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Jonathan Salfield — Becoming a leading sustainable fashion brand

33 minutes

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From Byron Bay to the world: Afends' journey to sustainability

From a regional town in Australia to an internationally recognised clothing brand, Afends' journey is the epitome of the small business dream. Co-founders Jonathan Salfield and Declan Wise started Afends in the back of a van in Byron Bay before blowing up across the world and being adopted by major retailers, making massive progress with the growth of their company. But 10 years down the track, they decided to update their brand values and business practices to add the additional focus of sustainability, especially with hemp, and Afends is now known as one of the biggest brands pioneering the hemp and sustainability fashion movement in Australia.

Jono joined us on this week's episode of The Make It Happen Show to talk about everything from his business journey from the van to being an industry leader including how he's balancing commercial outcomes with sustainability, the differences of running a business in a regional town compared to in a big city, how they market sustainable products to teenagers (hint: tell them it's made of weed!), and even how they face off with 'keyboard warriors'. This is a great ep for any business owner looking to change the world. Check it out.


Questions asked in this episode:

  • 2:04 - Afends is leading the charge on sustainability. How are you making that happen?
  • 3:27 - When was the flick of the switch around sustainability in the Afends journey?
  • 5:21 - What are some of the benefits of using hemp in clothing?
  • 6:47 - Where has your supplier come from, where are you manufacturing? How does that work?
  • 7:38 - It would've been a learning experience finding people that fit in your sustainability ethos. Did you change suppliers to fit that?
  • 9:28 - What kind of volumes are you ordering?
  • 12:07 - Coming back to your farm, you bought 100 acres in Byron, what's the plan?
  • 14:26 - From Byron to the world, what are some of the challenges of bringing Byron to the world, and some of the benefits?
  • 16:14 - Regional towns are having a bit of resurgence due to COVID. Are you feeling any benefits from that as well?
  • 18:35 - How does the slow pace of Byron gel with big business?
  • 21:17 - The sustainability journey hasn't happened overnight. What have been the major milestones for you?
  • 22:55 - Are there people who are hard to please? And how do you deal with those people?
  • 24:38 - Make It Happen In A Minute
Jonathan Salfield, Co-founder of Afends, joins The Make It Happen Show

"You can't tell younger audiences, 'Hey, you saved 10 litres of water with these jeans.' They're not gonna give a sh*t. Instead, we go, 'Hey, check out this t-shirt, it's made from weed!'"

— Jonathan Salfield

In this episode, you will learn:

  • The best way to market sustainable products to younger demographics
  • Approaching sustainability with existing manufacturers
  • How Afends approaches the hemp vs. weed conversation
  • The changes in regional town, Byron Bay, since 2006 to now
  • The importance of maths when becoming carbon neutral!
  • The best way to consider sustainability in business
  • And more!

 

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