Recently on a Facebook post someone commented that she liked the designs of our children’s tee shirts but stated that “there is no need for a kids tee shirt to cost £17.50”.
I replied politely thanking her for her comments and went on to explain that each child’s tee shirt (and all of our other products) are made to order with the exact specification requested by the customer. The customer can choose the tee shirt fit and size (nothing unusual about that) but can also pick the design and the colour of the print meaning every order is made individually, in the Scamp studio. The garments will be made and packaged by one of three people - me, my sister Jennifer or our part-time employee Carolyn. Oh and occasionally, if you are lucky, we will have had help from a mini Scampette during school holidays!
Our garments have been chosen carefully to reflect the fact we care about our customers and we very much care about the people who are making the blank clothing for us. And we know we have an environmental responsibility too. We have deliberately sourced our products from ethical companies adhering to the WRAP (Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production) scheme or Fairwear Foundation (Corporate Social Responsibility) who scrutinise every process and supplier for sustainability and ensure compliance with laws and workplace regulations such as prohibition of forced or child labour.
The biggest costs to us, as a small business, are the blank garments, studio overheads, staff costs and the postage. As we buy ethically manufactured and organic blank products they are naturally more expensive than a garment made in a sweatshop. We also purchase in much, much smaller quantities (compared to the bigger retailers or brands) so we don't buy the volumes that will bring the costs of these items down. We pay rent and staff wages monthly as well as overheads such as electricity, broadband and subscriptions for design software. We need to take all of this into account when pricing each individual item. High street shops are closing left, right and centre partly due to overhead costs so if we didn’t take that into account we would no longer still have a business.
And we mustn't forget about the 10% donation of every sale of our Mighty range that we give to the wonderful children's mental health charity Place2Be. Scamp have committed to take this step, to have a social responsibility, and help other who are in a less fortunate position than us. So every time you purchase one of these items from us you are also helping provide these services for young children.
The clothing has all been tried and tested (printing, wearing, playing, washing, for sizing and for durability) by us and our family and friends. Nothing slips through the eagle eye the Scamp sampling process! Due to the very nature of paying a premium for the quality of items, we source from our suppliers, means a Scamp garment will last longer, wash better, not lose colour and not go out of shape. There is nothing worse than buying an item of clothing for it to lose colour or shape after only a few washes. One of the beauties of our predominantly unisex kids tee shirts and sweatshirts is they can be handed down to a brother or sister or passed on to a friend. Re-using and re-loving the garment further helps our environment.
Yes we could buy cheaper base products and have them mass produced in overseas factories in order to sell our clothing at a lower cost but there is a responsibility, from us, to ensure what we sell fits with our values as people and of our business. We don’t try to compete with the high street prices because we don't have their supply chain or volume of sales but nor do we want to. We are a small business trying to carve a niche with our collections by creating thoughtful, empowering products for you and your families that you won't find everyone else wearing and that will last you a very long time :-)
stacey and jennifer x