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LONDON, United Kingdom — In a new season of Drive, BoF’s entrepreneurship podcast series delivered by DHL, we meet some of fashion’s most dynamic leaders who are adopting sustainable solutions within the businesses they founded.
In this episode, we get to know Nicolaj Reffstrup, the mastermind behind Ganni, who has overseen the Danish womenswear brand’s transformation from local hero to global trendsetter together with his wife Ditte — a former fashion buyer and the label’s creative director.
Revealing how they successfully overcame the challenges and advantages of building an international brand outside the traditional fashion capitals, Reffstrup also shares how his background as a tech entrepreneur informed his initial approach to incorporating more sustainable thinking into his business’ operations.
“You need to pick your priorities here,” he tells BoF, “because this topic is so complex and so abstract that it can be very difficult figuring out what you actually want to do about it.” Indeed, despite robust growth, with revenue having increased annually at an average of 50 percent for the last three years and turnover expected to exceed €70 million ($76.9 million) in 2019, the Reffstrups are committed to integrating sustainability into their success story.
By embracing clear, measurable goals, Nicolaj has mapped the brand’s carbon footprint which the company financially compensates on an annual basis, enabling him to ensure every part of the business has invested in this strategy. “Our carbon footprint is the top priority. […] Start with your priorities. Turn it into something tangible, measurable, that people can relate to. It's kind of a way of imposing a monetary tax on your behaviour."
He believes measurements such as these will be imperative to future success. “I'm sure that consumers' perceptions will accelerate in the coming five years and I think you will need to be sustainable five years from now in order to be able to conduct your business.”
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