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Anglo-Dutch label Crafted Society gets 1 million EUR investment, plans to open UK store

By Marjorie van Elven

26 Feb 2020

Business

Crafted Society, the sustainable fashion label founded by husband and wife Martin Johnston and Lise Bonnet, has received more than 1 million euros (0.8 million pounds) from an undisclosed group of private investors from various sectors, according to a press release sent by the company to FashionUnited. The investors now own a 25 percent stake in the company.

The investment will be used to expand the label’s online and offline presence. The former will be done with the help of Dutch ICT firm Mabs 4.0, while the latter will consist of a network of franchises around Europe. First launched as an online business, Crafted Society opened its first bricks and mortar location in Amsterdam, where Bonnet is from, in December 2018. There, shoppers can see the products, try them on and then order them online. The success of this “fitting room”, as the brand names it, has inspired the duo to open more of them in other cities. The countries where Crafted Society intends to go were not disclosed, but Johnston’s motherland, the UK, will for sure be the first stop. The company is already looking for a retail point in Great Britain. In an interview with FashionUnited in February 2019, Johnston and Bonnet have also expressed interest in opening a showroom in the United States.

Crafted Society aims to promote artisans working in the luxury industry, whose centuries-old expertise often goes unmentioned. All of the brand’s tags carry both Crafted Society’s logo and the names of the Italian businesses that made the product. The brand also donates 1 percent of its annual sales to charities promoting access to education in craftsmanship, looking to solve a prevalent problem in the field: the scarcity of young professionals. “We are the only luxury brand that aims to strengthen and shed light upon the grandmasters of the luxury industry΅, said Bonnet in the press release.

Celebrating the funds received, Johnston wrote in the statement: "Lise and I started this brand with a dream, a good dose of experience and a lot of passion, and it is really rewarding to now share this vision we have for a democratised luxury industry with our new family members. We are delighted to welcome such a diversified and globally connected group of business angels who are all first and foremost, customers and ambassadors of Crafted Society, and their combined expertise will complement what is already in-house to help us scale our business at home and abroad. This investment is a true acknowledgment that we are creating both a unique brand as well as a business model that ensures fair remuneration for everyone involved."

Craftsman Ernesto Toressi, who works with Crafted Society

Photos: courtesy of Crafted Society