Supply Chains of the Now

Grateful for the original Medium Post by Jacqueline Ros Amable

The future is already here- they just haven’t scaled yet, but they will. Our global supply chain systems, although brilliant and revolutionary for their time, have demonstrated their weaknesses- harm to the planet, hidden costs, lack of transparency, human rights violations, lack of resilience against disaster, etc. But nothing has torn apart the facade of status quo like Covid-19. Before I keep going, this isn’t a doomsday article for retailers and brands, in fact, many such as Walmart and Adidas, are taking steps in the right direction in trying to localize and circularize their supply chains. This piece will highlight four examples of up and coming startups that demonstrate that the Supply Chains of the Now and the commonalities they share- manufacturing is localized, circular or eco-friendly, resilient, and in many ways, led by underrepresented founders.

Local Consumer Products and Eco-Friendly Brands

This past week I spoke with one of the co-founders of Fem Patch Co. Fem Patch Co. is a feminine health company designed for women by women. They’ve created affordable and eco-friendly products for all of life’s stages — from tampons to incontinence products. They were set to launch this summer when the crisis hit. Investors expected them to put off the launch due to supply chain and market instability. But while others may be terrified, they saw an opportunity to thrive and give back all at once. You see, their products are manufactured locally in California by other female led companies. The cofounders saw an article explaining that there is currently a shortage of feminine hygiene products due to the pandemic. So what are they doing now? They’re ensuring that women have access and any products you purchase from them will go towards Covid-19 efforts.

The Fem Patch Co founding team has an impressive background, having worked at Google, Goldman Sachs and as VCs in Silicon Valley. The team intentionally created a sustainable, local supply chain, partnering only with other people who could deeply understand who they were solving for- other women. Their pricing is comparable if not cheaper than most other sustainable feminine health brands with their products typically costing consumers $9.99. They saw what other big brands were learning the hard way, making products abroad does not always make the most business sense and the hidden costs aren’t worth it. I highly recommend supporting this new company. They’re well on their way to creating “herstory”. They prove that “Made in USA or Made in X” is more than just patriotism, it’s an opportunity to set up sustainable supply chain models globally.

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