One aspect of sustainability work that is often overlooked is knowing who you’re doing business with. If you’re constantly shifting producers and manufacturing sites, there is almost no way to build the trust and transparency needed to be sure everything is being done as agreed. At Elodie, we value the relationships we have with our producers more than anything else. The first producer in China we ever commissioned was a rather small business who got an order for 5 000 bibs from Linda in 2006. Today that very same producer is our largest and most important partner, with full containers of goods leaving every month. They’ve grown together with us over the years and our relationship now is stronger than ever. A majority of the producers we work with have been with us for well over five years, and several of them for over a decade.
We make sure that all our producers visit our head office to gain a better understanding of our brand vision and our expectations, plans and challenges. We, of course, visit them even more regularly to work on developments and solving any issues that arise. Everyone involved in the creation of a product – from designer to seamstress – is equally important for the end result. So, visiting and understanding each other as people makes it a lot easier to strive towards the same goal – high-quality products. And it makes everyone feel the same satisfaction when a project comes together or when a new product becomes a hit with our consumers. That satisfaction is the base for any strong relationship.
Building trust and long term relationships are the only way we can be certain that our CSR efforts and agreements are being adhered to. We never start-up production anywhere without having first visited and inspected their facilities to make sure we’re comfortable with the way they are run.