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On tenterhooks: some subscribers whilst waiting for this newsletter...
And yes, I know - we're unexpectedly popular with sports fans!


Dear friends,

I hope you're keeping happy and well.

Before I lay bare my decision re: Amazon, let's send a big warm LUXTRA welcome to Martine, Donna, Jinali, Keyla, Puli, Martha, Fernanda, Anurag, Gemma, Jess, Dana, Polina, Sophie, Lequeux, Margarita, Katerina, and S. Don't be scared - the old hands around here will tell you that it just takes a bit of time to get used to my humour. But jokes aside - it's great to have you join us.

So that you know what you're in for: this newsletter tends to be a light-hearted take on interesting things in the world of sustainability / sustainable fashion, and from time to time other cool random things.

Today we pick up on the dilemma from last week: whether I would be selling my soul if LUXTRA listed its products on AMAZON. If you haven't read that one, I'd suggest you start there.

You can also catch up on previous previous newsletters via our archive, containing articles such as how to make a bag (parts 1-4), my thoughts on fund raising vs. growing organically, or that time I lost an important document with a deadline looming, and what it taught me.



So! What was the decision!?!?!

Before I reveal all (I'm a tease, yes) I firstly want to say thank you to everyone who reached out - what a response! It's nice to know how "invested" you are in what we do. 💚

84% of you supported the idea of partnering with Amazon, with responses ranging from "GO FOR IT!" (thanks Sam) to the more tempered "well, why not give it a try?" Counter arguments, of which I took great note, cautioned about the "slippery slope" of working with a company with a questionable ethical track record, and wondered aloud whether it would rub off on LUXTRA despite ourselves.

I did actually laugh when I saw this. And then I cried.


So as to be able to make as an informed a decision as possible, I set to work to do more research.

I started by Googling (well, actually Duck-Duck-Go-ing) whether any leading ethical, B Corp brands sell on Amazon. The first that sprang to mind: Patagonia.

Pages.

Pages of Patagonia products are available on Amazon. Interesting.

Finisterre - an up-and-coming Patagonia-esque UK brand that I've been following for a while. No. Not listed. Ok.

I then moved on to the Ethical Consumer website (ta, Shelagh), and one of their articles entitled: "Boycott Amazon". It spoke about the company's breathtaking tax avoidance and its worse-than-measley working conditions. One sentence however, stopped me in my tracks:

"For small sellers, a boycott may also not be possible, with some saying they rely on the website to reach their market. That is why we never mark small companies down for selling through the platform."

This felt revelatory. Was this my answer? And one "condoned" by Ethical Consumer, of all sources.

"But you don't rely on Amazon for your sales" I hear you say. And you'd be completely correct. But if I don't find a way to increase our current sales, then I might need to take other drastic measures.

If you're reading between the lines, you can probably sense that I have been looking for a way to justify a decision to list on Amazon. And again, you would be correct. My instinct, if I really allow myself to listen to it, was telling me to take up the invitation.

Let me illustrate with an anecdote...

The Davines campus in Parma, Italy.

A friend of mine, Davide, runs Davines / Comfort Zone: an Italian haircare and skincare company. Their (beautiful) products compete with L'Oréal, Unilever, and P&G-owned brands.


We were having a conversation regarding his concerns about growing his two companies, and I found myself looking at him incredulously. Davide! - I said - what are you talking about?!?! I explained my point of view: that growing his brand would help many more people have access to MUCH better products compared to all that chemical junk pumped out by those multi-nationals. How could he not think that was a good thing???

I've often thought back to that conversation, and always marvel at how funny it is that we we see things so clearly when it comes to others' situations.

__________________________________________________________________

The irony of course is, that although I've said "yes" to working with Amazon, the ball is now in their court: they are going to check LUXTRA's credentials to see if we quality and meet their ethical standards.

What a world!

Wishing you all a happy and safe week ahead,

Jessica x

LUXTRA Founder | Businesswoman-at-peace | Proud B Corp-er

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