Now that we have been introduced to Raw Group and what they do, The Bugg Report sits down to speak to Adam Walsh (Managing Director), Gareth Gillatt (CEO) and Lynton Rice (Country Manager ANZ) about the business and their plans for the Australian and New Zealand markets.
Lynton, from an overall point of view, can you provide an overview of Raw Group, a little bit about what the Company does and it’s history?
Raw is a global creative studio re-imagining garment design and manufacturing across the whole supply chain. Raw has attracted some of the best and most experienced talent across the UK fashion industry to offer a best in class service. Raw’s in-depth knowledge and understanding of the supply chain allows us to optimise and finesse at every stage of the process to provide efficient and consistent results. Raw’s long standing relationships with some of the most credible, compliant and forward thinking manufacturing partners in the world allows for sustainable and ethical growth while maintaining creativity and design at the heart of the business.
Raw’s in-depth knowledge and understanding of the supply chain allows us to optimise and finesse at every stage of the process to provide efficient and consistent results.Lynton Rice
Can you explain the Raw OS (Raw Operating System) and how brands and retailers can use this?
The RawOS solution is essentially tech-driven, which sets us apart from our competitors (agencies). Raw is disrupting the business-to-business apparel manufacturing sector. End-to-end production can be managed through Raw’s platform with transparency and control with no need for sourcing managers to leave their offices, depend on multiple middlemen, and no scope for unannounced delays.
- Complex supply chain due to multiple middlemen and their manufacturers being thousands of miles away.
- Limited access to fulfilment options.
- Fragmented channels of communication.
- A 2020 McKinsey study found that 74% of brands anticipate the digitisation of product development and sourcing will accelerate.
- Tech driven solution that provides an end-to-end solution (design to delivery)
- Vertically integrated software across a network of carefully vetted factories
- Allows brands to not only find manufacturers and place bulk orders, but analyse trends.
- Raw will track time and action calendars, a tool used to follow up on manufacturing milestones to ensure timely delivery.
- On the production side, Raw partners with factories to run its software stack, named RawOS, for tasks in sampling, inventory, and finance. The software tracks the lifecycles of garments and uses the data to train algorithms for matching brands with suppliers and predicting metrics like turnaround time.
- Quicker factory onboarding to enhance their sourcing mix
- Sampling efficiencies — time & cost (Clo3d, etc)
- Flexibility (demand driven) — more reactive to specific sales and trends
- Cross costings — vast network to drive optimisation
- Transparency — for their business but also for consumers (ESG)
- Change the way goods are sourced and manufactured globally.
Sustainability seems to be a big part of what Raw does; how does sustainability fit into the culture and operations of the business?
Raw’s understanding of sustainability is one of our key strengths, our in-depth knowledge of the supply chain from farming through to delivery of goods into the warehouses allows us to truly assess the impact of the processes involved. For Raw it isn’t about using sustainability as a marketing tool, it’s about education and realistic expectation, making small steps towards a circular manufacturing is our collective goal on a daily basis. We believe that creating a quality made garment that wears and washes to the highest standard is the most important contribution to making fashion more sustainable.
You have a network of factories across the world, how important is this when working with brands and retailers in terms of cost, timing and sustainability?
Every brand and retailer has different expectations and requirements, it’s important Raw has the ability to offer flexibility of lead-times, MOQ’s, product category, price and duty benefits where applicable. That said, Raw has its own goals and targets working towards full transparency across our supply chain in order to allow our customers to make better choices and understand the reality of garment manufacturing while encouraging true sustainable partnerships between factories and retailers.
From solar and wind powered headquarters in London, to using recycled packaging to using trains and slow boats to move products, Raw seems to be very innovative across its operations?
Raw’s broad understanding of retailers and manufacturing gives us the opportunity to make better choices with a more holistic approach while being super realistic about the reality and fundamental challenges of manufacturing. The systems and processes across the garment industry are historically archaic and outdated, our aim is to work towards a more relevant and optimised business model.
RAW is now operating in Australia and New Zealand with Lynton Rice taking on the role as Country Manager. What is the goal for the expansion into ANZ?
The RAW expansion into Australia and New Zealand is to replicate the success to date in the UK and Europe, working with well established and respected brands and retailers, leading with world class creative, innovative design and product development paired with RAW’s exceptional and industry leading, global manufacturing partners to offer a fresh and transparent approach to fashion design and production. To become the market leader is our goal and based on the way that the RAW team is structured, we have a few different opportunities to get there and work with retailers and brands.
The RAW team is structured as below:
- RGG / White Label which is our private label business which researches, conceptualises, designs, develops, manufactures and delivers different tired products for the different retail sectors in our network.
- RAW Brands team are structured per brand and have developed internal and customer facing brands that cover different gaps in the UK, Europe, US, Australia and New Zealand and global market.
- License / License Brands — a dedicated team across design and commercial elevate and innovate brands through licensing deals to re-engage and reinvigorate brands globally.
What types of brands and retailers are you looking to work with across Australia and New Zealand?
We’re looking to work with like minded companies who have design, quality, sustainability and ethical sourcing that runs throughout their DNA.
- Big Box Retailers
- Discount Dept Stores
- Mid Tier Retailers and Brands
- Luxury Dept Stores and Brands
- Global Licensors
So Lynton, finally can you tell us how can Companies get in touch with you to discuss opportunities to work with RAW?
Contact us on the below:
Our goal is to become the market leader here in Australia; based on the initial market response, we’re very excited about the prospect of utilising our expertise to support and elevate a wide variety of brands and retailers.Lynton Rice