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Bono and wife bid to save clothes firm

 

Belfast Telegraph, May 31, 2010

 

 

 

Bono and his wife Ali Hewson risk losing millions of euro if they fail in a new bid to get their ethical clothing line off the ground.

 

Ali has admitted their venture, Edun, has not made a profit yet but she is trying to reverse its fortunes since the family moved to New York last year.

 

She also admitted the "aesthetics" of the fair trading fashion range she founded with Bono and fashion designer Rogan Gregory in 2005 have been overshadowed by its mission to boost jobs in Africa and developing regions.

 

Less than three years ago, Edun had $3.6m in outstanding bank loans and owed its three shareholders $7.9m, but the Hewsons hope to turn the business around after partnering with global luxury goods giant LVMH last year.

 

Edun, which has a base in the trendy Tribeca area of New York, plans to bring out a collection in time for the World Cup, with designs by children who are living in slums in Nairobi.

 

© Belfast Telegraph, 2010.

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Their products are not much more expensive than the surf industry clothes. The owner of Lost is one of my best friends and I constantly bicker about their prices (I don't have to pay for clothing or anything in surfing so I am blessed) but I do know numbers and it's quite interesting how that industry works. Everyone thinks NY and fashion, NOT. The entire industry is pretty much based outta Irvine California. Florida is bidding for their industry we are giving tax credits and grant money out the ying yang. If there is one thing I know inside out backward and forwards and have the inside track on it's the surf industry. Surf industry=surfing, paddle boards, skate, snowboarding, wakeboarding, music they all wear what the surfers wear. Hell, Betsy Johnson made her name in the surf industry and she took off. It blows my mind when I go to the corporate headquarters of these places and see Japanese businessmen and businessmen/women from all over the world that know nothing about surfing LOL and none of the corporate offices look like surfer places LOL. Hollister wanted to expand their line and Abercrombie & Fitch called and booked my son and he was on the billboards in timesquare and every freaking mall in the world, Northern Hemisphere during our spring, then the ad campaign switches to the southern hemi. LOL, Abercrombie & Fitch had to rent my surfboards, and I was just joking about it, and they actually cut me a check down in the domican republic, they spared no expense on their ad campaign and I watched along with the surf industry their numbers go through the roof and their stock skyrocket. Hollister is the sister company of Abercrombie. AND ALL IT TOOK WAS ONE FREAKING PHOTO. Of course, my son had his name tatoo on his inner arm, which pissed me off, when he was Tahiti, so we weren't sure if Abercrombie would freak but instead they made sure his name was in the shot, they got a legit surfer in their photo cuz my son had just returned from the world games and banked a silver medal from the International Olympic Comm. Anyhow, I think Quiksilver, Lost, Hurley, Billabong, Volcom (another company I am really close with they are all traded on the NY stock exchange, except Lost, it is privately held THANK GOD, can tell you she doesn't have a real niche. She has fantastic clothes, they would go perfect with the environmentally peace loving surf scene, but she would have to change things up a bit, scale back her line a tad, focus in on her market area (surf market is world wide including Africa LOL, the places they go to make their stuff is the same places surfers go on treks to find waves, I think she would do great. Nobody had even heard of her in our industry. I have brought up Eduns site in front of owners and number one comment was she has the best online shopping site ever, they all love how she has sales online and the ease of it, but she has the wrong market group. She could walk into Surf Expo (all you have to do is google it) and everyone is there in the same place, it's the biggest thing in surfing, all the buyers (shop owners reps etc) are right there with skateboarders flying over your head and girls in bikinis serving up the drinks and food. It's three days of solid business and it happens twice a year in Florida and once a year in California, Florida is the biggest. 80% of all product is sold on the eastern seaboard of the USA so that should tell you we know where the buyers are and she is in the wrong market!!!! EDUN COME ON OVER TO OUR INDUSTRY!!!! My son even bought one of their shirts cuz they are in the college bookstores. So she is almost there but she needs to market it different and find the right price point. I would just hate to see her line go under cuz I think it has great possiblities. I wish we would have known if she was looking for help cuz I know for a fact there is a half dozen companies that would have taken a look and set it right and turn a profit. 5 years without a profit is all wrong in our industry. This is an industry I know inside out so I know for a fact it could have worked, now she has hooked up with some stupid money high end crap and boutique crud and like I said her numbers weren't that far off, she just had the wrong market. I love Eduns clothes. OK, there is my surf industry two cents. I really wish she had taken a different road, she wouldn't be worrying or in debt. The end.

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[quote name='Kristaps wrote:


surrenders wrote:

Panth']Maybe if the product wasn't expensive, and was more accessible.....

Yes, it's very expensive and not easy to find.  It's only sold online right?  I love their T's, they're so comfortable and it's like wearing nothing, edun (nude).  I bought 3 T's when they were priced way down.  They also tend to gear the clothes to very small sized people, at least for women.  We're all not in our 20s and paper thin.

 

I would've bought their Ts, but as you've said - it's very expensive. And it's a shame really, because they have A LOT of items I'd like to own.

