The Untraced team would like to share some news with you! Three significant changes have happened since June 2022, and here they are:
1/ We returned to Europe! Why did we return? Because our team members are originally from there, we were born Belgian. Being in Australia was a stage of our lives that lasted three years, and the plan was always to come back to Europe at some point, even if we didn’t really communicate online about it. But now it’s official; Untraced has its headquarters in Brussels! Returning home made sense for many reasons…
- Europeans love golf, and the sport took a leap forward during the pandemic. Golfing communities grew in size, and the average age of players got younger.
- Europeans are much more sensitive and aware of global warming than Australians.
- The energy mix of European countries is much less reliant on oil, gas, and coal than in Australia, and several countries, France and Portugal included, have carbon-free energy primarily. Since one of our priorities for Untraced has always been to locate our production in a country with low-carbon energy, leaving Australia made sense. (I’d also like to announce that we have finished our first carbon assessment; frankly, we still have work to do! Even though we do everything we can on a daily basis to reduce our footprint, we are still far from our objectives, but we are working on it.)
- New sports brands are emerging all over Europe, and the diversity is much greater than in Australia. Untraced clearly has a place among these young change-makers.
- We have met with several promising contacts who can help push Untraced further in the right direction.
- And we missed handcrafted bread, cheese, and chocolate? Can we say that or no?
2/ We have become a company with a mission. Before closing our business in Australia, we created another company in Belgium with new statutes. We wrote our mission right into the statutes, meaning we have no choice but to respect our mission. This step was an opportunity for us to get our thoughts straight and make Untraced a company with a mission. We’ve seen many European companies take this step lately, including one that we really like but has nothing to do with golf, Patine Paris (hello Patine!)
Specifically, what is a company with a mission? It’s a company whose mission is written in the statutes. And what does it mean? Beyond being the raison d'être for the company, the mission is also binding. The company is then forced to respect its commitments and report every year on the company’s successes and failures. It’s more engaging than a manifesto and more complicated and boring, but that’s where all the intrigue and challenges lie, isn’t it?
Our Untraced bylaws state: “Our mission is to make golf sustainable and reflect the ethos of our modern society. We want to engage the golf industry in the fight against global warming by rethinking the game’s codes. Our first project is about what golfers wear. We create the next generation of circular golf apparel for men and women: High-quality, high-performance, durable clothing produced in limited editions with sustainable materials.
Our products are designed according to the principles of circularity and to meet golfers’ needs on and off the course. Our raw materials, production processes, and operations take into consideration our environmental footprint and desire to minimize our overall impact.
Every year, we will appoint an external person who will verify that each of our decisions takes into account the social and environmental criteria we have set ourselves. An annual report will be published following this audit.”
Pretty cool, no? See you after the first report!
3/ Last but not least, we signed a partnership with Decathlon. This is my personal pride. Since I was little, Decathlon has been my ultimate sports store. Every time I walk past the shelves, I feel inspired to start all the sports. It’s my top of mind, my go-to, and I’m always happy, even now when I’m approaching forty, to go for a walk in a Decathlon store.
At Decathlon, you find everything. It’s quality, the prices are realistic, and it’s the best way to approach a discipline on the right foot. In addition, the teams are young, friendly, and dynamic. When I learned that the brand was opening its marketplace to young sustainable brands, I might as well tell you that I did not hesitate for long. I called them, introduced myself, and we decided to work together after a few exchanges. Untraced products will be available in France, and we are preparing for a strong arrival in Belgium very soon! Thank you, Alexandre Velge and all the others, for making this possible; long live our partnership!
Here, in a few words, are the most important milestones from the last few months! We continue to move forward in many other areas and will keep you informed about the rest of what’s happening behind the scenes at Untraced…
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