Building a Sustainable Fashion Brand with Partnerships and PR. Gergana from blonde gone rogue (episode 354)

Gergana Damyanova is the co-founder and CEO at blonde gone rogue — a sustainable and ethical online-only fashion brand. Founded in 2017 in Amsterdam, moved to London, and went full time in 2019, and this year they’re on track to go over £350k in annual sales.

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About Gergana

Gergana, who has a business background, and her sister, who is a fashion designer, decided to start a business together. This was during a time when the fashion industry was being called to address environmental and ethical issues.

With this in mind, Gergana and her sister thought of doing things differently by tapping a factory in their hometown and using leftover materials for their products.

They also saw eCommerce as a way to reach people across borders and move forward with the business, as this platform enabled them to be visible and accessible to their target audience.

About blonde gone rogue

  • Based in London, UK
  • Production is done in Ruse, Bulgaria
  • Ships worldwide but with the biggest markets in the UK, Germany, and the United States
  • Uses Shopify

A key widget blonde gone rogue uses is the Loox app for customer reviews with photos. It sends automatic reminders for product reviews and enables customers to upload images to get a discount on their next purchase.

For their email marketing, the brand uses Klaviyo.

The Team

Gergana and her sister are the founders of blonde gone rogue. While her sister takes care of the design and product development, Gergana looks after the business side.

They’ve hired a junior marketing manager, plus a freelancer that does SEO.

At the moment, the brand is also looking to hire a junior designer and a social media manager. By next year, there are plans to have a senior marketing manager and a marketing director on board as well.

Sustainable Fashion

The brand looks at sustainability in terms of product and materials, and also the human aspect. 

For the latter, Gergana wanted to make sure that they can verify and validate the factory where the products will come from. They had to find a place where workers are treated fairly in ways that matter.

On the materials side, they stepped away from conventional materials like cotton and started to use recycled materials, organic materials, and materials that use less resources such as bamboo.

Additionally, they also work with leftover materials to make new clothes and become even more sustainable, and Gergana can see that their transparency about this has made a positive impact on their customers.

Working With Partners And Using PR

Right now, blonde gone rogue is starting to focus on working with partners for brand awareness. They’re looking to work with influencers and upcoming artists, especially from their community in East London.

They’re also doubling their PR efforts, but have left digital ads as something to be done further down the road since they have found this to be tricky to do.

B Corp Certified

The B Corp Certification helps consumers identify companies with a mission, and helps investors select investments that align with their values.

It took blonde gone rogue ten months to get audited and certified, but Gergana knows it’s all worth it knowing they are now recognized as a brand consumers can trust.

eCommerce Book Top Tip

eCommerce Traffic Top Tip

  • For Gergana, it’s SEO, because going organic on Google is something that is overlooked but can really grow traffic.

Tool Top Tip

  • ClickUp productivity tool to organize your daily tasks

Growth Top Tip

  • Focus on growing your business to 250 orders per month first, before jumping to the thousands.

Interview Links

  • Business
  • Get 10% off your first order from blonde gone rogue by using the code MASTERPLAN10 upon checkout
  • Instagram

Related episodes

  • 310: Exponential growth driven by a commitment to sustainability with Dan Dicker from Circular & Co
  • 335: Next level fashion sustainability to satisfy a $120bn opportunity with Camilla Olsen
  • 337: Growing a sustainable fashion business to 7-figures with Encircled’s Kristi Soomer

Without the sponsors the podcast wouldn’t be possible – please do check them out:

Klaviyo

Klaviyo is a leading customer data and marketing automation platform dedicated to accelerating revenue and customer connection for online businesses. Klaviyo makes it easy to store, access, analyze and use transactional and behavioral data to power highly-targeted customer and prospect communications. The company’s hybrid customer-data and marketing-platform model allows companies to grow by fostering direct relationships with customers, without giving up their valuable data to popular big-tech ad platforms. Over 80,000 innovative companies like Unilever, Custom Ink, Living Proof and Huckberry sell more with Klaviyo. Learn more at www.klaviyo.com.
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Gorgias is a leading helpdesk for Shopify, Magento and BigCommerce merchants where retailers can manage all of their customer communication & tickets in one platform (email, social media, SMS, live chat and phone). It’s powered with machine learning to automate up to 20% of commonly asked questions and seamlessly integrates into your existing tech stack to deliver better customer support.

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