and so on – everything is a click away. Previously, it would have taken us ages to go through all the individual orders and compile the data in order to achieve an overview. Now we know exactly where we are at ant one point.

‘The invoicing system is also automated and we can print out invoices that include a peel off label addressed to the customer,  that we can attach straight to the small potato sacks we use as packing.

‘We also operate as wholesalers and with the automated system,  retailers can have the benefit of logging into the site and making their order, with instant information about stock availability and delivery.  Of course, they greatly value this additional efficiency as it helps them to streamline their own operations.’

Kurt continues: ‘The functionality of the automated system has made an incredible difference to the business. If we did not have it, we would need a full time member of staff dealing with orders alone. So it has brought us terrific cost savings, time savings and improved efficiency – as well as enabling us to deliver a better customer experience  which is likely to lead to higher levels of repeat business and customer loyalty.

‘Now that we have achieved the functionality we wanted from our website, we are moving our focus towards further search engine optimisation.

‘We have retained the old Cut4Cloth website and are using that now for a blog and outbound links whilst we sell our organic clothing through the new Frugi website, where  we are also focusing on the task of building inbound links, mainly through a combination of directories and article sites.

‘It is important to keep the momentum going with the website – both in terms of functionality and search engine optimisation. In future, we want to develop the online system further, for example through adding an enhanced discounting facility.

Kurt concludes: “Developing a fully automated website for online trading has meant we can deliver the quality of service our customers want and maximise productivity. It is critical to the business and our plans for future growth.’

Wholesale organic cotton baby clothes

Here, on planet Frugi, we sell our wonderful organic cotton clothes both to shops and direct to our lovely customers. As we wholesale our baby clothes to retailers, it means that when you pop down to your local high street you may well see some smiling Frugi customers in one of our brilliant stockists.

Cheekily perhaps, what we’d really love to know is, are there are any shops that should be stocking us that do not at the moment? Now, if there are, I have a favour to ask. Could you pop in and say, “I love Frugi, they sell gorgeous organic cotton clothes and baby clothes and you really should be stocking them!”

You could go on to elaborate on our cut4cloth range, the organic certification, the baby basics, the Frugi kids, how we are just fab people to deal with and how we are always kind to kittens and puppies etc. I’m sure that would help.

However, failing that, If you just point them to the Frugi website and our wholesale pages, that would be fandabidozi!

Thanks

Clothes for Cloth Nappies

When Lucy first had the idea to start a company selling clothes that would fit over cloth nappies, I must admit that I was a little dubious. I would go so far as to say that, right at the very start, I humoured her somewhat saying things like, “Yes darling, that’s a great idea. You carry on reading all the cloth nappy forums and making postings and do your research and then we’ll talk”. Well, my bluff was called a bit wasn’t it?

Being a bloke, clothes to me are a bit more function than form. Late nights talking cloth nappies, baby clothes, fat bums, gussets etc were not really my ‘bag’…man. Then we started talking land fill and how cloth nappies are better than disposables and the environmental implications and I began to have the seeds of interest. (Just the seeds you realise, not the whole Jack and the Beanstalk).


We’d been using cloth nappies with Tom, but I’d never really dug into the depths of the rationale behind it. I did the whole path of least resistance thing and just nodded my head, as I still do, to every suggestion Lucy makes (getting into a debate with her about anything is sure to end in humiliating defeat as annoyingly she’s mostly right…grrrrr!). But it made sense, and cloth nappies are apparently quite cool amongst the 30 – something modern man (as I think I am? – Ok don’t laugh). However, it did take me a while to get into the tonging skiddy nappies into the washing machine ritual. The phrase “Like #### to a blanket” never seemed more appropriate. And we coined the phrase “Ro Ro” for one of those more solid presents that skip merrily from the nappy down the loo, without any bowl scraping flushing action involved. (Those that use cloth nappies will know exactly what I mean).

So, what am I saying here? Well, cloth nappies are close to our hearts – metaphorically. Cut4Cloth was started to solve a problem and it will remain an integral part of what Frugi is all about. After all, I owe a great deal to cloth nappies. Without them I wouldn’t be sitting here blogging away to who knows who, discussing poo, the environment and my place in the marital hierarchy.

Yes, cloth nappies have indeed made my life complete 😉

Kurt