When The Bluetits first began, it consisted of a few friends dipping on Porthsele beach in Pembrokeshire, and sitting around a fire afterwards, putting the world to rights and having a good laugh while doing it. Badges were always a feature of The Bluetits, and as it grew, Sian and her husband Alan found that the expense of badges alone was getting a bit out of hand! So, in September 2020, The Bluetits became a social enterprise that needed to sustain itself and wanted to achieve social aims in line with The Bluetit ethos.
And we’ve done that. With your help, we have built an organisation that now employs a whole team, has contributed to the training of 20 Bluetit swim coaches, given out thousands of free badges and, most importantly, facilitates the daily Bluetitting of tens of thousands of Bluetits all over the world.
Why The Bluetits needs to generate money
In order to keep the wheels turning, the lights on, the groups going and the badges flowing, we have to generate income. To make money to fund our vision we sell merchandise, create paid challenges and organise swim events. As a small organisation we cannot buy in thousands of pounds worth of stock to get the sorts of prices that huge retailers get so our bespoke kit designs bring us in a small margin that helps to fund everything.
Once we have designed and bought in the stock, paid our retail team a living wage for it to be packed and posted, and all the customer service that goes on around that, we are left with a small percentage.
Those costs are going up
It won’t come as a surprise to anyone when we say that costs are soaring, and that percentage is getting ever smaller. Our suppliers have been forced to up their prices, which eats into our share, and eventually has a knock-on effect on the sustainability of The Bluetits.
Inclusivity is a core Bluetit value. Along with Fun and Trust, it is at the heart of everything we do. Financial inclusitvity is a massive part of this. Being a Bluetit will always be free. You will always be welcome in this community whatever you wear, whatever kit you have and however much cake you bring. That first time badge will remain free – that is a promise.
And, we have to make enough money from those sales of merchandise to make the organisation sustainable and able to meet its social aims. If we don’t, then the organisation would cease to exist, with consequences for our staff, admins and Bluetits the world over.
So, what are we doing about it?
We are increasing the price of our original Bluetit swimsuit to £50. This increase is simply enough to bring us back to the margin we were achieving before costs started to rise.
Of course, if you’re feeling the pinch and still want to flaunt your Bluetit status, we now have our Iron On Bluetit Patch, which means that you can make anything a piece of Bluetit kit!