"fulfilmentcrowd have a whole host of their own environmental sustainability goals. We're always looking at ways to minimise the amount of packaging we use, as well as the most eco friendly materials. We feel there is a real synergy with our partnership with fulfilmentcrowd. We're both pulling in the same direction, which gives us even more confidence that they are the right provider for us to partner with long term." - Alex Stewart, Co-Founder.
For Co-founder Alex Stewart, inspiration for eco-conscious brand OneNine5 came from a source that shocked the rest of the nation; in October 2017, he witnessed the enormous masses of plastic waste dumped in our oceans as documented by David’s Attenborough’s Blue Planet series. This inspiration transpired into action when, travelling through airport security for a long weekend away, Alex and his fellow Co-Founder Andy were shocked at the number of single-use clear liquid bags picked up by passengers, only to be discarded at the end of their holiday.
Determined to make waves in the aviation and travel industry and reduce the estimated 150 million single-use clear bags used by UK travelers every year, OneNine5 was born. Named after the number of countries in the world and the pair’s passion for stylish yet functional travel accessories, the founders set to work on a direct-to-consumer business model.
The OneNine5 washbag, made from recycled plastic and initially available in 3 colours, is well-designed and thoroughly researched. In fact, the pair conducted extensive surveys across three of the UK’s largest airports before undergoing development with their Shoreditch-based product design partners.
We asked whether Alex foresees UK legislation similar to the 10p plastic bag charge expanding to airports in order to tackle the plastic problem. He comments: “‘We’ve all seen innovations and progression to tackle single use plastics within the grocery and cosmetics industry. Sadly, the aviation and travel industry is lagging behind. We believe it is legislation that will ultimately drive real change and mandates to tackle plastic waste are needed to motivate air passengers to change their habits. Until then, it is up to businesses like ours to offer sustainable travel alternatives to consumers that share a similar standpoint on tackling the plastic crisis.”
After finalising product design and production in December 2018, OneNine5 set out on a search for a trustworthy, speedy fulfilment provider to pick, pack and deliver customer orders placed through their Shopify website. The selection process was based on a broad range of criteria that, ultimately, fulfilmentcrowd were able to satisfy, as Alex continues: “As we searched, many other providers felt overly complex or didn’t really share our entrepreneurial zeal, but fulfilmentcrowd’s offer of ‘no contracts, no minimums’ was perfect for OneNine5 as it gave us the cashflow and space to get started. There was no huge financial commitment hanging around our neck, yet at the same time, we had capacity and competitive international shipping costs from the outset which meant we were free to scale at our own pace.”
With sustainability front and central to their entire business model, it was also crucial to partner with a fulfilment provider dedicated to environmentally friendly solutions. It was here that Alex learnt of fulfilmentcrowd’s industry-leading Lorax initiative:
“First and foremost, our primary aim has always been to reduce plastic waste as much as possible across the business. fulfilmentcrowd’s range of biodegradable packaging, in particular their sustainable alternative to bubble wrap, complements our bespoke recyclable eCommerce shipping boxes and delivers on our commitment to truly plastic-free packaging. As order volume continues grow and we scale our operations, it fills us with confidence to partner with a like-minded company, safe in the knowledge that we are both pulling in the same direction to create a more sustainable future.”
A seamless and efficient fulfilment process was also absolutely crucial for OneNine5 when it came to delivery and customer experience. Alex recognised that this depended on harnessing the best fulfilment technologies.
“OneNine5 is a lean business so time and resources are just as valuable to us as money. From order through to pick and dispatch, fulfilmentcrowd’s platform completely automates every stage of the process at lightning speed. We hope our customers take as much pleasure from the delivery and after-sales experience as the product itself. Using the fulfilmentcrowd app, I can see orders moving through and track parcels from anywhere on my mobile.”
The ultimate proof of this partnership was timely. In December 2019 at short notice, OneNine5’s washbag was advertised live in front of one million television viewers on This Morning’s Eco-Friendly Gift Guide feature. With little warning and a tidal wave of orders, fulfilmentcrowd set to work in real-time, processing and dispatching each and every order without hesitation to an excited crowd of new OneNine5 converts.
"OneNine5 is a lean business so time and resources are just as valuable to us as money. From order through to pick and dispatch, fulfilmentcrowd’s platform completely automates every stage of the process at lightning speed."
The future looks bright for OneNine5. Alex himself coins fulfilmentcrowd as their ‘partner for growth’ as they explore the international launch of their products, starting with North America, the world’s largest eCommerce market. Concluding that most of their abandoned checkouts come from the USA due to costly shipping and longer delivery times, OneNine5 are looking to boost sales by delivering from fulfilmentcrowd’s Canal Place centre in Los Angeles.
fulfilmentcrowd’s unique range of personalisation services are also an exciting new area of opportunity for OneNine5 and something that will enable the brand to stand out from the competition further. It is planned to start offering monogrammed washbags from spring 2020.
With plenty of exciting new opportunities, and at the cusp of their international potential as an established eCommerce brand, here at fulfilmentcrowd we’re excited to continue supporting OneNine5 through every successful future venture they embark on.
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