More than 14 years ago, I set up a global homeware brand called MAKE International, best known for the Keith Brymer Jones ‘Word’ range. Since our inception, we have sold thousands of products worldwide, to some of the largest retailers from John Lewis in the UK to Barnes & Noble in the US.
On the 24th June 2016 the UK voted to leave the EU. Within a matter of days many retailers started cancelling orders with MAKE. They were concerned about the economic conditions post-Brexit. Suddenly there wasn’t an outlet for some of our best-selling items.
Over the last 20 years, many brands have taken the decision to move manufacturing to the Far East because of cheaper mass production. Companies demanding huge growth, end up buying product in enormous batches that become incredibly difficult to shift – as a result, it takes up valuable storage space, increases warehouse costs, while simultaneously impacting our environment. This is overstock. The stock left mounting up in warehouses across the world creates a massive financial burden on companies and impacts the environment on a global scale.
I soon realised we weren't the only company experiencing these problems, a solution was needed and so buyfair was born.
I started speaking to industry friends to understand how they tackled this problem. I found there were limited options available other than selling to the stock clearance companies. As was widely reported recently, many brands ended up dumping and burning their overstock as they felt they had no other option whilst retaining brand integrity. It made me think, why are we making so much stuff all the time, if we can’t even shift last year's collections - the environmental impact is just too high.
The solution is simple - buyfair, a platform for overstock. buyfair connects buyers and sellers on a level playing field, creating better value on all sides.
The idea grew from a simple, necessary business solution, to a great, sustainable idea. The world has changed, we are now acutely aware of the climate crisis. If we can help by re-purposing existing stock out there, then we are making a positive contribution.
All the best,
Dominic and the rest of the buyfair team.