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Considering People and the Planet: How Sustainable Footwear Retailer Nisolo Put Themselves in a Position to Pivot

Ethically sourced and made shoe retailer Nisolo has always turned to the two P’s to guide decision-making – people and the planet. The brand understands that people, and not just customers, but also partners working along the supply chain, in their factory and corporate employees, are directly impacted by any decision the brand makes. Recently, Matt Stockcamp, Sustainability Lead at Nisolo, Zoomed in to discuss Nisolo’s changing inventory strategies, the state of the supply chain and near-term future changes. To watch or listen to the full discussion, visit here.

The Values Driving Changes to Nisolo’s Inventory Strategies

Like most retailers, Nisolo revisited their inventory strategies recently and pivoted purchasing behaviors along their supply chain to react to and prepare for evolving customer needs. The core values of the brand drove these decisions. Matt Stockcamp said that the brand “is aware that purchase orders have direct impact tied to people and that considering the livelihood behind these purchase orders is a driving factor.” The retailer is remaining conscious about sourcing – considering both the “what” and “where” plus the people behind the purchase - and is committed to “forecasting in a way that really uplifts both people and the planet.”

Two Ways to Pivot Supply Chain Strategies in Support of People and the Planet

Matt highlighted the need – and opportunity - for brands and retailers to shift the way they operate their supply chain. When broken down, they sound quite simple:
  1. Listen
  2. Collaborate
Using Data to Listen to Your Customers
Listening to your customer is crucial, this is not a new sentiment. But retailers can gain so much knowledge about their customers’ needs and evolving behaviors by asking questions and turning attention to customer data, knowledge that can uncover purchasing trends and drive smarter decisions. Matt highlights a quick pivot Nisolo made by listening to customer needs earlier this year: “For the first time in the world, every human needed masks, so we made the pivot quickly and launched a marketplace for masks from ethical brands.” You can find the Mask Marketplace here.
 
Customer insights help drive a more efficient supply chain, allowing retailers to pivot or innovate in ways that align with shopper needs. Nisolo uses True Fit to gain customer insights and believes the more knowledge they have about these customers, the better they can position their supply chain. Data from customer insights about spend threshold and desired products has also helped Nisolo launch new lines and pair down others. Using customer in business decisions is critical to pivoting.
 
Collaborate Down the Line
“Who are the people behind my products?” This is a question Matt and the team at Nisolo ask themselves all the time when making product decisions. The retailer embodies a partnership model with vendors all the way down the supply chain, and even owns the shoe factory in Peru. The strive for collaborative relationships versus give and take. This allows Nisolo to make innovative decisions that support their bottom line without compromising their brand values.
 
Nisolo believes there is an opportunity for retailers to shift supply chains this way with a more inclusive and efficient method of forecasting and merchandising, thus amplifying sustainable practices across the retail journey.
 
To shop sustainable and high-quality shoes, visit www.nisolo.com.

To listen to or watch the full discussion about the future of supply chain, visit Restitching Apparel’s Supply Chain: Future Proof Your Product Strategy here.