The ‘Attenborough Effect’
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, traveling 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.
Not so plain and simple
The OneNine5 wash bag, made from recycled plastic and initially available in 3 colors, 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.”
"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." - Alex Stewart, Founder
Sustainable shipping for scalable growth
After finalizing product design and production in December 2018, OneNine5 set out on a search for a trustworthy, speedy fulfillment 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 the 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 fulfillment provider dedicated to environmentally friendly solutions. It was here that Alex learned of fulfilmentcrowd’s industry-leading Lorax initiative:
“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 to grow and we scale our operations, it fills us with confidence to partner with a like-minded company."
A speedy process
A seamless and efficient fulfillment process was also absolutely crucial for OneNine5 when it came to delivery and customer experience. Alex recognized that this depended on harnessing the best fulfillment technologies. The ultimate proof of this partnership was timely. In December 2019 at short notice, OneNine5’s wash bag 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.
Exciting new destinations
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 is looking to boost sales by delivering from fulfilmentcrowd’s Canal Place center in Los Angeles. fulfilmentcrowd’s unique range of personalization services is 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 wash bags 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.