e52 Graham Stewart

52: Graham Stewart is Revolutionizing the Cotton Processing Industry with Fibre52

Listen to First Customers 52 on all major podcasting platforms.

Summary

First Customers #52 features Graham Stewart, founder of Fibre52, discussing his groundbreaking process to make cotton and textile industry more sustainable by replacing harmful chemicals with eco-friendly bioproducts. He shares insights into the challenges of introducing new technologies into traditional industries and the positive environmental and economic impacts of Fibre52’s innovation.

Mentions & Links

Takeaways

  • Fibre52 aims to make the cotton and textile industry more sustainable and environmentally friendly by replacing heavy chemicals with bioproducts.
  • Using bioproducts in cotton processing offers benefits such as shorter processing time, lower temperatures, and reduced water usage.
  • The adoption of the new process faces challenges due to the long-standing practices in the industry, but the support of brands and government initiatives is driving change.
  • Fibre52 has gained traction through effective marketing and publicity strategies, including social media campaigns and coverage in industry magazines.
  • Solving a bigger problem and leveraging experience and background are key factors in building a successful business.

Key Moments

00:46 Identifying the Need for Change in Cotton Processing

03:11 Benefits of Using Bioproducts in Cotton Processing

04:03 Challenges in Adopting the New Process

05:22 The Role of Brands in Driving Adoption

06:21 ESG and Government Initiatives

07:12 Development of the Fibre52 Process

08:18 Experimentation and Collaboration

10:11 Global Impact of Fibre52

11:20 Cost Comparison and Affordability

12:41 Approaching the First Customers

16:29 Marketing and Publicity

18:45 Marketing Funnel and Lead Generation

20:36 Marketing Campaign and Social Media

23:41 Building a Customer Base

24:40 Solving a Bigger Problem

27:47 The Importance of Experience and Background

29:13 The Role of Technology in Business

31:06 Global Communication and Zoom Calls

32:09 Recommended Reading

Show Transcript

Paris Vega (00:01.206)
Welcome to the First Customers podcast. I’m Paris Vega, your host. And today we have Graham Stewart with us. He’s the founder of Fibre52, a company that works with the biggest names in the fashion industry to replace the heavy chemicals used in cotton processing with environmentally friendly bioproducts that naturally decompose. Graham, welcome to the podcast.

graham (00:23.254)
Therese, thanks for inviting me on your pod.

Paris Vega (00:26.422)
So this is a really interesting and it seems like important company that you’ve started here, making the cotton and textile industry more sustainable, more environmentally friendly. Tell us a little bit about how you got the company started and then of course we want to hear about how you got those very first customers.

graham (00:46.418)
Yeah, it started about two and a half years ago. I’ve been in the, you know, the dying textile processing business all my career, which spans 40 years plus now. What I noticed was when I was dying here in America, I found that the, not just here, but elsewhere in the world, that the recipes that were being used were pretty much the same ones as I used when I was a young guy.

working in dye houses and you know, when I was studying the chemistry and dyeing and so on. And I thought maybe there’s a better way, you know, maybe we should be looking at this in a different manner. And so I started eliminating the heavy chemicals, particularly caustic soda, which, you know, while it’s not banned, that heavy alkali is used around the world.

Paris Vega (01:42.294)
You said caustic caustic soda. Okay.

graham (01:45.234)
If you think of sulfuric acid, it’s the opposite to sulfuric acid, but just as bad. So if you get it on your skin, it’s not great, which I’ve done many times. But yeah, the fact is that even from a personal standpoint, I wanted to get that out. And I’ve got to say still 95% of the world’s cotton is being hit with costic. So I started working with Bioproducts to get that out.

Paris Vega (01:54.998)
You’re it.

graham (02:14.006)
To find the bioproducts at first was difficult for me because I’m a textile guy. But when I started contacting people in the food industry, it’s a, would you believe, a bigger industry than textiles, although both are huge. And so the enzyme makers, the bioproduct makers, they focus more on that. So we’re not taking food from anybody. These are very reactive chemicals, well, I shouldn’t say chemicals, reactive bioproducts.

that you find regularly in foods. And in this case, I use them to react with each other and to bleach the cotton and to dye the cotton. And so in doing this, we shorten the process tremendously. The temperatures that we use are much lower. We use much less water. And so we have a much better.

carbon footprint at the end of all this. The great thing also is not just the human factor in using caustic soda or heavy alkali as I call it, it’s also the fact that this method doesn’t damage the cotton. So just about all the cotton you’re either wearing or sleeping under or drying yourself with, like with towels and so on, is degraded by the caustic soda.

what you’ve got with Fibre52 is a much more natural product and a much stronger product. I must explain that Fibre52 is a process and what happens, we get paid by having our products distributed all over the world and the distributors pay us a small royalty fee out of that.

