Asuwere (pronounced 'as you were') was founded by brothers Sam and Noah Hickey, with the purpose to make a positive impact in our members, manufacturers and employees lives.
A need for change
With over ten years of working in the fashion industry, our co-founder Sam Hickey has seen firsthand how broken the industry is. This insight helped shape his want for a better and more tailored approach to how men purchase clothing.
"Working in the industry, particularly overseas, opened my eyes to so much going on that I never knew existed - products made to go direct to outlet stores by the thousands, and a huge licensing market. Too often the wrong trends were informing what designers released, when time and time again I’d see customers coming back for the same classic pieces. Not to mention the broken fashion 'seasons', which make no sense to the weather, or how men shop - it’s like a competition to release products sooner than the next brand to capture a quick buck.
From the shoppers perspective, we know firsthand how hard it is to find what you're looking for. Even as seasoned shopping pros, we've made that regrettable purchase, leaving a store wondering what the hell we've just bought, and if we’re ever going to wear it. And that’s where we saw Asuwere as an opportunity for change.”
Flipping the model
With all of these learnings, we came to the conclusion that traditional fashion did not have the customer in mind. We decided to take a step back, break it down and start with what we personally found hard to find. We focused on the items needed to build the perfect wardrobe, where everything works together. This left us with a modular wardrobe of classic pieces that will suit almost any occasion.
The subscription model is essentially the solution to a men’s buying cycle and a counter to the current retail setup. We're bypassing the wholesale model and passing the cost savings directly to the customer, and giving them full visibility into what's coming (which is usually reserved for the wholesale buyer). In return, commitment from our members and their item selections help us forecast better, resulting in less waste, better fits and an overall more tailored experience.
Our product ethos
We look at every product we release as a problem to solve. What is it worn for, or with? Will it look good for years to come? How can it be better? Do you need it in your wardrobe? This approach informs everything we do, from fit, fabric, colours and trims. As a result, we have a permanent collection of products that fast become our customer’s daily go-tos.
Once a product is released, we review and refine based on member feedback to constantly produce better garments. This gives you the confidence that what you're wearing has been thought out, will work together with your existing wardrobe and keep you looking sharp.
Closing the loop with 'Give to Get'
We all have clothes we don't wear. We also recognise that as our members receive new products each month, it's likely they'll have some perfectly good items of clothing they no longer need.
'Give to Get' aims to help close the clothing loop, by taking the clothes you don't need, and giving them to someone who does. We encourage our members to utilise these clothes for good and partner with local not-for-profit initiatives to make this happen.
Koha Apparel - a not-for-profit organization with a pay-as-you-can retail experience to repurpose quality clothing for those in need.
Fix Up Look Sharp - a not-for-profit charity that gives Auckland males looking to enter the workforce a fresh perspective through a personal styling experience.
Sustainability in packaging is as much about reduction of materials as it is designing for circularity. We have removed all swing tickets from our garments and developed an end-to-end package solution that doubles as both a garment bag and courier satchel. The Asuwere bag is the only packaging a garment touches from the factory to the end-user, eliminating the need for double handling and unnecessary waste.
Sustainability & ethics
Our view is that unless something is repurposed, shared for generations or designed to be timeless and hard wearing, it cannot be deemed sustainable.
Fabrications - Our goal is to increase our 'sustainable/traceable' fabric selections by 50% each year as we grow and meet the minimum order requirements. Currently our tees are made using recycled cotton and American-grown cotton.
Our knitwear utilises UPW yarns, an extremely socially responsible company with a true commitment to environmental protection and sustainability, throughout their production process.
Our sports collection releasing early 2022 is our first venture into 100% recycled polyester, made from plastic bottle using Repreve yarns.
Alternatively we hand source fabrics appropriate for our products available on the open market.
Factories - Our production partners are one of the most important parts of our business and have each been carefully selected to fit our high standards of clean and fair working conditions. Prior to Covid-19, we would regularly visit our manufacturers and have since added two new manufacturers to our carefully selected production partners.
Our Community - The Clubroom
Chaired by All Blacks legend Dan Carter, The Clubroom is our digital community and series of monthly member-only events designed to inspire and connect. Via Discord, the digital Clubroom is a space for our members to engage with the wider Asuwere community, stay in the loop with the latest product drops, exclusive content and digital events.