We were so delighted to watch our client, Charlotte Morley, founder of thelittleloop, on Dragon’s Den last night. And what a fantastic result for the UK’s first children’s wardrobe rental platform!
The platform was launched as a sustainable response to the nature of the children’s clothing market, in which fast fashion and clothing wastage is the inevitable result of a frequent need to rework children’s wardrobes.
Charlotte has answered our ‘Five with the Founder’ questions to shine a light on this revolutionary, eco-conscious brand:
How did you come to set up The Little Loop?
When I first had children I would get a knot in the pit of my stomach every time I had to refresh their clothes when they grew or the seasons changed. I hated the process of sorting through their outgrown clothes…it always seemed so expensive to buy new ones from the ethical brands I preferred. And more importantly for me I never knew what to do with the old ones. I felt so guilty at the thought of throwing them away but had noone to hand them on to and no time to sell them. It felt like the current system needed a complete overhaul to consider how we could access childrenswear temporarily when we needed it and then keep it in circulation for someone else to have it next. And so the idea of a shared wardrobe was born.
What skills did you rely on in setting up your business?
Of all the many, many skills it takes to set up a business, when that business is breaking entirely new ground resilience and tenacity are undoubtedly the most frequently drawn upon. This is a true rollercoaster of incredible highs and spirit-breaking lows. To keep going through that needs the hide of a rhino and an unbreakable belief that what you’re doing is the right thing. For me that’s made easier by the fact that my business is built on values which I hold so dear. If ever I’m having doubts I remind myself of those – of the why – and it keeps me on track.
How do you focus on the environmentally friendly side of the business?
We have four values which sit at the heart of the business. Heroism, empathy, futurism and authenticity. Every one of those brings us back time and again to the sustainable goals of the business because if we aren’t true to those, we can’t possibly be true to our values. Sustainability is baked into our business model – by its very nature it’s designed to keep clothes in circulation and so reduce their carbon and water footprint. However, on top of that we do everything else that we can to multiply that effect. For example, we use reusable packaging, ship clothes from a central location to reduce on shipping footprint, use only soy inks and recycled papers for our packing materials. And, through our unique brand partnerships, we have an incredible feedback loop to help them improve the performance and quality of the garments they manufacture.
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
With two small children I have little choice but to take time away from work. I had children so that I could raise them and be their mother, not leave it up to someone else. It isn’t at all easy, but I make sure that I’m always there for bedtime, and that I spend quality time with them at weekends. It means I don’t have much time for just me, but that’s ok…that time will come…and for now I feel very privileged to be able to spread my time between my three babies (thelittleloop being the third).
What are your future plans for The Little Loop?
There are so many ways we could take thelittleloop and planning too far ahead means we might miss out on an opportunity which we haven’t even thought of yet. Suffice it to say we have big plans for rental to become the go-to alternative for modern parents. Which means we need to expand our ranges, location (we’d love to go to Europe next), and possibly even move away from just childrenswear. We will also soon launch resale on the platform as we believe rental and resale complement each other beautifully and we want to make life even easier for parents – offering them a one stop destination for all of their children’s clothing needs.
Gabrielle Shaw Communications is delighted to add a new client to the agency’s sustainability and circular fashion practise. Charlotte Morley and her innovative brand thelittleloop join GSC on their start-up accelerator programme just prior to Charlotte’s exciting appearance on Dragons’ Den, which airs on 27th January 2022.
thelittleloop is a revolutionary rental platform giving members access to beautiful, stylish childrenswear. The brand was launched by Charlotte Morley in 2020 in answer to what she perceived as a major issue in the children’s clothing market – as children grow quickly, it’s often necessary to upgrade their clothes every three to six months. thelittleloop offers an alternative to frequently purchasing inexpensive, poorly-crafted clothes that are disposed of after a certain number of wears. The service provides children aged from 12 months to 10 years with a selection of highly stylish clothes from brands that share their eco-values. These clothes are put back into circulation once they no longer fit.
GSC’s brief is to build Charlotte’s profile along with promoting the brand’s sustainable credentials and wide range of stylish clothes for children.