Paris Vega (04:03.99)
Okay. So it sounds like you have such a better process. Why would any company ever do it another way? Is the traditional way more expensive or is this process you’ve come up with? Is it just a new innovation that, you know, just didn’t exist before? Or, you know, can you talk a little bit about what the reasoning would be? Cause it sounds like what you’re doing is just better all around.

graham (04:27.37)
It is. And yeah, the reason it’s not fully adopted as yet is that this has been the cotton industry for the last 70 years, you know, so there’s a lot of changes to come. And, you know, if there’s anything I can say about how we approach that, you know, to get this process into the system. So you’ve got to get it into the mills around the world, which I think I…

We, me and my partners took the wrong steps to begin with because we approached the mills, particularly in the US. And they’re too busy doing what they do. They don’t really want anything new, you know. Particularly in the US we found that. But what happened is we pivoted and started dealing with the brands. A couple of brands got ahold of us as well. And from then on, only in the last, we only launched officially December last year.

Paris Vega (05:22.454)
Oh, wow.

graham (05:23.214)
I know we’ve taken on 15 staff to now. So it’s grown quickly. Those staff are all over the world. Even the staff out here are mainly facing into Pakistan, India, Honduras, Guatemala. So the textile centers of the world, and Europe as well, because we do really well in Italy. And I’ll explain why soon. But basically, what we did is we pivoted to the brands, and everything took off.

Paris Vega (05:45.494)
Okay.

graham (05:52.598)
because the brands put the pressure on the mills. They say, look, we’re under a sustainable spotlight right now. So we need you to embrace this. We need you to work with it. Do the trials and let’s get going. And that’s where we are. We’re at commercialization right now. That’s the level that we’re at.

Paris Vega (06:11.51)
And is the spotlight you’re talking about have to do with like the ESG, like the overall environmental initiatives that are going on at kind of this global level? OK.

graham (06:21.394)
Exactly. ESG is a big part of that, but also the consumer is a big part of that. And let’s face it, governments too, where we see this move quickest. I mean, I mentioned Italy. In Europe, the governments are really putting a lot of pressure on environmental movement. So the laws are coming through, the trains coming down the track, that those laws are coming through. There are dates, 2025.

Paris Vega (06:47.862)
Gotcha.

graham (06:51.454)
And at that point I see that we’re ahead of the curve and the guys who are working with us are ahead of the curve because they’ll be ready.

Paris Vega (06:58.966)
Right.

speak a little bit about those early moments of the company, like how you kind of develop the process and then approach the market.

graham (07:12.414)
Yeah, developing the process was a big deal because it was trial and error on my part. It wasn’t tremendously academic. It was really me being a dire and thinking how I could do things better. And so I was kind of replacing things one by one. But I had a big breakthrough when I discovered a very readily available product which catalyzed everything.

So it meant I could use the lower temperatures and less time and so on, but catalyze everything. So in bleaching and dyeing, there’s usually some residue, something left over. In this case, it just goes down to zero. So when we bleach the cotton, we can go straight and dye it. And again, that makes a big difference to the time that it takes. But that breakthrough enabled me then to go to mills and brands around the world.

and get their interest and fortunately, you know, the brands have really promoted this and championed Fibre52 for us.

Paris Vega (08:18.102)
So were you like, you know, in the garage tinkering away, trying different things? Or do you have like a company with like a lab type situation or how were you experimenting?

graham (08:28.126)
Well, before this I had my own brand, an outdoor brand, which I was doing a lot of dyeing and I did it all myself. So I did all the knits and what have you myself and dyed the stuff myself. But it was inside several, what I would call commissioned dyers, people who color your clothes, right? And color your fabrics that go on your bed or your clothes, whatever. Color your socks, color your hats. And

Paris Vega (08:35.702)
Oh wow.

graham (08:55.278)
What I started to do, that was me working inside those big companies. And they are substantial companies. And as you spread out around the world, it’s my background. I was born and bred in England where we had a big textile industry when I was a kid. Now that’s gone. And I kind of followed that around the world in that I came to America back in the eighties because we bought businesses here, we had about 6,000 people here.

processing cotton, would you believe. But then all that went, that went, you know, south of the border, that’s gone to Central America. Then in Britain and Europe, production there went out to Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, and China. And I ended up following that around the world and living around the world. And so I also knew a lot of those mills around the world. And so the really biggest, you know, the largest guys in the world.

dealing with the largest brands are right there where we are now. We have our staff in Pakistan, we have our own staff in Bangladesh. We’re looking at staff in India and so on. And so that’s where we are right now. That’s how it all began.

