You may have noticed that things have been pretty quiet on our end lately. Well, there's a sad reason for that: Saint Basics is calling it quits. After over 10 years of fighting for cleaner processes and better working conditions in the fashion industry, our weapons are dull, our warriors are tired, and the treasure chest is empty. We've come to the hard conclusion that it's game over for Saint Basics.
It's a bitter consolation that we're not the only ones struggling in this tough economy. The decline started in February 2022 with the Ukraine invasion, rising energy prices, and inflation. Online sales took a hit, clothing expenditures went down, and spending on sustainability became a luxury many couldn't afford.
Our sales plummeted by almost half, and no matter what marketing tricks we pulled, nothing changed. Less sales means no money for new stock, let alone investing in new collections. In this unattractive market, we couldn't find any investor willing to save Saint Basics through a cash injection or acquisition. We had no choice but to call it quits.
Sure, it's a painful loss, but there's a lot to be grateful for. Our relationships with friends and partners like Luis and Sandra Carneiro for instance, who helped us find suppliers and producers in Portugal. Our main producer, Impetus, who gave us a spot among the big buyers. The WEAF fulfilment team, faithfully handling all logistics. The many freelancers who inspired and serviced us over the years. Our favourite photographer Beatriz and models Raquel, Levi, Isabel, Rodrigo and Monique. And our dedicated team that went above and beyond to keep Saint Basics running: Anita Zeilstra, Carol Gaessler, Jan-Hendrik Schretlen, Robson Figueiredo, and yours truly.
In 2010, we started our mission for 'cleaner underwear.' Our goal wasn't just about making a profit but making the clothing industry a bit cleaner, healthier, and fairer from the inside. Since 2016, we've measured every day how much our products save compared to regular cotton items. And here's the tally:
In the last 5 years you have saved:
We're proud of this contribution to the well-being of humans, animals, and the planet, and of our loyal customers who made this impact possible. Thanks for being a Saint!
So, it's the end of the road. But you know, when one door closes, others often open. We'll keep working for a cleaner planet, more connection between people, and products that are good for humans, animals, and the world around us.
After all, we live on a beautiful planet, perhaps the most colorful in our universe, with an immense richness of life. This planet deserves our protection. It's our most important task. All the money, wealth, and power in the world won't help if the ecosystem fails.
Does that mean we have to sit tight and do nothing? Not at all. Life on our planet deserves to be lived to the fullest. To celebrate our differences instead of fearing them. To see boundaries not as the end of the line, but as the beginning of a new adventure. To understand that other people are fellow travelers on Spaceship Earth, that we depend on each other for survival, and therefore it's logical to help each other. That it's essential to treat all life kindly - because we're part of it. And that we share a common responsibility to restore the planet to its full potential - for ourselves and generations to come.
So, let's take care of each other and Spaceship Earth. After all, it's the only spaceship we've got.
Thanks for being a Saint.
On behalf of the whole team,
Peter van Akkeren