Love Brands

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Love Brands's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Love Brands is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

www.lovebrandsuk.com

BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
34 | MARKETING HUMBER
The importance of estuaries
As mentioned above, in order to raise
awareness of the impacts of this on
the Humber and estuaries around the
world, we launched a campaign, The
Waterline, to show why the world
needs the Humber. We have been
working alongside Lord Prescott, who
has been working with the Council
of Europe, looking at the role that
estuaries play in climate change. As
60 per cent of the world’s population
live within a half an hour drive from
an estuary, if global climate change
is to be tackled, estuaries are a good
place to start. We are now using our
experience to help other estuarial
regions around the world, assisting
them to make the transition to more
renewable forms of energy. Local
councils have declared a climate
emergency, and we are working hard
to contribute to the fight against rising
sea levels.
Estuaries can act as a testbed for new
innovations and technology in this
field. Because of this, our Waterline
campaign is receiving significant
global attention. We are creating a
living laboratory, using our geography
to incubate technology which can
tackle these climate challenges. To
support this, our key strategic partner,
the University of Hull, organised a
Universities of the North conference,
bringing together 30 northern
universities, and pitching the idea of
the Humber being a living laboratory.
This was extremely well-received, and
we are developing a project, which
will champion these aims, to support
it further. We have also recently held
The Waterline Summit 2019, which
to date is the biggest business event
the region has ever seen. The purpose
of this annual event is to get even
more businesses and organisations to
commit to our cause.
One of the challenges we have
had to overcome is the economic
structure of the Humber. As we are
quite disconnected from other large
economic regions, and as government
investment focuses on core cities, we
have had to develop new models to
achieve economic scale. By focusing on
the Humber’s key attributes, namely
our energy production, we have been
able to turn this issue into astrength.
We also have to adapt to changing
market objectives, especially around
the decline of traditional industries.
If these businesses don’t reinvent
themselves, they will fail. Our goal
going forward will be to support these
businesses to grow our local economy
while embracing this energy transition.
We are
creating a
living
laboratory,
using our
geography to
incubate
technology
which can
tackle these
climate
challenges
The Waterline campaign
has huge support and is
driving the message of
why the world needs the
Humber
35LOVE BRANDS |
CREATIVE INDUSTRIES
Founders Hugo Deane (right)
and Michael Shalders (left)
With over 25 years’ combined experience in sales,
Hugo Deane and Michael Shalders founded Love
Brands almost a decade ago to act as both a
“champion of the independent retailer and an ambassador for
brand partners”. Operating in a turbulent time for the fashion
industry, the pair have pushed to act in a more sustainable
manner in recent years. Hugo tells
The Parliamentary Review
about the ecommerce sector and how the UK is moving
towards a service-based economy.
When we founded Love Brands in 2010, our aim was to create a unique fashion
distribution company that offered our clients and brand partners a holistic service.
More than just a sales organisation, we wanted to create a company drawing
on our 25 years’ experience to include sales, marketing, retail and franchise
consultancy. We launched with the iconic brand Custo Barcelona and helped
them open their first company retail store in Westfield Stratford prior to the
OlympicGames.
As the exclusive distributors for European and American fashion apparel brands
selling to the UK and Irish retailers across women and men’s apparel, bags
and accessories, footwear and underwear, our client base includes some 450
independent boutiques, department stores, retail store groups and online pure
ecommerce players. Our key brand is Guess, owned by Los Angeles based Guess?
Inc., which has its European HQ in Lugano, Switzerland. The brand has over $2.6
billion in sales worldwide, with over $1.1 billion of sales in Europe – for the brand,
the UK is a fast-growing market.
FACTS ABOUT
LOVE BRANDS
»Joint Managing Directors and
Owners: HugoDeane and
Michael Shalders
»Founded in 2010
»Located in London
»Services: Fashion distribution
company
»No. of employees: 17
Love Brands
A look inside the Love
Brands showroom
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
36 | LOVE BRANDS
Non-stop one-stop shop
We want to both champion the
independent retailer and serve as an
ambassador for our brand partners in
an ever-complex retail environment.
We aim to be a one-stop shop, where
we can show the latest fashion trends,
support our clients with store staff
training and marketing, and provide
attractive commercial margins and
superb customer service. We are
focused on ethical and sustainable
fashion which means not only product
and environment, but also in terms of
supplier and staff welfare. We like to
ensure we have a rewarding workplace
and we have excellent staff retention.
Although we are a small company,
we are also fast growing and firmly
believe in investing in our staff’s
development and education. We
have hired a specialist training coach
to help us develop industry-winning
company standards, sales techniques
and customer service. We have
decided to be flexible in terms of staff
working patterns and supportive of
training needs. Where requested or
required we will sponsor membership
of professional bodies such as the
Chartered Institute of Management.
Love brands, hate waste
Sustainability is becoming more and
more important and our brand partners
are working hard to consciously
create sustainable products wherever
possible. It is our job to educate our
retail partners and help develop a more
sustainable fashion industry. REPREVE
is a project using recycled polyester
made from discarded water bottles
and is the world’s leading recycled
fibre. Guess currently uses over 50
per cent of this for its denim and is
looking to reach 100 per cent as soon
as possible. We are pioneers and are
not waiting for legislation to catch
up. Further initiatives include using
