Clean Clothing: Stag & Fist

Stag & Fist is a London-based clothing brand founded by Bristolian Josh Jefferies. Having long been a devotee of Mixed Martial Arts, Josh was uninspired by the apparel supplied to supposedly fit with the sport and set out to redefine the clothing aesthetic. Stag & Fist aims to provide sustainably-sourced clothing not just for the gym, but for the day-to-day as well. S&F designs are simple but appealing, produced in factories using renewable energy including solar power. This is truly a unique idea and Gleem were excited to speak to Josh to find out more about his ambitions for 2015…

1) Can you give me a brief history of ‘Stag and Fist’?

‘Stag & Fist’ started in the gym. I train in mixed martial arts, one of the fastest growing sports in modern culture. It is a beautiful sport that combines highly intelligent strategy with multiple combat sports. The fashion side of MMA is dominated by America, but I wanted to combine my love for the sport with true British style. Bringing in a mixture of clean designs with a Savile Row-like tailored fit. MMA is often perceived as a very brutal and thuggish sport and has long had the label of ‘cage fighting’, although the sport of fighting has been in British culture since the 1800s. This is where my inspiration comes from, I like to take influences from 19th century bareknuckle boxing mixed with modern day culture and style, and to avoid the thuggish label from the sport we operate as a 100% ethical and Fairtrade company, using 100% organic cotton in all our t-shirts.

Josh Jeffries
Josh Jefferies

2) What is the importance of sustainable clothing to you personally?

Sustainable clothing is massively important to me. I believe non-sustainable business to be immensely archaic and quite lazy. Its like hummus. It drives me nuts to walk into a shop and see a pot of Hummus for a pound, but right next to it see the ‘healthy’ ‘less salt, less fat, less rubbish’ option for the exact same price, or about ten pence more expensive… Why make the other version at all? Just sell the ‘healthy’ hummus and everyone would be better off… Why not have the same mentality with clothing? Because of profit? Well there’s the thuggish nature of the world, not the sport so many people seem to have such a negative view on. Yes it costs me more to source my clothes, but I know that every single person involved in our t-shirts are getting fair pay and justice for how much work they have put in.

3) Do you see sustainable clothing as a growing market, especially considering its recent appearances in the public eye e.g. at the 2015 Oscars?

It is a growing market, but it still has a long way to go. You would be surprised at how difficult it has been for me to source the right materials and fabricators, it didn’t happen at a quick click of a button, it took months and months of meticulous research. Yet, I must say our generation is thinking more green in every aspect of their lifestyle. We have just helped open a new gym in London and have seen a surge in people thinking more about their fitness, their nutrition and their general well being and outlook on life. This leads to people becoming more educated and wanting to make a difference with all their purchases, from food to clothes.

4) What plans have you got in the pipeline for 2015?

2015 is a very exciting year for us. As I mentioned above we have just helped open a new fitness studio in central London, which focuses on group classes and 1 on 1 lifestyle coaching, focusing on fitness, nutrition, and inner wellbeing. We have also just signed a professional mix martial arts athlete who will be fighting for a championship flyweight belt live on Channel 4 with the UK based Cage Warriors organisation. We will be taking part in a charity fashion show on April 18th in London, where all our profits will be going to the Tommy Vine Fund, a charity set up to help youngsters get into the Arts. We will be soon launching our brand new Summer collection and we are also about to launch our very own short film! Our company motto is ‘Always Believe’ and this is exactly how we approach everyday and how we will take on 2015.

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Thanks so much Josh – Stag & Fist are evidently going from strength to strength! We’re happy to see a local clearly taking the Big Smoke by storm, especially as Gleem are expanding to the capital. If you would like to check out their apparel, go to http://www.stagandfist.com/lookbook.

A Clean Lifestyle : Life Cycle UK

A Clean Lifestyle : Life Cycle UK

Life Cycle is a local Bristol charity aiming to improve the fitness of locals so they can get out and about and enjoy the beauty spots Bristol has to offer. Young or old; the charity hopes to encourage all to get out and about, proving that age shouldn’t be a barrier to getting out and about and seeing the South West in all its glory. Gleem spoke to Ed Norton, Fundraising Officer at Life Cycle to discover more about the foundation’s links to Bristol, and what it has planned for 2015; the year of Bristol Green Capital…

1. Can you give a brief history of Life Cycle UK in Bristol?

Our interviewee!
Our interviewee

Life Cycle was born in Bristol back in 1996 – before becoming a registered Charity in 1999. Over time, we have grown and diversified well beyond our initial focus of helping employers to increase the number of people cycling to work – our “inclusive cycling” projects now include a bicycle recycling project inside Bristol Prison and a project which takes blind or visually impaired individuals out cycling on tandem bicycles.

2. How do you think the city has changed since Life Cycle was established?

There has definitely been an ongoing feel of positive change in Bristol and a real improvement of attitudes, visibility and awareness of the general public about cycling. We still have a long way to go to achieve European levels of cycling, but for the UK, Bristol is doing pretty well – let’s hope Bristol Green Capital helps notch things up another level!  

