British clothing and sleepwear label Yolke are stepping away from wholesale and switching to a direct-to-consumer model via its own e-commerce from September, as a result of Brexit challenges and to become more sustainable.
Yolke said that the decision was made in reaction to the additional duties and taxes brought on by Brexit, which has meant that its pyjamas have become “unaffordable” for its European customers.
The women’s and children’s label added that Brexit was also placing pressure on the UK market, with prices increasing due to the additional taxes on inbound fabrics and garments. Because of that, it believes that it makes sense to cut out the middle party and sell direct to consumers at prices set by the brand, “in line with their core audience”.
Yolke adds that this new direct-to-consumer model will mean more control over its margins, allowing it to work with sustainable forward-thinking factories and fabrics while not compromising on standards of production to bring inflated prices down.
“The ability to set our own selling price whilst wasting less and maintaining more independence in the process has driven this decision,” explained Ella Ringner, founder and creative director at Yolke in a statement.
Yolke to step away from wholesale and focus on direct-to-consumer e-commerce
Yolke is currently stocked in retailers including Harrods, Selfridges, Fortnum and Mason, and Childrensalon. The brand said that it is working with each retailer to sell the current Wildflowers collection already in stores that feature an array of silhouettes in bespoke floral prints.
Moving forward Yolke clothing and homeware will be sold to consumers through its website Yolke.co.uk.
Duties and taxes will be included at checkout for customers worldwide, allowing for “full transparency,” added the brand. Prices will remain all-inclusive for Europe and the rest of the world, with customers not receiving hidden bills on arrival.
Ringner added: “No Longer having to include a wholesale margin allows us to continue to work towards more sustainable practices at all stages within the business.
“With the control over our own margins there is room to develop with an innovative approach; to focus on ethical forward-thinking factories and explore new ways to work together to minimise our environmental impact.”
Yolke to drive forward sustainability goals, develop new lines and open pop-ups
Yolke is also taking this opportunity to drive the business to become more sustainable each season. To meet its sustainability targets, it needs freedom within its production line to work with more sustainable fabrics and ethical factories, which comes from switching to direct-to-consumer.
This Yolke explains that because cash flow is tied up in producing wholesale orders season on season, and with no deposits paid for production, it had become “increasingly difficult to develop new lines and collections which are key to growing the business”.
For pre-spring 2022, Yolke is launching two new lines under the ‘Love’ banner this September, featuring Italian corduroy suits produced in Europe, crisp white shirts, scalloped skirts and day dresses, available in UK sizes 6 to 16. There will also be a party edit with an iridescent collection of dresses inspired by the ’70s and Nutcracker Silks adorned with cherries in a nod to folklore. Prices range from 145 to 295 pounds.
Yolke will also be “actively participating” in exclusive pop-ups moving forward, with the first being in Liberty in London this autumn to showcase the new Love collection. Dates and further details are to be shared in the coming weeks.
Launched in 2013 in London, Yolke began as a luxury sleepwear brand founded by Ringner. In 2018, Yolke expanded its collections to introduce Little Yolke, a matching childrenwear collection to sit alongside the classic sleep line, and unveiled its first ready-to-wear collection. In 2019, the brand launched its first sustainable ready-to-wear collection featuring eco-friendly plant-based fabrics sourced locally and produced in Europe working with family-run factories. Last year, Yolke launched its first homeware collection featuring crisp linen tablecloths and matching napkins, accompanied by silk and cotton cushions woven in the Cotswolds.