🌳 From DNVBs to SNVBs 🌳
This back-to-school season is starting well at 360 Capital: Tediber (DNVB around mattresses) just announced its LBO operation led by Parquest and Eutopia; a few weeks before, Bergamotte (flowers-subscription startup) was acquired by Bloom&Wild. We figured this would be a good time to reflect on our DNVB portfolio and what links them all together (besides financial considerations): its sustainable DNA.
Emanuele Levi, partner @360 and specialist of the DNVB vertical, has been investing for the last 6 years in that segment. He is a firm believer that digital brands should be sustainable at the very core; and advocates for the designation of Sustainable Native Vertical Brands.
🌳 Sustainable brands that put the planet first
Tediber, Bergamotte, Le Slip Français, The Socialite Family, and our last baby: 900.Care. These five have all one thing in common: they are building the next generation of digital brands. They answer a double trend that has been growing in the last years: consumers on one side have become increasingly conscious about the way companies manufacture their products, and entrepreneurs, on the other hand, understand that this environmental responsibility can create value for their customers and for their brand.
A next-gen digital brand should be ESG by design, starting with the fundamentals: whatever the product, the process, the supply-chain, we should be aiming for clean brands that can enter the circular economy and adapt their value chain accordingly.
🌳 Some best practices in the 360 portfolio
Tediber and the careful selection of materials
We invested in Tediber in 2016 at a seed stage: the aim of its CEO, Julien Sylvain, was to develop an offer around sleep (mattresses first, then wind chests, headboards, linens…). It set off to a flying start: the company was almost EBITDA positive in 2017, but soon faced a competition that used very aggressive discounts to gain market shares. So in 2018, Julien operated a “Ecological Redirection” and focused on building a solid company, developing unique and premium products: “the future is zero-waste product development”.
One of the translations of this pledge was becoming a Mission-driven Enterprise in 2021: this materialized Tediber’s historical engagement towards alternative durable products made in France. This is how Pelote, the ecological mattress, was conceived. The team started by assessing the environmental profile of the materials used: foams are produced in France, with no toxic chemicals, but they are extremely difficult to recycle into new mattresses. So Tediber went a few decades back and rediscovered wool mattresses: biodegradable, resistant, isolating, thermoregulator, antibacterian… They multiply the qualities. Tediber worked night and day to design and manufacture a state-of-the-art mattress that crushed the ecological footprint of a mattress. It’s the first of many more ecological innovations to come!
More to read here.
Eco-conception at The Socialite Family
The Socialite Family, the home decoration and furniture brand, has made a pledge to bring a unique lifestyle vision to the world: we invested in Marianne and Constance in 2018, convinced they had a pioneering role to play in the furniture world. Among our B2C companies, TSF is a perfect example of an early-stage startup that integrated CSR in its processes and growth from inception.
As a home decoration brand, the company is particularly exposed to sustainability risks (from conception, production, logistics to stock management). The team has identified 5 main areas of attention: eco-conception, logistics policy, customer service, daily sustainable initiatives and retail stores.
With regards to eco-design, for example, 95% of products are sourced in close geographies (Italy, France, Portugal), the design team is trained on eco-design best practices, and on valorizing production leftovers. For its logistics policy; air transportation represents less than 5% of shipping and recycled packaging is becoming the norm. And another important factor: 100% of the founding team and 75% of board members are women.
900.Care: zero waste in its heart
900.Care was born out of the urgency of evermore plastic in the oceans, and the very simple observation that any liquid shampoo or body wash is composed of 90% water: it made no ecological sense to buy a new bottle filled with mostly water each time we would finish the previous one.
So Aymeric and Thomas decided to dive into this problem and launched 900.Care, the ecological brand for anything in your bathroom: you only buy once your packaging, and then recharge when need be with dissolvable sticks, crunchable toothpaste or deodorant sticks. It’s 95% natural, produced in France, and is the first step to a greener day-to-day.
The mission here.
Bergamotte and RSE monitoring
Bergamotte recently exited to Bloom&Wild: one of the convincing factors (besides amazing founders and compelling numbers) was its CSR approach based on “Carbon Insetting”. Here’s a number as an example: 100% of flowers sold are sourced in Europe, and more than 50% are sourced in France, decreasing by 66% the carbon footprint.
Selecting trustworthy and responsible partners also played a strong role: 100% of plant producers received the MPS label. They have also committed to increasing solidarity internally: they were rated 80/100 on parity by EGAPRO, and have been supporting the APHP during the pandemic.
Learn more here.
Le Slip Français, pioneer in the sector
Le Slip Français needs no introduction: the iconic Guillaume Gibault has made it a staple brand for homewear and underwear for both men and women. And since the beginning, 10 years ago, it has been all about revamping the industrial textile sector in France. Short-range supply chain (less than 250km from the stores), greener materials (recycled local and bio-centered), this is the very heart of LSF. And also why in 2020 the company was labelled an Enterprise with a Mission.
The Covid crisis also brought a whole new level of engagement from the team, as they contributed to create the “Façon de Faire” grouping, gathering French brands that produced protective masks, blouses and textile products necessary to the population and to hospitals in that time of crisis.
At 360 we strongly believe that it takes a whole ecosystem to change consumer and company behaviors. It’s only with the multiplication of positive brands that we will see a change: modifying supply chains, taking great care in selecting materials, raising awareness in consumers… That is the task selected by our DNVBs and they have our continued support on that.
Article by Selma Gasc @360 Capital