We asked all our winners in this year’s Transforming Retail Awards to tell us a bit more about themselves and their winning entry. Lost Stock won out in the sustainability category for their phenomenally successful venture to support garment workers in Asia while also diverting unwanted stock from landfill.
1. How do you feel about winning this Award?
We are truly humbled that what started out as a little idea back at the start of lockdown has grown the way it has and now to be recognised alongside such exalted company is amazing. This award really is testament to the hard work of the team coupled with the willingness of consumers to shop in a different way and to help others.
Lost Stock has only existed for just over 4 months and whilst we might not have got everything right it is amazing to have had the impact we’ve had in such a short period of time.
2. Why do you think your entry stood out?
I think we probably stood out because we are doing something completely new and reimaging the fashion retail supply chain. When we read a quote from a Bangladeshi factory owner which said “if coronavirus doesn’t kill my workers then starvation will’ at the start of the coronavirus pandemic we decided we needed to try to do something to help support the garment workers.
We came up with the idea of connecting the cancelled stock and customers using surprise clothing boxes, with every box sold not only supporting factories through the purchase of the stock but also providing a donation to Bangladeshi non-profit organisation SAJIDA Foundation which was sufficient to support a family for a week. Through our background building the Mallzee shopping app and Mallzee Insights we felt we were ideally placed to help and launched Lost Stock towards the end of May 2020. The support we then received from the media and customers really blew us away – initially we hoped to sell 50,000 boxes by the end of 2020 (providing 50,000 weeks worth of support) we have actually sold over 117,000 boxes already.
We appreciate we’ve not built the perfect solution but we’re learning every day and working as hard as possible to improve the service we offer and increase the impact we’re able to have.
3. What plans do you have for your company in the coming year?
Lost Stock was set up in response to stock cancellations caused by the coronavirus and our driver was to deliver much needed funds to impacted garment workers. The ongoing pandemic and the impact it is having on the retail industry means that stock is continuing to be cancelled which is why we have extended our offering to include kidswear boxes and A/W boxes.
Past this we don’t really know, we just want to help as many workers who have been impacted by this truly horrible situation.