The ubiquitous letters bright and red have quickly become synonymous with Superdry- the bold, irreverent and fun brand. This is a brand that’s hardly for the faint-hearted. The vibe is sharp and smart but in pure contrast, also laidback and chill. Superdry manages to walk that tight rope with ease so a Gen Z shopper is as comfortable with the brand as a millennial. This is exactly why its iconic in its own right. The brand recently completed 10 years in India and ELLE caught up with Julian Dunkerton – the Founder & CEO of Superdry to trace the story of the brand in India, its sustainability initiatives and how they are forging ahead with the brand in the retail space.
ELLE: Your push for organic farming practices caught our eye. What are you doing in this regard?
Julian Dunkerton: There are three main aspects to it. One is, I think we all realize now that that we we’ve got to respect our planet and do what we can. And for me, as a CEO of Superdry, I have become very aware that I have a responsibility to do the right thing. So it starts from my sense of responsibility, but then there is an economic benefit to doing the right thing, which is quite interesting. The consumer is obviously on this sustainability journey as well. And because we’re the sort to spearhead the journey, we find it very exciting that we can now communicate to the public that we are becoming quickly the most sustainable listed brand in the world. And for me that that’s a great place to aim for and a great journey to start on. So 20,000 farmers by 2050 , all our 100% cotton garments will be organic by 2025. We are actually increasing up the percentage of production in India as a result of this initiative.
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ELLE: So you started this initiative in 2018. What is it that prompted you to say, “We need to do a more organic farming..” or was this something not really talked about?
Julian: We’ve been on this journey for a while, but we just haven’t really spoken about it. Which is why we’re so far ahead of everyone else, because these are decisions that were made a fair while ago. But but we are only talking about it now because I didn’t want to be accused of greenwashing. So I really want to make sure that the public know that we are genuine. If you go into our new flagship store in Oxford Street, for instance, in London, you will see sustainability is in our ethos all the way through.
Elle: Give us a lowdown into the kind India-specific products you are going to create.
Julian: We’re currently considering sports footwear that we’re developing for India. We will also have more products within ranges that are specific. I’ve got to make sure that we deliver enough hot weather products for the Indian market. So more T shirts, for instance, more graphic T shirts, we’ve talked about more polos and so on.