Gabrielle Shaw, CEO and founder of GSC comments: “We love working with entrepreneurs and, in particular, female founders! This is such a fantastically clever idea with a fabulous range of beautiful clothes and a brilliant sustainable offering – it’s a great opportunity to fill a gap that really needed to be filled!”
Charlotte Morley’s episode of Dragons’ Den will be televised on 27th January 2022 at 8.00pm GMT on BBC1.
GSC were delighted to announce to the press that our client Twig raised $35M Series A funding.
The investment will help the company accelerate delivering its Web 3.0 green payment infrastructure and boosting the roll out of its current suite of financial products.
The Series A investment round is led by the UK-based fintech specialist Fasanara Capital, supported by
undisclosed strategic investors, a group composed of current and former executives from LVMH,
Valentino, Balmain, Tod’s, Swarovski, L’Oréal, Barclays, Goldman Sachs and Scalapay
Twig continue to disrupt the fintech and resale sectors and are leading the way with innovative services that serve Gen Z’s needs and aspirations, whilst supporting the circular economy.
This is an exciting time for our sustainability practice client and we can’t wait to see what they do next.
See the full press release here.
Twig is a London, UK based new generation fintech, rooted in circular economy principles, founded by
Geri Cupi in 2020, listed as Forbes ‘30 under 30’ for his contribution to Retail and Ecommerce in 2020. A
serial entrepreneur, Geri founded Twig consequentially, after gaining expertise in blockchain,
re-commerce, and circular economy-driven practices.
Twig’s central mission is to empower consumers to value, unlock, and enjoy wealth they never knew
they had. Users have instant cash access while deposing goods they no longer want- in addition to
enjoying traditional banking service benefits (debit card, domestic and international bank transfers).
Vis-a-vis this activity, Twig powers the circular economy, making Twig a positive and compelling
environmentally conscious choice for the consumer.
We are delighted to announce that our CEO and Founder Gabrielle Shaw has been included in Spear’s 500 for the 5th year in a row, with the release of their latest Spear’s 500 2022 Edition.
Spear’s 500 is Spear’s magazine’s indispensable guide to the top private client advisers and service providers to HNW individuals worldwide. Gabrielle Shaw Communications has been positioned among the reputation managers index, showcasing the best reputation managers and lawyers for matters of privacy, defamation and the protection of private information.
Through our Brand Desire Framework, Gabrielle Shaw Communications has not only helped brands grow, but also positions individuals and families as leaders and innovators within their industry. Building personal profile, as well as company profile, investing time in philanthropic work, legacy and succession planning, and cultivating a strong corporate reputation.
With our Accelerator Programme, Gabrielle Shaw Communications has always worked with entrepreneurs, family offices as well as brands and clients in the HNW sphere. Our experience lies within the luxury sector, and we are delighted to continuously provide a service that leads our clients to success.
We are looking forward to continuing this work, ‘placing a positive-impact narrative at the core of communicating brand messages’, in Gabrielle’s words.
We would like to congratulate all other individuals and brands who have also been listed in the 2022 Spear’s 500. If you would like to find out more about our experience in the HNW sector, get in touch here.
It is always such a pleasure to catch up with GSC alumni and learn more about their exciting careers in communications, often after starting out here at Gabrielle Shaw Communications. We love taking on young and ambitious people, and Bemi was no exception. Here is our catch-up, which includes recalling his experience with GSC as well as insights into his speciality, the African Tech industry.
How have you been over the past 12 months?
The last 12 months have been unlike anything I have ever experienced. The global pandemic has changed the way we live forever and many people have struggled with the intensity and abruptness of the changes we have all had to undertake. I think we still have some way to go before things settle down again but I am just thankful that we seem to be over the worst of it and that we are beginning to see what “the new normal” may look like.
What has been the most memorable moment in your career?
I have had the privilege of working with some exciting brands and on some exciting campaigns but launching my own company has to be the highlight. Being able to build a company that represents my values and uses what I have learned over the years to help entrepreneurs and businesses tell their stories is a prospect that really excites me.
