What’s up fam, it’s been a minute since we’ve written our own blog. We wanted to give an update on COVID-19 and where we’re at now, plus give an insider look on some projects we’ve been working on since the pandemic hit. However, first and foremost we need to start this blog off by thanking YOU.
We wouldn’t be where we are today without the incredible support of our customers, social followers, creator community, brand ambassadors, and everyone else that stands the brand of Local Laundry up. So if we haven’t said it enough, or haven’t said it loud enough, THANK YOU, from the bottom of our hearts.
Let’s dive into it!
We’ve been finding our way through navigating the pandemic, and albeit times have been scary and uncertain, we’re challenging and pushing ourselves and have found many silver linings throughout this adaptation of new normalcy.
When the pandemic hit overnight we lost 30-60% of our retail sales - literally within hours. One of our biggest goals since we started was to drive e-commerce growth. Since everyone was forced inside their homes, our team witnessed a surge in online sales. Our number one mandate throughout the height of the pandemic was to continue to meet customers where they’re at. Part of the mandate meant showing up for our customers with a site-wide price drop of 25% and complimentary shipping. We made a call to our customers and community for support, and you did not disappoint. Thank YOU!
We are thankful to have established online business with Shopify and continue to keep our supply chain 99% Canadian, aiding keeping Canadian workers and small businesses operating throughout the pandemic.
During the pandemic, people wanted a way to get involved in supporting, donating and contributing to COVID-19 relief efforts. When we launched our Bamboo Healthcare Garments, this was a campaign to aid in that response. From March to May 2020 100% of profits from our Bamboo Healthcare Garments were donated to the United Way COVID-19 Relief Fund. From those two months and the undying support of our customers and community, we raised $20,000. This number is our highest donation to date, and we’re still in awe of it.
PRESALE GARMENTS & CAMPAIGNS
As a brand, we want to continue to build and support communities through everything we do. Throughout the last four months, we’ve been grateful to work with the following people and organizations on custom garments that give back to local charities and communities.
- Wildrose Brewery & Yama Vans: earlier this year, pre-pandemic, we launched a custom collaboration t-shirt and sour beer with Wildrose & Yama Vans. A portion of the t-shirt was donated to the Parks Calgary Foundation together we raised over $5,700
- Calgary Hitmen: Pre-pandemic we launched our Calgary Hitmen custom crewneck. We donated $25 from each crewneck sold to the Calgary Hitmen Foundation $825
- Andrew Phung: Canadian celebrity and star of Kim’s Convenience on CBC, Andrew Phung, launched a presale custom collab in support of the Loose Moose Theatre giving back to the Calgary arts community $1,325
- Kodette LaBarbera: We launched the Ryders Crew 2.0 as a follow-up to the first presale we did with Kodette only this time we launched the Crewneck in navy blue. We donated $25 from each of the garments to the AAFS [Autism & Aspergers Friendship Society of Calgary]. We could donate over $3,500 to the organization.
- CBC Alberta: We’re grateful to have an ongoing partnership and be an official licensee with CBC. A portion of each garment sold from the CBC collection goes right back to supporting Canadian public broadcasting. Recently we launched our ‘Love Alberta’ special edition Bamboo T-shirt.
The two in-market campaigns we recently launched a focus on giving back to the Calgary Flames Foundation and celebrating the LGBTQ+ community with our second rendition of our LOVED collab t-shirt. The Calgary Flames Community T-shirt is a limited edition t-shirt in retro Calgary Flames red, paying homage to the 2020 NHL season. To date, we raised over $1,500 so far for the Calgary Flames Foundation to help give back to local charities in the city. The LOVED 2.0 T-shirt is a bamboo t-shirt in partnership with Mr. Fabulous that is a custom cut & sewn garment to showcase that no matter your race, gender, sexual orientation, or background we are all LOVED! To date, we have raised over $800 to the Rainbow Railroad.
Other custom garment collaboration we were so thankful to be a part of including:
- Righteous Gelato
- YYC & YEG Cycle
- Lake Bonavista Community Association
- Sunalta Community Association
- Shaw Communications
- Calgary Cavalry
Once phases of the economic relaunch started opening our retailers, both previous and new, poured into our inbox. We are so thankful for our retailers including:
- Liz & Lottie
- Lukes Drug Mart
- Mountain Mercantile
- Steeling Home
- Mountain Air in Jasper
- The University of Calgary
- Legislative Assembly of Alberta
Since 2016 we’ve worked with Kathleen Smiley as an intern/student, blogger, email specialist and market organizer/setter-upper. Essentially, since Kathleen started four years ago, she has non-stopped pleaded with both Connor and Dustin to bring her on full-time. Four years later, with continuous guilt-tripping and begging and one pandemic, the fella’s brought Kathleen on full-time as not only the brand's Community Manager but first-ever employee numero uno.
The pandemic taught us a lot. One of the biggest ‘trends’ was an uproar in digital content. Social media had an uptick of over 60% from users - aka people on their phones being bored at home needing to be entertained. We hopped on this bandwagon by amplifying our first podcast, Proudly Made in Canada, and also bringing on a second podcast, hosted by Kathleen, Spilling The Tee. The Proudly Made in Canada podcast celebrates all things Canadian made by interviewing other Canadian-made business owners and entrepreneurs. Because the content was being consumed from consumers, users and our audience at such a rapid rate, Spilling The Tee was a response to cater to the creators, influencers and marketers to discuss up-and-coming trends along with guests and Local Laundry insider secrets.
CREATORS COMMUNITY PROGRAM
Since Local Laundry’s inception, we have had the honour of working with such talented creatives and photographers within Canada. This year we launched our Creators Community Program with four of our Calgary and area photographers that have closely collaborated with us over the past years. Check out Lyndsay, Lionel, Bence and Austin and peep into their IG feeds for 20% off discount codes! Every time one of our creators’ discount code is used, we donate $10 to their charity of choice. Once the discount code hits 10 uses, we make the official donation. Help us build community with our creators and treat yourself to some Canadian-made gear!
SHARING STORIES OF SOCIAL CHANGE
Throughout the pandemic and social change movements, we’ve been taking this time to educate ourselves and team members by learning and unlearning, becoming a better ally and reaching out to our community to share their stories. We always want Local Laundry to be a channel or vessel and use our marketing avenues to share stories from the community that aims to build and support those around us.
Lionel Migrino took the time to share this story with us about being a Filipino-Canadian living with cerebral palsy and his thoughts on social change. We also interviewed Wyatt Louis, an indigenous Canadian singer-songwriter and Salima Stanley-Banji, owner of Humainologie on our Proudly Made in Canada podcast series to share their stories and thoughts on our changing world. We released a series of blogs to educate not only ourselves but others looking for resources on how to support social change and work towards bringing equality and inclusion to those around us.
VISA BACK TO BUSINESS
As we continue forward into the latter half of 2020, we’re using resources from Visa Business that have majorly assisted us. Visa has a campaign going on #MySmallBizReco that aims to encourage people to use their hashtag by recommending a small business they love. Follow the link here to find out more information.
- Shift and focus on online
- Meet customers where they’re at
- Radical transparency
- Content, content, content, oh… and more content
- Always be learning and willing to challenge yourself
- There are always ways to give back and build community regardless of the times
- Make mental health a priority to remain optimistic
We’re going to be talking more about where we’re at on our podcasts, Proudly Made in Canada and Spilling The Tee, so stay tuned for those episodes!
- The Local Laundry gang