Paynter Jacket Co founders Huw and Becky with Ben Keene from Virgin StartUp.png
Paynter Jacket Co. Founders Becky and Huw (left) and host Ben Keene (right)

We met the dynamic founder pair from cult sustainable fashion brand Paynter Jacket Co, to hear how they slowly built their slow fashion brand - and what 'growth' means for them. 

Paynter aren't a typical clothing startup. For one, they don't sell much. And when they do - orders can take weeks to arrive.

The founders pride themselves on doing things differently in an industry known for environmental damage, over-consumption and mass production. Plus, a whole lot of waste. 

Paynter are changing that. By strictly limiting how many pieces they make, and building their jackets to last, they hope that when you've waited long enough for your Paynter Jacket to arrive, it'll last a lifetime. 

Becky and Huw, pictured above, hand-pick suppliers after extensive research, and develop deep relationships with them which are the key to the quality of their jackets.

All their jackets are made to order, and once they're gone - they're gone. 

It means that they only produce what they know is already accounted for, completely minimising waste. 

For customers, it means a long wait for their coveted jackets - but the wait only builds anticipation. Becky says they have a colleague at the manufacturer in Portugal who cycles up to the factory to take videos of each jacket's progress which Paynter then edit and send to customers. It's an incredibly thoughtful interaction which helps develop a relationship with their followers whilst also teasing the big reveal when it arrives. 

Paynter Care Label
An early version of the Paynter care label - which co-founder Becky writes herself.

“We launched Batch Number 1 on a Saturday morning. We knew we had enough fabric for 300 jackets - which was the minimum order at the factory - and made sure the website was working. We said we’d keep the website open for a week to sell 300 jackets which would give us enough money to place the order. 

We sold out in 40 minutes”

As a brand, Paynter are known for authenticity and openness with their customers. They built an online community long before selling anything, and their slow and transparent 'building in public' has helped developed a deep trust with a growing list of followers turned customers. 

At our MeetUp, Becky and Huw shared how they went from having the idea to selling out in under an hour. Batch Number 2 sold out in 3 minutes! 

Here's how they did it

📲 They slowly built a following of 2-3k on Instagram by engaging their audience with questions about what style and fabrics they should use, and what customers wanted in a jacket.

🚫 They set up a waiting list on their website to collect emails - key to building momentum but also keeping customers engaged through their brand led newsletters.

🐌 Founders Becky and Huw took their time. It was over two years from when they started growing a community to selling their first jackets. Patience, it seems, pays off. 

Paynter are just getting started. But growing doesn't just mean making more sales or improving profit margins. As Becky said:

"Growth should be about growing the quality of the products and improving the experience."

We can't wait to see what Paynter do next - but are happy to patiently wait for it.

Paynter MeetUp
Paynter Jacket Co. founders Becky Okell and Huw Thomas
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