All change at Adili


Ethical-fashion etailer Adili has changed its name to Ascension,
which is already the name of its own-label offering. Adili had
acquired manufacturer Ascension, one of its main suppliers, out
of liquidation in 2008. The change, says chief executive Adam
Smith, was prompted by people’s difficulty with the original name
“in terms of pronunciation and in associating the term with
ethnic fashion”. Smith adds that despite the brand’s appeal
to affluent AB customers, the name was often confused with that
of discount supermarket Aldi.

Although Smith hopes that the new moniker will help the company
gain more mainstream custom, “our heritage is ethical
clothing, and we’ll be true to that,” he says. “Long
term we want [our clothes] to be seen as a desirable fashion
item, with ethics as a bonus.” Smith chose now to reinvent
the business because “I wanted to make this change when we
were still a £1 million company, not a £5 million
business”. In addition to the name change, the company
announced a share placing to raise £940,000. This, says
Smith, is intended to see the business through to profitability.
Since April, Adili has implemented cost-cutting measures,
identifying an estimated £300,000 in savings. These include
salary cuts for directors, switching to a new carrier, and moving
photography in-house.
Going forward, Ascension will feature a “more
coherent” own-label collection that skews slightly younger
than Adili’s previous offering, Smith says. Ascension will also
“slim down” its kids and homewares collections to
focus on fashion and accessories.

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