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A Phoenix Rising From the Ashes


DEC 2022: A Year in Review for 7L

Written by Ali George Hinkins 

With hindsight on our side, it’s clear to see that running a business isn’t as plain sailing as people often paint it out to be behind the glitz-and-glam of social media. Unfortunately, these misfortunes are rarely ever transcribed to a wider audience, particularly not to your target audience, but 7L are big believers in transparency “It’s something we proudly stand behind and it is inherent throughout many aspects of our business, from the production process to the fabrics we use” says founder Jamie Lundy. “We have tried to keep everyone updated throughout the year, so hopefully you have followed along with the trials and tribulations we have undergone, from highs to unprecedented lows”. 


As 2021 drew to a close, the year seemed to get off to a good start for the fledgling brand as an influx of high-quality technical goods came into the warehouse and they navigated their way out of the pandemic whilst keeping the business stable. The first quarter looked promising until one fateful morning in late February nearly brought the company to its knees. “We woke to see the roller shutter doors of our warehouse on the cover of the Manchester Evening News engulfed in smoke and flames. In these situations, you never expect it to really happen to you so we immediately drove down to see if it really was our warehouse, the place that housed 7L’s internal organs. Just like that, we had lost pretty much everything: all of our products for 2022, fabrics and archive references. Our business model, our business strategy and our sales forecasts were all written off for the foreseeable. It was sink or swim.”

 


 

“To ensure that we rebuilt the brand in the most sustainable way possible, I took a multi-faceted approach and began to invest back into 7L by bringing in individuals with good industry experience as well as planning for future collaborations, investigating new partners and partaking in projects that hit close to home. 

We acknowledged that now was the time to invest in our staff and the people around us; Mike Meikleham was appointed as Co-Creative Director alongside myself and I appointed Robin Fairweather as UK Wholesale Sales Manager. Immediately, the pair of them brought a fresh perspective to the business in the short-term and down the line, helping us to develop a clear strategy and implement our 2023-2028 growth plan into wholesale and some of the retailers like END, United Arrows, Beams and LN-CC, among others”.

By bringing in additional resource delegating Jamie has been able to focus much of his efforts and skill into rebuilding the brand and designing many of AW22’s pieces himself. It’s also helped on other aspects of the business that require his demanding attention. 

 

 

“With the right people on board, we could divert our focus to other aspects of the business, including reworking the supply chain and sourcing new partners to work with. Recently, our travels found us in Hanoi, Vietnam, after we were invited by one of the world's best technical outerwear manufacturers to see their facilities and discuss current and future business opportunities with them. We knew we were in good company. Assuming all goes well, they will become a strategic partner of 7L in 2023 onwards, investing and helping us to achieve our key growth plan which includes our vision of launching the brand in Asia and getting our product into the hands of technical clothing enthusiasts across the world. In addition, we have had a few trips to Amsterdam where we have been discussing collaborations with some people out there, all of which will be announced at Paris Fashion Week in January. There is plenty in the pipeline where near-future partners are concerned and we are excited to tell you more about them when the time is right. For now, just rest assured that we are making the necessary moves to rebuild the brand and meet with new partners who can help us to push the brand further”.

 

. . . . . . .

AW22 - The Abrasion System 

“Whilst our Autumn/Winter ‘22 collection isn’t where we pictured it being at the beginning of the year (before the fire) we have managed to amazingly deliver our ‘Abrasion System’ albeit late, will be released in a number of drops between November and January 2023 - see below for further information. 

November / December 2022

Drop 1 – November 2022
Graphic Oversize T-Shirts
Drop 2 – November 2022
Graphic Hoodies and Crew Sweaters
Drop 3 – December 2022
Abrasion Longline Parkas (Green, Grey & Clay)
Drop 4 – December 2022
Abrasion Socks (White and Black)
Drop 5 – December 2022
7L x YETI Flasks and mugs.
Drop 6 – December 2022
December gift boxes with candles
. . . . . . .
January 2023

Drop 7 – January 2023
20 415 TREK Bright Green Parka’s
Drop 8 – January 2023
Abrasion Apollo Parka’s (Black)
Drop 9 – January 2023
Abrasion Wind Breaker Outer (Black)
Drop 10 – January 2023
Abrasion Recon Jacket (Black)
Drop 11 – January 2023
ReconAbrasion Smock (Black)
Drop 12 – January 2023
Abrasion Stretch Shirt (Black and Grey)

 

Summary and Beyond: 

All things considered, 7L is heading in a great direction as the calendar year comes towards a close. During a time of the year when people often fall into a lull, they are spurred on by a lot of positive momentum whether it be from the great team of individuals Jamie Lundy has inspired and motivated to his plans for 2023 and beyond. You can expect to see bountiful, yet logical, collaborations with partners in and around the fashion space, new suppliers that are providing up-to-date products and an exciting wholesale strategy with some prestigious retail accounts that are interested.

 If there is one thing that they can take away from the fire , it’s that throughout all this, they have still maintained the DNA, morals and values that Jamie has stood by since 7L was conceived: to be transparent, hard-working - even when things get tough - and never compromising on the quality - of anything. As they continue to build upon those pre-existing foundations, the brand identity is becoming stronger and 7L plans to keep on innovating season after season despite the hurdles they have already jumped over. 

“We’ve done it before and we know that we can do it again.” says Jamie. 

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