3. Agreed! What campaigns are you currently working on to promote cycling in the South West?

We offer loads of practical schemes to help people in the South West to cycle: we offer free secure cycle parking stands to small businesses and community organisations in Bristol, Bath, Cheltenham & Gloucester and Bournemouth; confidence boosting cycle training for adults and children, bike maintenance tuition – and provision of affordable refurbished bicycles. Check out our website for upcoming events – and get in touch!

An Inclusive Cycling volunteer with some biking devotees
An Inclusive Cycling volunteer with some biking devotees

4. What plans have you got in the pipeline for 2015, especially considering Bristol has been awarded the impressive accolade of Bristol Green Capital?

We’re running a special programme of “nature-themed” cycle rides in 2015 thanks to a grant from Bristol Green Capital – specifically aimed at helping those with mental health issues and the over-55s to get out and about on a bike and discover Bristol’s green spaces and wildlife. Apart from that, we’ll still be running all our other cycle promotion schemes – and hope to engage even more people than last year. 

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Thanks Ed! As keen believers in fitness here at the Gleem offices, we’re especially interested to hear what’s going on to get us moving in the South West! With the evenings getting lighter with Spring, we can’t think of a better reason to get out and see the beauty of Bristol. For more information on the brilliant schemes afoot at Life Cycle UK, check out http://www.lifecycleuk.org.uk/our-projects.

Don’t forget, this week’s posts are all part of ‘Spring Cleaning Week’. Alongside our social media campaign, Gleem is offering some stupendous deals on a spring clean in the Bristol Post, so you can start the new season afresh. Make sure to buy your Post and keep an eye out! 

Visit us at www.gleem.co.uk or call 0800-808-5544 to have a friendly chat with someone from gleem team!

Low Funded Startup offering High Quality Cleaning – Startup Serial #5

Low Funded Startup

Bootstrapping

I had returned from my travels without much money and so starting a business would have to be done on the cheap.

This obviously wasn’t the ideal way to start a journey to a huge company, but fortunately cleaning has practically no barriers to entry – in the sense that with a bucket and a few different cleaning supplies, you’re pretty much set up to start!

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We would spend little, work hard and bootstrap by reinvesting any profits back into the company to achieve growth.

This meant decisions needed to be made carefully and frugally. I sourced cheap freelancers from other countries using www.freelancer.com, www.fiverr.com and peopleperhour.com, as well as investing hundreds of hours myself (some very inefficiently) into developing the business and the unique offering.

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We had to start locally (Bristol), as clearly our budget didn’t stretch nationally, but I knew in my head and my heart that there was potential to take this idea internationally.

The numbers looked solid and there is an untapped market that I estimate to be worth £2 billion per year in the UK alone.

I had a handful of logos designed from which I picked the best [attach original flyer], I continued taking any and all free business courses I could find, I started networking and I had flyers printed which I subsequently handed out myself (great exercise by the way!) .

On January 6th 2014 Tidy and Shiny began operations: time to put my (limited) money (and primarily time) where my mouth is.

Our website was up and running (built on the cheap by a mate), now it was time to wait for the bookings to roll in…

Next Serial>>

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‘The Gleem of Hope': Gleem and its links to charity

Gleem and Its Links To Charity

As someone who’s long believed in the importance of charity, especially after time spent volunteering in Bolivia – one of the poorest nations in South America – I knew I wanted my company, Gleem to have philanthropic connections from the start. This began last year, when I decided Gleem would team up with ‘Frank Water’, a charity which ensures that safe drinking water reaches those in India unlucky enough not to be able to count it a basic right. I’m aware my company consumes a lot of this resource due to the industry in which it operates, but am also conscious that others are not so lucky to have ready access to clean sanitation. Therefore, I am extremely proud to say that 1% of profit made helps Frank under the ‘Gleem of Hope’ campaign.

Similar to Gleem, ‘Frank’ is local to Bristol, yet have managed to assist an incredible number of people an astonishing 5600 miles away: 250,000 individuals and counting! However, the charity strives to do more and reach the 784 million who still lack this lifeline – with their simple but effective ‘FreeFill’ initiative selling reusable bottles to help raise funds and further Frank’s cause overseas. With the growth of the company, I wanted to develop Gleem’s commitment to the campaign, so this Thursday, as part of the 1000th clean (*self-congratulatory pat on the back*) I went to donate some of Frank’s refillable water bottles to one lucky customer. In this way, I hope we can do our bit as a company: spreading the valuable message as to the importance of humble H20 and the conservation of other precious resources, like plastic. As Gleem continues its growth across the UK, it will remain resolute in its support of such worthwhile efforts – watch this space for future philanthropic plans!

If you have any other questions about Frank’s campaign, visit www.frankwater.co.uk, or alternatively chat to them on Twitter @frankwater

Alternatively, if you have any questions for us at Gleem, give us a ring at 0800-808-5544