organic cotton and sustainable viscous,
such as Tencel made from sustainable
forests, and using less water in the
dying process. This is going to become
a huge issue and key to future success
of theindustry.
Access to finance has been a major
challenge for us over the years and
for SMEs in general since the 2008
banking crisis. We have found that
high street banks have become
paralysed and simply stopped lending,
forcing business to seek alternatives,
from using their own funding through
to innovative new finance players
such as crowdfunding platforms and
non-bank finance partners. SMEs
literally receive no support or help
from government, and it is incredibly
difficult to access support, grants etc.
Given SMEs are the biggest single
employer in the UK, these huge
barriers to trade and growth need
urgently addressing. The government
tends to mainly listen to big players
such as the CBI or car industry, which
actually only employ around 10 per
cent of the British workforce. What
needs to happen is a new approach.
SMEs need better representation and
support and to be taken seriously as
drivers of innovation and growth and
experienced practitioners.
An ambassador for our
brand partners
Although we
are a small
company, we
are also fast
growing and
firmly believe
in investing in
our staff’s
development
and education
BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
36 | LOVE BRANDS
Non-stop one-stop shop
We want to both champion the
independent retailer and serve as an
ambassador for our brand partners in
an ever-complex retail environment.
We aim to be a one-stop shop, where
we can show the latest fashion trends,
support our clients with store staff
training and marketing, and provide
attractive commercial margins and
superb customer service. We are
focused on ethical and sustainable
fashion which means not only product
and environment, but also in terms of
supplier and staff welfare. We like to
ensure we have a rewarding workplace
and we have excellent staff retention.
Although we are a small company,
we are also fast growing and firmly
believe in investing in our staff’s
development and education. We
have hired a specialist training coach
to help us develop industry-winning
company standards, sales techniques
and customer service. We have
decided to be flexible in terms of staff
working patterns and supportive of
training needs. Where requested or
required we will sponsor membership
of professional bodies such as the
Chartered Institute of Management.
Love brands, hate waste
Sustainability is becoming more and
more important and our brand partners
are working hard to consciously
create sustainable products wherever
possible. It is our job to educate our
retail partners and help develop a more
sustainable fashion industry. REPREVE
is a project using recycled polyester
made from discarded water bottles
and is the world’s leading recycled
fibre. Guess currently uses over 50
per cent of this for its denim and is
looking to reach 100 per cent as soon
as possible. We are pioneers and are
not waiting for legislation to catch
up. Further initiatives include using
organic cotton and sustainable viscous,
such as Tencel made from sustainable
forests, and using less water in the
dying process. This is going to become
a huge issue and key to future success
of theindustry.
Access to finance has been a major
challenge for us over the years and
for SMEs in general since the 2008
banking crisis. We have found that
high street banks have become
paralysed and simply stopped lending,
forcing business to seek alternatives,
from using their own funding through
to innovative new finance players
such as crowdfunding platforms and
non-bank finance partners. SMEs
literally receive no support or help
from government, and it is incredibly
difficult to access support, grants etc.
Given SMEs are the biggest single
employer in the UK, these huge
barriers to trade and growth need
urgently addressing. The government
tends to mainly listen to big players
such as the CBI or car industry, which
actually only employ around 10 per
cent of the British workforce. What
needs to happen is a new approach.
SMEs need better representation and
support and to be taken seriously as
drivers of innovation and growth and
experienced practitioners.
An ambassador for our
brand partners
Although we
are a small
company, we
are also fast
growing and
firmly believe
in investing in
our staff’s
development
and education
37LOVE BRANDS |
CREATIVE INDUSTRIES
Brexit has been a direct threat for us
as importers, considering the massive
devaluation of the currency affecting
margins and the lack of clarity in the
marketplace as a result of the political
stalemate – this affects consumer
confidence and business investment.
As an industry, we simply need clarity,
and now with a stable government
that can pass legislation, we are
looking for a pragmatic and sensible
free trade agreement with the EU that
supports the needs of our economy,
so we know the legal framework and
trading rules. Our industry will adapt
and this certainty will allow businesses
to plan, invest and move forward.
More than end products
In future we see shopping moving
increasingly towards an experiential
endeavour as opposed to one solely
focused on the acquisition of an end
product. With community centres
clearly suffering, we find that anything
we can do to discourage such
downturn is in our best interests in
addition to those of the community.
We hope to encourage people to
support their high street, through
thinking outside of the box, and to
continue working with local retailers
who understand their customers on
a far more personal level than we see
on an online platform. Indeed, we
couple this with an understanding that
the retail model as a whole demands
reform and feel that our current
position in the market well equips us
to fill this role.
Moving towards a service-based
economy in the coming years
demands a great deal of thought and
patience, as well as getting to know
the people who work in the industry
and those who shop in it. Overall, we
are confident that while our future is
not entirely certain, our industry will
innovate, adapt and be able meet
tomorrow’s challenges.
Sustainability is
becoming more
and more
important and
our brand
partners are
working hard to
consciously
create
sustainable
products
wherever
possible
The Love Brands team

www.lovebrandsuk.com

This article was sponsored by Love Brands. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.



Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development