Paris Vega (10:03.318)
Wow.

Paris Vega (10:11.19)
So you really are looking at changing the way that cotton’s processed globally. Like if your process takes hold, it could just be like a step up improvement in that part of the world for everybody. Wow.

graham (10:25.674)
It could, yeah. And it could go around the world. But you see, one reason we were so late in launching is that I already had two patents on the process. But our lawyers, you know, realized that this recipe can go around the world in about five minutes. That’s a good thing. The downside is it can go around the world in five minutes. So we’ve got to be pretty careful as to what we do.

So we’ve invested heavily in intellectual property. And so, yeah, we look after our intellectual property in every country very carefully where we deal. And also, I think something I should come back to Paris, I didn’t answer your question on cost. But that’s a very important question because the first thing is, you know, when you speak to somebody, wait a minute, Graham.

Paris Vega (10:57.11)
Okay.

Gotcha.

Paris Vega (11:12.566)
Okay.

graham (11:20.426)
How much does it cost? Is it going to cost me a lot more than what I’m doing now? I usually tell them, don’t worry, it’s cost neutral. Just if you look at it on a basic level, it’s cost neutral. However, depending where you are in the world, if your water’s expensive, your power’s more expensive, which it is around the world now, all those inputs are more expensive, including labor and time. You add all that together, and you’re usually cheaper than standard processing.

and in some cases substantially cheaper. So that’s where we work with our target market on making sure that they understand that what they get in isn’t more expensive than what they do now. And then they can start to work with it on a larger scale.

Paris Vega (12:07.35)
So that basically removes all possible reasons not to switch over to a better process. If it’s cheaper and healthier for everybody involved, including the rest of the world, it makes it a no brainer at some point. So how did you package this? And it seems like an easy sell, but it sounds like you’ve got obviously tons of industry connections from your work history up to this point.

graham (12:18.734)
Correct. Absolutely. Very strict.

Paris Vega (12:34.806)
but get into the detail a little bit about how you approached your very first customers and what that looked like.

graham (12:41.418)
What I did is I sent them samples. Basically, cotton’s made to be very, very absorbent. That’s what the caustic soda’s for. That’s why you get damage on it. But what I asked them to do is just do a little dropper test. And when they saw the bead of water sat on the fabrics, instead of going into the fabrics, they went, this is different, what are you doing with it? And I would say nothing. And that immediately piqued their interest.

Paris Vega (12:43.99)
Okay.

Paris Vega (13:06.902)
Hmm.

graham (13:11.882)
Now, in saying that, we’ve come a long way in that it’s not just hydrophobic or water repelling, which is a natural thing with cotton. That gets removed in standard processing. But some of our clients, some of our, for instance, big sporting goods clients around the world, again, brands that you know very, very well and you see on TV more or less every day, some of them want a wicking process. So they ask us to make it absorbent, which we can do.

Paris Vega (13:25.334)
Okay.

graham (13:40.514)
So we’re not removing any of the natural process, we just make it absorbent. And that can be customizable because, for instance, printers, they want absorbency, but they don’t want it immediately in some cases. So we make it so that the absorbency can be after 30, 40 seconds, for instance, and all that kind of stuff. So we find that we can work with just about everybody around the world who is processing cotton and cotton blends.

Paris Vega (14:08.086)
So is that a different chemical process to change the absorbency? Or is that like different weave of the material to change? You know what I mean? That’s really interesting that you can adjust that.

graham (14:21.551)
It’s leaving the natural properties of cotton in place. And so we don’t interfere with that. And in certain cases, what we have done is applied by a product that will make the cotton absorbent, but still retain its natural properties. But no, we don’t change the weave or the knit. That’s all the same. We don’t change the dye machines, the processing machines.