What is your favourite memory with GSC?
As an intern in those days, myself and the other interns were responsible for maintaining the clippings. We had to photocopy coverage from newspapers and magazines, cut out the relevant sections and stick them in a humungous book (something like an old school photo album). This was before there was established digital platforms for showcasing coverage, so you had to do everything on paper.
We also had to calculate the AVE (advertising value equivalent) of every piece of coverage, which was a way of quantifying the value of the media coverage. The idea was to show the client how cost-effective the coverage was by comparing how much the same piece of coverage would have cost if they had bought an advert that covered the same space. I like to tell younger colleagues this story to show how far the tools of our trade have come.
What was the most valuable thing you learned at Gabrielle Shaw Communications?
GSC was my first exposure to PR and I learned a lot about how campaigns are put together and different ways to tell a product story. Those were the beginnings of my career and the early days of the journey that has led me to where I am today.
You have just founded Talking Drums Communications – please tell us a bit more about the company and your mission.
Talking Drum Communications is a public relations and communications consultancy that helps African tech companies get more favourable publicity for the work they are doing. The story of African innovation is not new, but it is often undersold or ignored. We are trying to change this by bringing greater visibility to the people, innovations and opportunities that power the continent.
What has been the biggest challenge of starting a company in 2021? And how are you overcoming it?
The uncertainty induced by the pandemic has made the process a bit different to what I assume starting a business at another time would be like. We haven’t had any global pandemics in my lifetime so there isn’t a template for how to start a business or the processes you can follow to give yourself the best chance. However, there have been other crises that people have navigated and I have been trying to read up and learn about how people successfully launched businesses during difficult times, and trying to learn as much as I can from those experiences.
What should people know more about in Africa’s tech sector, what trends are hot right now?
Africa has one of the most exciting tech sectors in the world. From financial services and healthcare to e-commerce and logistics, there is a ton of innovation coming out of every corner of the continent and Africans are rising to innovate their way out of their challenges. For too long, Africa has been reduced to a single story of tired clichés and stereotypes but there is so much more to the continent. The pandemic has also accelerated a lot of digitisation and driven innovation across the continent which has unearthed new opportunities for both consumers and businesses.
2020 was a tough year for many people across the world but thankfully, that has not been the whole story. Africa has not been too severely impacted by the pandemic and has actually seen some positives. While COVID-19 raged, African startups, for example, continued to attract investment, with more startups raising more money from more investors than ever before in 2020. Some people are obviously paying attention but to accelerate the economic growth that will power the African continent into the brighter future it deserves, we need to bang the drum a little harder so that the innovators and businesses can get more of the support they need.
A country like Nigeria, for example, has a young and booming population (median age is 18), a thriving mobile economy and an unrelenting entrepreneurial spirit which has driven it to become the largest economy on the continent. It is home to billion-dollar tech companies and one of the most exciting tech ecosystems on the continent. There are many other similar stories across the continent, with young people driving innovation and a new narrative about the continent.
How do you predict Africa’s tech sector to evolve in the next few years? Do you have any insight on future trends?
I’m a bit biased but I can only see great things ahead for the African tech sector. There are many exciting and impactful innovations coming out of every corner of the continent and as the entrepreneurs and businesses behind innovations achieve more success, I expect more people to be inspired and for innovation to explode across the continent.
Our Founder and CEO, Gabrielle Shaw, has recently joined SheEO as an Activator. SheEO is a global initiative radically transforming how women-led ventures can be funded, supported, and celebrated, working on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Through this membership, Gabrielle and GSC will have the opportunity to mentor, learn and grow alongside other female-found ventures.
Gabrielle has a track record of mentoring start-ups that want to scale and turning them into household names over the years. From Walpole’s Brands of Tomorrow or HURR Collective to Stay Wild Swim, Wolf and Badger, it has been truly rewarding to see these brands grow.
Gabrielle has always been particularly passionate about working with female founders, combining her passion for luxury, and communications with feminism.
Gabrielle is very grateful for the opportunity to have joined a forward-thinking group of women and is looking forward to creating an equitable and sustainable world together.