The 2021 Revival
2020 took us all by surprise. Many of us were forced to find new ways to support ourselves and our families, all but few shared an array of hardships throughout the year. Some looked to our governments for security, guidance, and leadership, to find they were as confused and unprepared as the rest of us. We had no way of knowing what was to come and had to think fast on how best to deal with each of our personalized predicaments.
Whilst somewhat desperate for humanity, 2020 was a reprieve for our environments. We saw rivers and lakes turn clear and air pollution in cities drop as much as 50%. We also witnessed the most alarming real-time evidence of the effects of climate change and simultaneously delivered a new wasteful pollutant to the world in single-use facemasks.
The end of the pandemic may look a little closer now, but there’s still a long way to go, and little value to be found in simply waiting for this all to end.
We have an opportunity to start this new decade with a different outlook, to use the conscious shift of our past year to further grow the sustainable movement.
According to the latest data from Statista:
“Shopping sustainably” as a search term has grown by 235% year on year
“Impact of online shopping on environment” has grown 2,250%.
Overall terms related to sustainable shopping online are growing at 650%.
Amidst the chaos, the search for sustainable alternatives and awareness of our environmental impact, continues to develop on a global scale.
Yasminida, is one of the many sources of those sustainable products the world is looking for. If we take a brief look through our history, we see that 2020 was a setback in an otherwise energetic journey of continuous growth.
What had been running as a one-woman garments and crafts making mission, outgrew our home. Yasmin moved into her first workshop, took on 3 staff, and registered her business “Yasminida”. By the end of the year this grew to a team of 12 and a fledgling company begun to spread its wings.
Without any promotion people were finding us, word of mouth spread, interest grew. We took on more orders, of greater size, we said “yes” to anything we thought we could make. We ended the year with just under 30 employees.
Our reputation grew further, we produced just over 207,000 eco-products and sold them across Indonesia and to over 30 countries around the world.
We used this as a chance to save some money, build some financial security and stability.
No, we didn’t, we should have, isn’t hindsight great?
We steamed ahead, we moved to a bigger workshop and developed the space. We took on more team members to meet the ever-growing demand. We set sail towards the horizon of infinite possibility… and then...
'Aduh' is an Indonesian word that most closely resembles 'Ouch' in English. An expression for pain or unpleasant surprise, physical or emotional. It’s pronounced ‘ah– duh’, though often the ‘uh’ sounds more like an ‘oh’. You can use it with greater emphasis on the ‘ah’ and the ‘oh’, to highlight your frustration. It is a very cathartic word.
2020 would be “aaaaaaahhhdddooooouuuuuuuuuuhhhh!!”
Our clients, many of whom run small eco-boutiques around the world, got closed in lockdowns. Markets stagnated, sellers feared turning money into stock, buyers feared letting it go.
Our most consistent revenue stream had been Bali shops in popular tourist spots like Ubud, Canggu, Seminyak. Indonesia closed its borders and the stream dried to a dusty creek.
Over the course of the year, we had to reduce our team to 15 permanent staff, we had begun with 45. Our sales closed at just over 30% of the previous year. Ouch.
But we did at least use our time wisely:
We developed new products
We got proper product photos
We built our website
We prepared our blog
We worked with our team to improve efficiency
We fixed some of the boring behind-the-scenes business stuff that had gotten a little neglected while we were focusing on doing what we love.
We developed relationships with other local manufacturers and organizations focused on sustainability.
We made sure that when the orders come flowing back, we’re ready for them and we have more to offer our clients than ever before, in both products and resources.
2021 - The Revival
Here we are, Day #7 for the year, and Day #4 back in the office. Last year we had no warning, this year we have no excuse.
We want to see sufficient orders to get our colleagues back with us, producing products that can replace single-use plastics and spreading them far and wide.
We want to show that eco-products can be better, and in some cases can even lower cost, than their environmentally destructive counterparts.
We want to do our bit to help rebuild the local economy that has been shattered on an Island reliant on tourism.
We have a team of trained and skilled artisans at the ready and can produce into the many thousands.
We’re not afraid to tell you that we need all the help we can get, to rebuild!
We made it through 2020, we’ll make it through this year and all the rest. If we have to go back to Yasmin sitting at a sewing machine night and day, and me building websites, so be it. If we have to start again from scratch, so be it. We will always come back stronger. We will not stop; this is more than a business; this is a life mission.
Whatever happens, may we all not just return to a sense of normalcy, if there ever was such a thing?
May we progress, thrive and shine in 2021 and utilize our developing global consciousness, to the advantage of all!