Hi, Louise here, one of the co-founders of The Better Trends Company. Welcome to our first blog post! This feels really exciting to finally have a website, a blog and to finalise what was many conversations and Miro boards of ideas over lockdown!
We thought our first post should introduce ourselves and say a bit more about why we started this company – we’re only a few months old and a lot has happened already.
As you may (or may not) know Natalie and I have been in the trend and design industries a long time, so what made us decide to do this now?
Well.. a pandemic, the lockdowns, COP 26, BLM, the climate crisis…. A LOT has really changed in the past 2 years. Many peoples way of life has changed. Many of the predicted trends to do with design and retail have accelerated in this time: online living, focus on localism, craft revivals, eco centred retail and emotionally driven, purposeful products and experiences (and many others). Natalie and I decided that a trends and design agency with these values at the heart of it was needed to support indies and SME’s who are the life blood of our communities and our retail and design futures.
Natalie and I met at the wonderful trade show Top Drawer in January 2020 and had one of those conversations that’s a light bulb moment. For those of you who haven’t been to Top Drawer, it’s a 3 day design-led lifestyle event every January and September at Olympia in London. It’s such an inspiring show as there are talks, workshops and trend displays along with hundreds of vendors that range from established brands to new designers from UAL.
I had created the trends for that season and was presenting at the Retail Fest stage on trends, how to spot trends and why it's important to use trends in your business. Natalie had her beautiful card stand opposite the stage and I could see she was enthusiastically nodding along to what I was saying! Our conversation afterwards was the start of what became TBTC. As an indie business, Natalie had first hand experience of the inaccessibility of trends reports, design direction or any kind of design strategies for smaller operations. The more people we spoke to, the more we realised small businesses were finding trend and design information prohibitive due to cost, time or an overwhelming amount of data and jargon.
That got us thinking about why that is and how can that be remedied. When small businesses are under resourced and overlooked, it really undervalues what they contribute to the design category and the larger community. We saw this come into play directly during 2020: the people of the UK relied on their local stores when supermarkets and other stores couldn't provide. The threat of closure for a lot of small businesses was and still is looming, however many communities have reacted by re-establishing ties with their local independent retailers. The last 2 years felt like a really important turning point in both demonstrating the importance of independents but also the interdependence and sustainability of local retailers, designers, food growers and those who live in the community.
Both Natalie and I had worked a lot of our lives for big corporates giants and knew that this was the time to directly nurture, support and cheerlead indies and small businesses, all through the lens of much more sustainable, ethical and responsible trend and design guidance. We are inspired by the ‘4P’s’ framework of Futurist Anne Lise Kjaer that places the 4 P’s of Planet, People, Purpose and Profit in an order of importance where profit is last – she says that if you focus on the other three, then profit will come. We liked that idea.
As design and trends professionals, we both want to make a positive difference for people and planet while changing the accessibility of trend and design resources. As Mums, as friends, as humans, we want to make our work as eco friendly, as ethical and inclusive as it can be and to do better for the future. We hope you can join us in making Better Trends for Better Futures.
As we have said, accessibility is key for us: we are always happy to chat to you directly - email us on firstname.lastname@example.org for a virtual coffee!