Paris Vega (14:36.886)
Okay.

graham (14:46.594)
You don’t need to do that. It’s the great thing about Fibre52. There’s no investment involved. And basically you’re just replacing what you’re already paying for, which is heavy chemicals. So you might as well pay for a nice one instead.

Paris Vega (14:59.254)
So it’s just changing a few of the inputs, it sounds like. Wow.

graham (15:01.678)
Correct, correct, and it’s actually easy. You’ve got less inputs. That’s a great thing in that because our products, it leaves the cotton naturally soft. The industry puts softeners all over cotton. And you even see it on TV where they throw sheets into a dryer and all this kind of stuff to keep your product soft. With Fibre52, it’s naturally soft. So that’s a cost that’s already gone. It’s an addition you don’t need. And then the other thing is they put lubricants on them.

you know, so the products don’t crease when you’re manufacturing them. You don’t need that either. So, you know, there are things like that we don’t have to put in and therefore it’s actually an easier process than the normal process. So the guys on the on the shop floor, which I spend a lot of time with, they’re all pretty complimentary. You know, I’m a diet, so we’re we taught the same language, but they’re saying, you know, this is easier than normal. And guess what? We don’t have to stand under the shower all the time. You know, we’re not, we’re not worried. So.

Paris Vega (15:39.862)
Right.

graham (16:00.706)
That’s… I hope that explains it.

Paris Vega (16:03.318)
Yeah. So when you sent that first sample and you mentioned earlier, we can’t really say specific names of specific companies for legal reasons. So we won’t get into that part of it, but can you go, were you pretty confident that this was going to take off because of your experience? Like, or was there still a moment of like, kind of amazement when you got feedback or talk about maybe the feedback that you got from those very first people you sent samples to.

graham (16:29.59)
Yeah, good point. I was personally 100% confident, because that’s been my life. Right. But the guys that I went to see are like, we’ve not seen anything like this before. Right. So we’ve got to try it. Um, and you know, so you’ve got to get to a point where they want to process their fabrics with their people. Right. So that can be somebody who’s a brand or a wholesaler distributor.

who may have a dye process that’s outside his company, or they may be verticals as we call them, where they do the whole thing inside the company, right from raw materials through to the finished packaged garment. But basically you start off in the same position where they have to process their own fabrics and then they see, okay, now I understand. I understand how it processes easily.

I understand that I don’t have to make too many changes. And the good thing then is that, this is what we’ve made my colleagues have worked on for the last year, is very accurate calculators. So we supply these calculators. So before you even process, you can put your inputs, present inputs into the calculator. You can put the Fibre52 product inputs into the calculator and compare the prices.

At that point the light bulb goes off and right guys, we’re in business. You know, so we haven’t had any kickback on that because once people see that it’s not going to cost them more, then it’s a winner.

Paris Vega (18:05.878)
Okay. So what is the kind of marketing funnel for you? Because that’s kind of my background is from the websites and digital marketing and that kind of thing. You send out a free sample, right? And so were you leveraging your existing relationships to be able to even get that sample to the right person? Did you have to do some kind of like contact list and like email follow-up or notify them that the sample was coming?

Talk a little bit about kind of the, some of the tactics, like that, what that marketing slash sales funnel looked like of getting someone through the process to actually becoming a customer.

graham (18:45.894)
Right, initially there were a few people around the world that I could go to and say, hey, just take a look at this, you know, some of the bigger processes. But what really happened, you know, back to what you’re saying about the marketing approach was we decided on the 6th of December last year that we do a product launch, a product release, which we did on various social media. Within that first day, we had three of the biggest brands in the world approach us.

Paris Vega (18:51.254)
Okay. Yeah.

graham (19:14.294)
So we’re like, wow, we’re onto something here. And that just continued. We’ve, we’ve not really approached many people. We’ve, we’ve had to build the business and staff the business just to look after the inquiry that we got from that one day release on different, on different platforms. Uh, all the platforms we know, but, um, it wasn’t a big release, but having something different in this industry, which everybody knows.

Paris Vega (19:33.942)
Wow.

Okay.

graham (19:42.378)
We all wear cotton, here we go, every day. You’re wearing cotton right now, from what I see. You know, it’s in our lives. And to those retailers who are, you know, selling cotton and marketing cotton products, this was a big deal. This was something different. So that was our marketing approach initially, right? That’s a very short story to, you know, to tell you what initially happened anyway.

