Back in 2019, when Rob, Karel and Michiel were looking for a sustainable sourcing partner in the EU for their clothing brand, they faced a complicated task: Finding a trustworthy local manufacturer online. This proved to be a lot harder than they initially thought. Even though they knew there had to be loads of them, their search proved to be unsuccessful. Manufacturing companies were often family owned businesses, and did not have any website or contact information online. Most European manufacturers, it turned out, were still reliant on trade shows and agents to get in contact with brands like theirs.
It was then they saw a possibility within a problem; creating a digital marketplace where sustainable brands and manufacturers from the EU can connect and start sourcing together. And so, Manufy was born. Knowing a platform of this magnitude would take a lot of work, the three quickly expanded their team with experienced software developers, industry professionals, and their former neighbour and expert on scaling businesses: Rene van Doren. Together, the team has been working for the last 18 months to create a fully operational platform that hosts over 1.000 manufacturers and more than 2.000 brands, with more joining every day.
Has super small hands
Wants to work at apple
Loves slow television
Has seen it all
Owns a drone
Small time gangleader
Agent 007 in a previous life
Obsessed with charity shops
Likes small plastic babies
Right now the fashion industry is responsible for 10% of the world’s carbon emissions and nearly 20% of the world’s water waste, making it the second most polluting industry on the planet. It’s not just the production process that is polluting: inefficient and globe crossing transportation also adds up to the devastating mix. Did you know that a regular t-shirt travels through 5 countries before landing in your hands?
The covid-19 pandemic has given new value to digital sourcing. With cancelled exhibition fairs, manufacturers are having a difficult time being visible for new clients. At the same time, brands still need their production runs, but don’t know where to start their search for new manufacturers. With rising demand for sustainable products, finding manufacturers that work according to these standards can prove to be a challenge.
As an opportunity for both ends, (sustainable) sourcing in the digital space is on the rise. According to the yearly report from Mckinsey, The State of Fashion 2020 Coronavirus update, social distancing has highlighted the importance of digital channels more than ever and lockdowns have elevated digital as an urgent priority across the entire value chain.