Weirdly was founded as a company obsessed with culture and the values that drive it. As we’ve grown and evolved over the years - from simple culture assessments to a full frontline candidate CRM system - that foundation hasn’t shifted.
If we’re honest, we’ve not really done a great job of living up to those values when it comes to swag. So in our recent rebrand, we’ve dedicated ourselves to changing that. The way we see it, we’re all responsible for creating the kind of world we want to live in. But as a business, we carry another layer of responsibility.
One of my favourite sayings is “You’re not in the traffic, you are the traffic”. In the same way, when we’re moaning about businesses treating employees like a number, being poor guardians of the environment or manipulating or taking advantage of vulnerable members of society, we like to remind ourselves that we are a business.
If we want the status quo to change, we have to start changing it ourselves.
We’ve prioritised “whole person” policies when it comes to our people, we’ve worked really hard to maintain the diversity of our teams as we’ve grown and we’ve made some hard decisions about who we choose to do business with. But when it comes to our swag, we’ve mostly just followed the pack - choosing not to think too deeply about where our hats or t-shirts or stickers come from.
That doesn’t sit well with us or our team. And it doesn’t represent the change we’re trying to model in our industry.
It’s ok if your eyes rolled when you read that. My eyes rolled a bit writing it. But here we are. The Weirdly team is committing to making sure from this point on, we’re making more ethical choices when it comes to the stuff we paste our brand on.
We won’t get it perfect, but we’re going to get as close as we can, as often as we can.
That means prioritising local manufacturers and designers whenever possible, preferring suppliers who offer transparency through their production line or are committed to living wage or fairtrade practices. We’ll be biased toward folk who are making environmentally responsible goods. And we’re going to try our hardest to stay away from adding to the piles of branded, plastic stuff that gets thrown in your kid’s toybox as soon as you get home from an event.
Our first step in the right direction is partnering with a local company, Offcut, that makes hats out of fabric...well, offcuts.
Did you know 10-20% of fabric in the fashion industry is dumped into landfills? That’s the equivalent of us each throwing 150 t-shirts into the rubbish every year. I don’t know about you, but that feels kind of gross.
Offcut takes that fabric waste - the scraps that are left after the designer makes that shirt you’re wearing - and turns it into hats. Then, they offset the remaining cost of production by planting a tree for every hat they sell.
So for our next run of Weirdly swag, we’re partnering with Offcut to produce regular, limited edition runs of Weirdly hats. We’ll use these as gifts for our team, customers and to give away at events we attend.
Keep an eye on our social profiles if you’re curious to see these as they release and hit us up if you see us out and about. We’re chuffed to be adding another little step toward being a more conscious, ethical business.