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Rikard Adolfsoon from Axel Arigato: consumers will expect brands to be sustainable

Jul 22, 2022 Sweden
Today we bring you the second part of the interview with Rikard Adolfsoon, Supply Chain Director from Axel Arigato. We have talked about the impact of the pandemic in the business, sustainability, retail channels and the future challenges of the industry. Watch the video


Sustainability

It is a pivotal part of our identity and our values. If we don’t create a sustainable product and act in a sustainable way, we basically, don’t have a tomorrow or a consumer to service.

Everything from our leather suppliers and being gold standard from the Leather Working Group to having a recycled material in our outsourcing, that is where we are today. But we strive, and have to be better in the future, to improve that and to lessen our carbon footprint.
Producing close to the market where we sell, it is essential from a sustainability perspective.


Pandemic

If we look at Axel Arigato during the pandemic, we had our challenges financially and in the supply chain, especially, and we are still suffering. Hopefully, at the end of suffering from those.  Fortunately, we a are a digitally native brand and the majority of our sales are or were digital, which meant that we were able to service our consumers despite the pandemic and we were actually able to grow during that period. We were fortunate to produce in Portugal, where there were fewer lockdowns and where business continued.

(Our learnings made us aware that) We also need to plan in a different way in the future, both in terms of where our sales came from, and in terms of where we produce, and where we get raw materials from, and how we mitigate risks in the future.


Retail channels

There are many benefits for a brand to have physical retail stores: you build brand awareness and presence; you can service your customers in a different way that you can do online. That is something that we as brand and us an industry we need to be better at. How do we bring that service from physical stores to our online stores. For us as a brand is also important or be a part of our brand to build community, so we have a lot of events and connection to our stores, be it music events, and cleaning sneakers churches*, as we call it. Basically, to create a community and a purpose to the brand, and why we would follow and be a part of our brand


Challenges

Sustainability will be a key part and a choice: when the consumer chooses where they buy the products in the future. I don’t think sustainability will be a question of “If you have it” but I think it will be a question of consumers will expect you to be sustainable brand and I think they will be able to see through this greenwashing versus understand who is actually sustainable.

We talked about the death of physical retail and brick and mortar and the transition to online and digital but I think both channels serve a purpose; it is a matter of how you combine them in the best way to serve your costumer.


*Every first Sunday of every month, a sneaker cleaning service will be offering complementary sneaker cleaning to any Axel Arigato customer at our London, Copenhagen, Paris, Stockholm and Gothenburg store.


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