As 2021 draws to a close, we’d like to offer a tip of the hat to everyone who supported ANIÁN through another strange but rewarding year. It was good in some ways, and less than good in others, and reminded us over and over again that having a strong community around you matters more than anything else.
First, the highlights. We grew our team, and opened a new store with fantastic staff on West 4th in Vancouver. We added our first coats, the Field and Loft, made from postconsumer recycled wool, and our Buffalo Plaids, made from postconsumer recycled cotton. We brought back the hardy Fisherman Sweater. We made another colourful collection with the uniquely creative souls at Fluevog. And with thanks to all of you, we had one of our most successful years ever.
Behind the scenes, a few exciting things were happening as well. Committed to Made in Canada production, we were able to buy more machinery and further develop our factory in Vancouver. And we were happy to find that the idea of a circular economy continued to gain traction in the marketplace—something that’s not only beneficial for businesses like us that support recycling, repairing and reusing, but beneficial for our planet as a whole.
To balance the highlights, however, there were a few lowlights too. We stopped making our popular henleys and tees because they didn’t meet our standards for recycled content. We also pulled a line of finished summer button-ups because they weren’t as durable as we’d hoped, though we were able to donate them to our compadres at Phillips and Driftwood breweries instead of sending them to the shredder. Both of those moves weren’t the best for our bottom line, but were necessary to stay true to our principles. And throughout the year, while demand for ANIÁN products was stronger than ever, there were times where we struggled to find enough production staff—at one point, we were operating with less than half what we are now.
As you’ve surely heard from other companies of all kinds, there were also clogs and stickups all through the supply chain. Everything from finished fabric to needles and thread was behind schedule as ports backed up around the world, and here at home flooded highways and damaged rail lines only added to the difficulty. It meant we delivered some product later than we’d hoped—so we’d like to extend our thanks once again for sticking with us through it all.
In a lot of ways, 2021 was even tougher than the year before, and many of us will be happy to have it receding in the rearview mirror. Happily, though, there are some bright things on the horizon for us in 2022. We’ll be replacing the summer styles we canceled with new, postconsumer recycled Henleys, tees and hoodies, and hopefully our first shorts for men and women. We’ll be diversifying our sizing to make ANIÁN goods available to more folks looking for sustainable fashion. We’ll be laying the groundwork for an ANIÁN buyback program that will help keep well-loved goods in longterm use. And we’ll keep doing everything we can, however imperfectly, to bring circular textiles into fashion.
All in all, as our founder Paul Long says, these times have made us cherish the community we’ve developed over the years. At ANIÁN we’re truly fortunate to be surrounded by an incredible community of friends, customers and followers, and that’s something that brings a silver lining to any weather.
We hope you’re having a fantastic holiday, and as we move into 2022, we’re truly grateful to have you with us.
Forward, always forward!