 

I've bought their T's.  You can also go to Zazzle, create your own t-shirt or as an example you can go to the African Well Fund's (or any seller's page, I believe) page at Zazzle and buy a design on an Edun made t-shirt.

 

Besides online you should be able to find Edun's designs in Nordstrums and other higher priced retail stores, or at least you could when the line first came out.

 

Here's what I posted in a thread Mac made about this on the paid side (just my two cents): 

 

Here's why I don't think Edun hasn't done as well as hoped; first off, the clothes are on the expensive side, unlike the GAP (RED) products and such. But that was the point. These were geared for the higher priced fashion industry and retail.  I guess that Edun just doesn't carry that designer punch or influence that, along with the actual design and style, is as much a selling point in the fashion industry.

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[quote name='surrenders wrote:


Panth']Maybe if the product wasn't expensive, and was more accessible.....

Yes, it's very expensive and not easy to find.  It's only sold online right?  I love their T's, they're so comfortable and it's like wearing nothing, edun (nude).  I bought 3 T's when they were priced way down.  They also tend to gear the clothes to very small sized people, at least for women.  We're all not in our 20s and paper thin.

 

  I agree, Not to slam Edun,but I wonder if Edun's target market actually was "the gifted" (thin and well-off) instead of us regular types.

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[quote name='surrenders wrote:


Panth']Maybe if the product wasn't expensive, and was more accessible.....

Yes, it's very expensive and not easy to find.  It's only sold online right?  I love their T's, they're so comfortable and it's like wearing nothing, edun (nude).  I bought 3 T's when they were priced way down.  They also tend to gear the clothes to very small sized people, at least for women.  We're all not in our 20s and paper thin.

 

I agree with the sizing, price points and accessibility issues. Their sizes are not for the general public, they're smaller and I would say closer to teen sizes. I'm not sure how bad they're doing but if they tweak a few things I think they could turn things around. I think personally that it is the combination of smaller sizing and pricier clothing that is the main cause of them not doing well. Besides doesn't it take about 3 or more years for new businesses to turn a profit unless they're extremely lucky? I'm not sure but I hope things do turn around for them.

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[quote name='surrenders wrote:


Panth']Maybe if the product wasn't expensive, and was more accessible.....

Yes, it's very expensive and not easy to find.  It's only sold online right?  I love their T's, they're so comfortable and it's like wearing nothing, edun (nude).  I bought 3 T's when they were priced way down.  They also tend to gear the clothes to very small sized people, at least for women.  We're all not in our 20s and paper thin.

 

I agree with the sizing, price points and accessibility issues. Their sizes are not for the general public, they're smaller and I would say closer to teen sizes. I'm not sure how bad they're doing but if they tweak a few things I think they could turn things around. I think personally that it is the combination of smaller sizing and pricier clothing that is the main cause of them not doing well. Besides doesn't it take about 3 or more years for new businesses to turn a profit unless they're extremely lucky? I'm not sure but I hope things do turn around for them.

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I have 3 T-shirts from the tour that are Edun. Edge's sounds, Bono one and the U2360 graffiti version. They've washed well and are pretty comfortable.

 

I'm really surprised more T-shirts on the tour were not Edun made, would make sense from a business point of view.

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[quote name='illumination70 wrote:


surrenders wrote:

Panth']Maybe if the product wasn't expensive, and was more accessible.....

Yes, it's very expensive and not easy to find.  It's only sold online right?  I love their T's, they're so comfortable and it's like wearing nothing, edun (nude).  I bought 3 T's when they were priced way down.  They also tend to gear the clothes to very small sized people, at least for women.  We're all not in our 20s and paper thin.

 

  I agree, Not to slam Edun,but I wonder if Edun's target market actually was "the gifted" (thin and well-off) instead of us regular types.

Have to agree it's ok doing a range of colthing to help people but what about the people above a size 0 lol All though a lot of colthing companys who do larger sizes put more on the price anyway! (For once I'd like to see a company have the balls to do all sizes at the same price all though that will never happen in my life time ever)

 

But saying that I did buy a scarf from Edun yes the black one lol but had troubles with it and found the customer support was awsome plus you know it's another way of helping people in Africa! Shame if it goes down the drain really!

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[quote name='illumination70 wrote:


surrenders wrote:


 

Panth']

Maybe if the product wasn't expensive, and was more accessible.....

Yes, it's very expensive and not easy to find.  It's only sold online right?  I love their T's, they're so comfortable and it's like wearing nothing, edun (nude).  I bought 3 T's when they were priced way down.  They also tend to gear the clothes to very small sized people, at least for women.  We're all not in our 20s and paper thin.

 

  I agree, Not to slam Edun,but I wonder if Edun's target market actually was "the gifted" (thin and well-off) instead of us regular types.

 

Well, I'm not 'paper thin' neither am I in my 20s anymore and I've never had trouble with the sizing of Edun's clothes!? Infact if anything, I've sometimes had to buy a size smaller than what I usuallly would!

 

I personally think Edun's problems have to do with marketing more than anything else. They should have put more effort into targeting the European market and have the brand availble in shops like H&M.

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