Who made my Hoopla?
Having worked in procurement in a multi-national business for many years, I am very aware about the importance of ethical sourcing. This was always an easy thing to do when I was part of a large business, our volume could almost dictate what suppliers had to do in order to gain our business and I’d like to feel that I partnered with a number of suppliers to help improve their CSR credentials.
When I started my own business I wanted to follow similar guidelines. But it wasn’t quite so easy, larger manufacturers who had well established CSR processes weren’t interested in my tiny volumes and they certainly didn’t want to work within my budgets! So I had to find suppliers who were small enough for me to be of interest, who produced the quality of product I wanted and who were also committed to their staff and the environment. After a few false start I met my current supplier.
I work with Daniel who is part of a small family business, he went to school and grew up with the owner of the factory. They value their staff, reward good performances and are concerned about their impact on the environment. They are looking to grow, especially their export business, and know up-skilling their team, sourcing from sustainable suppliers and caring about the environment is the best way to do that.
I have visited the factory and watched them making the bags; it was amazing to see a whole factory full of Hooplas! All bags are cut by hand and sewn on machines by hand. Together we agreed what was important in a Hoopla and the QA process all bags should follow. They meticulously check every bag to make sure my expectations are met. I’m not saying we don’t have faults in our bags, but we have put in a number of check points to reduce these.
I had experienced a number of issues with my first supplier and Daniel and his team were happy for me to share my checking process to avoid the same problems again. Manufacturing of goods should be a partnership between manufacturer and customer, I’ve found I get a much better result when I share my expectations and knowledge and listen to what they have to offer as well.