Dear Népra users,
we love you. When we started planning Népra over three years ago we had this vision for reasonably-priced, ethically-made sportswear and we were not sure if it was possible. But, you as our customers have made Népra possible. Thank you so much for believing in what we believe in too.
Today, we would like to make a statement about our products' quality. Most of the time we get really beautiful messages from you, even when it is about reclamation or critical feedback. Thank you for being friendly and kind! However, every now and then we receive very demanding messages regarding a flaw in a product, sometimes saying the customer was expecting better quality from our products.
We would be lying if this didn’t make us a bit sad. We, Ama and Essi, are working behind Népra. There is only the two of us to manage product development, business management, sales and marketing, customer care, and shipping, and we do our best every day to serve you with the best quality items and customer experience, with items made ethically and in a sustainable way. This is not intended to bring us sympathy; far from it, actually. We enjoy the day-to-day running of Nepra and the challenges that come with it, and simply wish to give an insight into what two ladies have been able to achieve.
That said, it often feels like some people are wanting even more from us - two people, remember - than they would expect from the big brands who would actually have the money and a team of hundreds to make sure the items are made to the highest standard possible. This is, of course, also flattering, so today we want to briefly explain how a small business, like Népra, functions and what our limitations are, as well as your role in the big picture as a person who wears not just Népra activewear, but sports clothing in general.
We stand 100% behind our products and if we notice the mistake is due to us or a weak spot in the production, we are more than happy to find the best solution in every situation. As Népra users you have the right to expect the highest quality. However, we ask for your understanding in return. It is important to be aware that all the clothes in this world are made by humans, people like you and us. Humans make mistakes. We make mistakes, the ladies sewing clothes make mistakes, and you, too, make mistakes. Mistakes make us human, and without mistakes, there is no opportunity to grow and learn. In fact, we embrace failure and mistakes.
We also kindly ask you to understand that there are many reasons for manufacturing flaws. The mistakes of the production are normally something you notice in the first months of use. If there is a weak spot in the seam, it will normally break down after a few wears and washes. However, the longer and more frequently you use an item the more your way of taking care of it plays a role in how long your piece of clothing lasts.
In general, sports clothing is used in demanding surroundings and even more demanding situations. Our favourite activewear is used weekly, if not more often, in challenging conditions. We lift heavy, we do burpees outdoors, and we sweat day after day in our activewear. The items stretch millions of times, they are washed frequently, and are probably left in the washing basket waiting to be washed while soaked in sweat. All these scenarios push the fabric and seams to their limits. How often does your normal clothing go through the same stress?
Here is a small checklist for you; do you take good care of your activewear?
Have you chosen the right size? Do you use the right washing product? Do you wash your items at the right temperature? Do you throw your clothes in the dryer, or dry them in the sun? Do you leave the sweaty items lying around for days?
High washing temperatures, direct sunlight, tumble drying, and sweat is just a few examples of what can kill the properties of elastane, fade the colours in your clothing, and age it prematurely. We have always aimed to make activewear that will stand the test of time, but it is a team effort so it requires your support as well, to take care of your clothing once it is in your possession. Love your Népras, take good care of them, and respect your clothes. If you notice a flaw or you are unhappy, please write us a kind message. We love to hear from you and we will always take your feedback, positive or otherwise, on board.
We thank you and #takecare!
Ama & Essi
Edited by Alex Burchell
Photos by Népra
This blog post was a part of our #takecare campaign in autumn 2018.