Paris Vega (19:46.806)
Yeah. Yeah.

Paris Vega (20:01.302)
Yeah.

Paris Vega (20:06.614)
Yeah.

Paris Vega (20:12.374)
So what was that campaign then? I mean, that was an amazingly effective campaign. So let’s dig in a little bit to what you did on social media to get the right, you know, the exact response that you wanted. Um, was this like a big paid campaign push that you were doing across all channels, we just posting organically, um, get into a little bit of the details on what you actually did on social media.

graham (20:36.586)
Well, the good news for me is that I was fortunate to meet some guys down in Houston, Texas, who were in the energy space. The CEO is a chemist, and they were interested in what I was doing. Now, they have about eight, I would say, 60, 70 scientists within the company, and then all the ancillary staff. But they’re a very good marketing organization. So…

Paris Vega (21:03.062)
Okay.

graham (21:03.55)
marketing’s in their DNA and they said, hey, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on advertising this. What we will do though, is we’ll hire a local agency here in Houston, Texas, an agency that we’ve dealt with for years, they can do a minimal launch, but they’ll do it right. So it’s not like me going on my Instagram page or something like that. These guys did it very professionally, but we didn’t lay out much money on it. It was a…

We saw a low-key launch. It didn’t end up that way.

Paris Vega (21:36.118)
Yeah. So was it video content based? Was it just images? Or what kind of creative was used?

graham (21:45.09)
To begin with, it was just dialogue and images. We then did get into video and we’ve done quite a bit on that ever since, but the majority still is like our website now. We have so many people and brands come to leave us a message on our website. We get back to them the same day, whether you’re an individual or a brand or a manufacturer, a mill, a chemical company.

you name it, all these people are coming to us now because they’ve heard. The other thing is though, that was really good for us is that a lot of the industry magazines have picked up on this. And again, without mentioning names, some of the bigger fashion magazines have picked up on it. Some of the home textile magazines have picked up on Fibre52 and that in itself has been a big push for us. It gave us a lot of credibility.

Paris Vega (22:41.046)
Yeah. And was that an outreach to those magazines, or is that just hearing the buzz? They picked it up because it was happening.

graham (22:49.654)
Pretty much here in the buzz, you know, they, they tend to employ people who look for people like us, because, you know, can we sell you some advertising and that kind of thing? Yeah. And so there’s, there’s quite a bit of that goes on, but I got to say that most, most of the publicity we got to now anyway, has been really because they wanted to tell the story in their magazine or their publication, just as an interesting story with

Paris Vega (22:58.646)
Right. They got to write about something.

graham (23:19.446)
you know, with a global, let’s say global opportunity.

Paris Vega (23:25.942)
So just to review how you got your first customers, it sounds like you tapped into your existing network first, did the free samples, and then did you have any paying customers before the marketing launch? Okay.

graham (23:34.743)
Yes.

graham (23:41.946)
No, no, we didn’t. Um, the marketing launch has really been the big hit. Um, and so, you know, there’s only so much you can do yourself, particularly when you’re talking, you know, business to business as we were, um, it was, you know, as you know, social media is just so effective. I mean, you know better than I do. And, um, it’s certainly been a revelation to me because with my own brands, I’ve been involved in social media. Um,

But I didn’t, I’ve had three apparel brands, which are still going, I’m pleased to say. But I’ve been involved in the social media with those brands, but I’ve never had a hit like this. You know, this is, yeah, thousands of times bigger in magnitude, you know.

Paris Vega (24:16.022)
Okay.

Paris Vega (24:24.15)
Really?

Paris Vega (24:27.766)
What would you say is the biggest difference between what maybe you’ve done with the past of those three brands versus what Fibre52 has done on social media? Because that’s a really interesting contrast.

graham (24:40.762)
It’s just a global demand for this. You know, let’s say you launch your own sweatsuit range or, you know, whatever it may be, great. But people all over the world are not looking for that right now. You know, you can hit a niche, you can hit a market with this. It’s just a huge global industry. And that’s why it’s gone so big so fast.

Paris Vega (24:44.502)
Okay.

Paris Vega (25:09.942)
So it solves like a bigger pain point and there’s more existing demand versus like you’re saying, you know, another fashion brand or outdoor apparel brand. It’s like an optional product for people. It’s not something that, you know, affects their kind of bottom line as much, but with Fibre52 being this B2B process that can help them become more profitable and more sustainable.

