Why We're Choosing To Take A One Year Sabbatical From Retail

Why We're Choosing To Take A One Year Sabbatical From Retail

Since announcing that we are taking a one year sabbatical many of you have been in touch to ask why. Although the decision hasn’t been easy, this blog breaks down the 4 key reasons why we’ve decided to take a year's break from operating a Sancho’s bricks and mortar shop

1.To rest. 

Since starting on our journey in sustainable fashion in 2015 Vidmantas and I have often worked 7 day weeks in order to run the shop and the website. Although much of this time was spent joyfully, it has taken a toll nonetheless. So during our year long sabbatical we intend to rest, you will find us in the library, sitting by the shore in Branscombe beach, tending to community gardens, learning how to dance again, and remotely tucked away in ethiopian mountains. We cannot wait and you can follow our journey on instagram. 

 2. To Grow OWNI

OWNI is our sister business that we've been running alongside Sancho’s since 2021. It is an answer to the problem of Fashion Waste. OWNI works by digitising your wardrobe as you shop, creating product listings in your OWNI digital wardrobe and then helping you to resell items you no longer use. Since launching in 2022 OWNI has been growing faster and faster each month and this year we want to focus on making sure every sustainable fashion shopper in the UK knows they can use it to manage what they OWN.

Our OWNI Pop-up kicks off from March 17th, join us then to be the first to trial our mobile app, to shop second hand sustainable fashion and hear our thesis on how AI can prevent Fashion Waste for good. 

3.To do retail better.

Developing OWNI’s circular business model has given us a lot of cause to reflect on how we can improve Sancho's business model. As such, when we imagine the future of Sancho’s we imagine clothes making and clothes repairing on the shop floor, accessible sustainable living education, slow living and wellbeing services, menswear and children's wear! We have already begun working with partners to make these ideas a reality and look forward to launching them for you next year. We’ll document and share our journey online via our newsletters so you can be kept up to date. 

 4. Because Sustainable Retail Right Now Is Tough 

It won’t come as a surprise to anyone that the environment for running a sustainable fashion business has been challenging since 2020. Covid closing our doors was hard to navigate.

During the Brexit vote in 2016, I discovered a close personal friend was voting for Brexit, and I shared with her that Brexit would cause a 30% increase in our cost of doing business and thus essentially erode our margins. She dismissed this, and claimed that in order to protect our borders from immigrants it was necessary to take the risk. 3 years later Brexit has raised our costs of doing business by 30% and our friendship is over.

We spent many years working to push through trying to adapt and grow, in many instances at great personal costs, like so many other business owners and operators across the country. Now we have decided to take an alternative approach. To redirect our efforts in the short run so that in the long run we can create a better business overall. 

If you have any other questions send us an email to customercare@sanchosshop.com and we’ll answer them in the next email we send. 

For now, here is our calendar for the month! 

Sancho’s Sabbatical Sale Timeline Of Events 



28th of Feb

Sabbatical Sale Begins! Check out www.sanchosshop.com

2nd of March 

The OWNI Exeter Pop-up Announcement

4th of March 

Black Pound Day 2023 ! Join Our Newsletter For Great Discounts!

6th of March 

Oxford Student Union Climate Optimism Talk in Oxford 

8th of March 

Lowie Store OWNI Pop Up In London 

10th of March 

Pay With What You Can Day! 

On this day Kalkidan will be in the store accepting bartering in exchange for payment for our products. Here are some bartering examples but we look forward to seeing what you guys come up with! :  old clothes to swap for new, focaccia bread, or advertise our sister business OWNI on your social media in exchange for sustainable fashion at Sancho’s! 

Friday 31st March 

Our Last Day Trading on Fore Street!

The 117 Shop Will Now Be Closed 

Thursday April 6th

Saturday April 8th 

Shop furnishings & Equipment Sale

Come find great wooden work benches, clothes hangers, storage shelves & more in our shop furnishings sale.

April 24th 

Sancho’s Sustainable Fashion Directory - Live Online

We’ll launch 500+ brands in our sustainable fashion directory on our website for you to find sustainable fashion for the rest of 2023. 

See you in the shop until the 31st of March!