In this episode of Add To Cart, we are joined by Tony Corrales, the Co founder and Director of Noskin, a vegan clothing brand that aims to strike the perfect balance of ethics and aesthetics. Based in Collingwood, Melbourne, Noskin produces a ‘made to last’ range of shoes and clothing, using high quality, innovative materials, such as Japanese denim and cactus leather. In this chat, Tony shares how Noskin finds the right balance between DTC and marketplace, the challenges of ticking every side of the ethics triangle and why the brand has no male and female categories.
“You’ve got two choices, you can start a band or a clothing label, it’s really basically the same“Tony Corrales
“You’ve got two choices. You can start a band or a clothing label. It’s really basically the same. But that means you’ve gotta have fun with it, because it’s not a cash machine business. It’s a brand building and it’s a culture building. So you’ve gotta find ways to have fun with it.
And for me, that’s getting to hang out with people like Courtney Barnett. That was a scene I loved being in. I don’t do it as much to performer now, but I’m like, how can we get involved with that? I love when that Shopify noise goes off on my phone. Who doesn’t? That’s great. But seeing Courtney Barnett on the stage of the Ellen Show, or seeing a double page of her in the New York Times and she’s wearing our boots. That’s cool.”
DTC vs Marketplace
“I think we actually try and limit the amount of marketplaces we’re on because I’m also, again, getting more into the technical side. I’m aware that it’s great for our SEO to start getting backlinked from these other sites, that’s awesome. But I’m also conscious that the Myer website is gonna have far more SEO authority. And if people google Noskin boots and they start getting Myer in all the shopping ads and we, as you’d imagine, get a lot less money from someone buying it from Myer rather than buying from our website directly. We don’t wanna just be cannibalizing all of our D to C revenue basically.
I think it’s good to have an open discussion around it. You say that you’re on Myer, for example, and people suddenly you get that trust mark. So even if somebody comes and we’ve got a showroom store as well that we open, it’s basically our warehouse. We open two days a week so people can come and try things on a shopping store, so to speak. And if someone’s passing by and they pop in and they’re like, oh, is there anywhere I else I can go and get this? If you’re in Melbourne or Sydney, you can go into Myer and get it. They’ll pick something up again and be like, okay so you’re legit! It gives people that reinforcement and honestly that’s priceless in many scenarios.”
“I was working in digital and working in agencies and stuff and really enjoyed my time there. And it got to a point where I just wanted to break out and do my own thing. So I’m really just inspired by people who start businesses or go out and do their own thing and take the risk because it’s scary who take that risk and they make it to an extent even harder for themselves.
Because they do it with this undercurrent of their ethics all the way through as well. And they do something where it’s not just serving them and their bottom line, they’re trying to actually make a difference as well. So I’m obviously inspired by brands like Patagonia because they’ve taken that and done an amazing job with it.
But then I’m also really inspired by people who have quit their job and they wanna be at the local’s farmer’s market selling like a local kombucha kind of thing because they wanna introduce that into the market and they wanna give consumers this alternative option. Even if for them that means, turning down a good salary, a stable job, and paid leave, that’s more important to them to try and share that with the world.”
Questions answered in this episode include…
- What has been the hardest part about designing vegan shoes and clothing?
- What’s your process when it comes to capturing photography that fits the Noskin brand?
- Why are all your styles unisex?
Links from the episode:
- Courtney Barnett
- Studio Ting
- Producing With Purpose podcast
- Packleo (sponsored)Shopify Plus Black Friday (sponsored)
This episode was brought to you by…