ImagesMagUK_December_2022 38 images DECEMBER 2022 IS BRAND PROFILE You’re familiar with Stanley/ Stella, right? The apparel brand that raised more than a few eyebrows when it launched in 2012 on a promise to disrupt the market with unapologetically premiumquality, premium-priced imprint styles. The brand whose garments were, and are, made solely from organic cotton and other eco-conscious fabrics and which puts sustainability at the centre of its operations. The brainchild of founder and CEO Jean Chabert, who previously started, grew and sold the B&C brand, and whose new mission is to “break codes, be a game-changer” and “reinvent fashion for a better world”. Yes, that Stanley/Stella. In September, the brand celebrated its tenth anniversary with a big bash in Brussels, where its main offices are based. The event saw the unveiling of a new logo and the sharing of a new charter, one that guides the brand’s behaviour and inspires “the entire Stanley/Stella community to care about our planet and its people”. Meanwhile, back in the UK, (the brand’s second largest market after Germany), Stanley/Stella’s long-held plans to open a UK-based warehouse to service UK decorators directly have finally come to fruition. Intrigued by the brand’s Premium league Minute attention to detail and a drive to understand exactly what decorators want underpin Stanley/Stella’s first UK warehouse operation. Images joins Sebastien Williams, the brand’s UK and Ireland sales manager, for a look behind the scenes remarkable growth – against all the odds, or so it might appear – and keen to take a look behind the scenes at how it functions, we headed to Abingdon in Oxfordshire for a guided tour of the new operation. Now, some garment warehouse tours have been known to involve a rather dull-but-worthy half an hour spent admiring huge racks of pretty much identical cardboard boxes while dodging forklifts as they glide silently past, before escaping back into the sunlight and ditching the hi-vis vests and steel toecap boots pronto. Our tour of Stanley/Stella’s new UK warehouse, conducted by enthusiastic and knowledgeable Lindsay Gliddon, UK logistics manager, and Sebastien Williams, the brand’s UK and Ireland sales manager, turns out to be a considerably more engaging experience, and a fairly accurate reflection of the brand and its core values. From the get-go, Lindsay and Sebastien are keen to tell us about the many processes that have been carefully thought out to ensure customers receive the right garments in perfect nick every time, while always remaining conscious of the environmental impact at each stage of the products’ journey. Some of these processes might seem trivial at first, yet when they are taken together you begin to get an inkling of just how much thought and attention to detail goes into every aspect of Stanley/Stella’s operations. It’s safe to say that the brand’s success hasn’t come about by chance. Take, as an example, the tape used to seal the cardboard boxes before they are shipped to customers. Instead of plastic-based tape, Stanley/Stella uses paper tape, a new and eco-conscious alternative from its tape manufacturer. The four pillars The drive to be not only a successful manufacturer but also a responsible one is obvious from the moment we walk into the warehouse. Within seconds, Sebastien insists that we stop. We assume he’s forgotten some essential safety briefing, but actually, he points at a pile of flattened boxes and explains how the warehouse team collects the boxes the garments arrive in and flattens them, ready to be reused for shipping customers’ orders. Those boxes that are beyond reuse are sent to be recycled; the cardboard recycling process is now so efficient that the recycled cardboard will re-enter the wider supply chain within two weeks, reports Lindsay. There is a cost benefit to reusing the boxes, Sebastien points out, but it’s also a reminder that for Stanley/Stella, manufacturing sustainable garments goes beyond the fabrics it uses; every action and every process is examined to ensure it aligns with the company’s core values, the four pillars that underpin the Stanley/Stella brand: excellence, sustainability, innovation and people. A deeper understanding To understand and deliver exactly what decorators want, Lindsay spent his first two months at Stanley/Stella out on the road with Sebastien, meeting different [L-R] Sebastien and Lindsay in front of a picking location in the new Stanley/Stella warehouse. Various types of boxes have been trialled for the picking locations to see which is the most efficient shape for the picker while also ensuring the garments remaining in the box are kept in a pristine condition All boxes are either reused for shipping cus tomers’ orders or recycled