It’s challenging to begin a blog post that aims to share positivity and hopefulness with words like ‘pandemic’ and ‘coronavirus’. In the process of becoming household terms of 2020, these words have taken on such a weight, a heaviness -- and the fact that you can’t seem to open up social media or turn on the TV without being bombarded by them makes it even more overwhelming.
So let’s not linger there. This post isn’t about that.
This post is about direction. Meeting challenges with integrity. Leaning into flow, being responsive, and staying flexible enough to shift your vision when called to do so.
One of the few welcome byproducts of the COVID pandemic has been the chance to reflect. With the world’s commercial gears grinding to a near halt, businesses have been presented with the unique opportunity to stop, reassess their ‘whys’, and recalibrate their efforts.
To us, this translates as a much needed moment to ponder The Big Questions. You know the ones we mean, right? The ones that, although ever-present in our subconscious, don’t often receive an invitation to arrive at the conscious level. Questions about values, how and what we do every day, whether the way we carry out our lives is still serving us -- or merely is a fixture of our self-designed autopilot.
To some, having the chance to ask these questions is a revolution in itself.
For us at Maria Malo, we strive to keep these ideas within our business every day. As a sustainable clothing brand, it’s not just the way but the ‘why’ we do things that make us who we are. From encouraging our customers to purchase and consume less (perhaps a little counterintuitive, for a product-based business) to making tough decisions about our supply chain, we stay in a constant state of learning and evolution.
It’s no picnic, but working in this way allows us to flow and grow with the times and keep our vision for the brand on track.
Now, far be it from us to claim we’ve cracked the code to “success” (yes, air quotes, because who can even really define success for another person anyway?) but the fact that we continue to ask these questions of ourselves as we move through the evolution of our business means we have the ability to respond quickly to changes -- and the flexibility to lean into those changes as they’re called to occur.
Introducing Maria Malo’s pre-order campaign
We were naturally very concerned with the indications of the pandemic for our business -- but not just from the perspective of our own margins. A flat-out halting of the business would affect a whole bunch of people -- real people with families and personal struggles and the whole shebang -- and we were determined to do what we could to ease everyone through this insanely difficult time.
We developed the pre-order campaign concept to help people on all sides of the industry: workers, producers, suppliers, and consumers.
The idea is simple enough:
Customers can pre-order items from our new collection at a discounted rate (20% off, woohoo!) with the knowledge that their payment allows our production processes to remain in place. In doing so, we forgo our profit margin in order to keep the cogs turning, to avoid a standstill in the wake of the pandemic.
Maria says, “With the Corona situation, everything was stopping all of the sudden, but I wanted to keep the ball rolling so I thought… let’s ask our clients to put their money in production and in exchange, they can buy the newest sustainable line at a privileged price”.
This means our dear friends, the artisans in Bali who we work with the create each garment for our brand, can continue to earn a living despite the pandemic. Customers taking part will receive their items a little later than usual, but we’ve set up a system that keeps everyone in the loop regarding delivery dates so everybody’s expectations are aligned.
Producers can still produce. Our supply chain remains intact. You guys can still access the sustainable garments in our collection.
How has it been working out, you might wonder?
The result has been more impressive than we possibly could have imagined. We didn’t anticipate receiving the volume of orders we’ve had, so not only is this a happy surprise for us as a brand but it’s also a clear indication of everyone’s determination not to be defeated in the face of coronavirus.
Currently, production is in process at our workshops in Bali. ( you can follow the process at our instagram story) As soon as it’s finished, orders will be shipped to Spain (we expect around mid-June) for our clients to recieve by the end of June/beginning of July. Once production is finished, the prices on our website will return to their original value, so if you’ve got your eye on something in the new collection, now is the time to snag yourself a discount and be a part of the campaign that’s keeping our wonderful workers afloat during this challenging time.
Thank you for choosing to support sustainable fashion.
Walk this earth without a trace