It seems like it’s solving a harder, more complex problem, a bigger problem.

graham (25:43.266)
That’s exactly right. And again, back to the pressure that’s on there. We talked earlier about consumer pressure, ESG pressure, all sorts of pressure from all sustainable angles, let’s say. And what we’re getting a big demand for, and this is where you’ll start to see Fibre52 in the high street, is that we’re now already working on our labels, which will go to

Paris Vega (25:48.342)
Right.

graham (26:10.498)
to brands around the world and for their manufacturers to attach to apparel. And what you’ll have on there is a lot of information about where your garment came from. It’s going to give you a lot of information as to how it was processed and how it got to where it is. Whereas that is still, believe it or not, in its infancy. And so what I find, and what I’ve seen this last year, is just how much consumers are looking for that kind of information.

And of course the brands have to make sure that they give, you know, their clientele what they need. So the consumer is playing a strong role here.

Paris Vega (26:43.83)
Yeah.

Paris Vega (26:49.494)
I think that’s really interesting contrast and a concept of like choosing what problem to solve and how in some situations, a harder problem is actually an easier thing to build a company around because the demand is stronger, there’s more kind of force behind it. And then when you’ve got government initiatives pushing people the same direction your company’s going, I mean, that’s a whole other kind of set of winds blowing in your direction.

Um, that’s, that’s a really interesting thing to marinate on. And for any entrepreneurs out there, you’re considering kind of what company to start. Um, it can still be a little deceptive though, cause it’s not like an overnight success where, Hey, we’re just invented this, you know, easy, new process. Anybody can do this. This was like an overnight success that was built over your whole career. Because without your background and all that experience, you wouldn’t have known to even try to solve this problem. So it’s like, it took your full career.

plus all that experimentation and risk taking, and then a good marketing plan can help make it skyrocket. But I think a lot of times entrepreneurs focus just on a clever marketing plan thinking that that’s going to turn a bad idea into something, but it’s like you need your full background in the actual thing to be good for it to become a success.

graham (28:10.846)
Yes. Yeah, and I didn’t realize that either. You know, I was solving problems. And as you say, you know, I couldn’t solve those problems unless I’d had this time in the industry. Yes, of course, you’ve got to use theory, you’ve got to use all the theory that you’ve got, but the practice really made the difference, you know. And I didn’t know that, to be honest, it was something that just happened because

Paris Vega (28:15.126)
Yeah.

Paris Vega (28:23.99)
Yeah.

graham (28:38.396)
my background’s been in this industry.

Paris Vega (28:43.158)
Well, this has been very interesting. I think there’s a lot of valuable lessons here. And I’d love to know a lot more of the really specific details of the execution of your marketing campaigns and stuff because it was such a clear success. And I guess one last thing I will ask about those marketing campaigns. So it sounds like it was a kind of lead-focused, like lead-gen-focused, like you were pushing people to fill out a contact form on your website or on

the social platforms and then follow up with them that way.

graham (29:18.082)
Yeah, that happens. And I mean, what tends to, you know, a day in my life, like today, for instance, you know, my morning starts off in Bangladesh, then Pakistan, and then this afternoon America, tonight, Japan, you know, and those are all Zoom calls. So it’s so easy these days, right? Let’s face it, it’s just changed the last couple of years. I would not have believed that I would be able to do this.

Paris Vega (29:29.558)
Oh wow.

graham (29:47.434)
without really moving around the world myself. Other people do, but basically I’m looking at my desktop computer for hours and hours a day, talking to people all over the world. And that’s really made this also move forward much quicker than it would have done in another era. Even before the pandemic, this wouldn’t have been as quick. And we wouldn’t have been able to have those interesting dialogues face to face on the top of my table.

Paris Vega (30:11.222)
Right.

graham (30:17.042)
You know, it’s quite a big dynamic in my opinion. I may be wrong, but for me, it’s been a huge move in getting Fibre52 out there and having those very important dialogues with teams. I mean, quite often the bigger retails will have 12 people on the call, you know. Just before I met you, I was on the line with a bunch of guys who manufacture.

Paris Vega (30:22.038)
Yeah.

Paris Vega (30:37.878)
Wow.

graham (30:45.91)
Bio products, very much into Bio products. And there were eight of them and four of us. So another 12, yeah, you know. And would we be doing that three years ago? I don’t think so.

Paris Vega (30:58.07)
Right. The pandemic kind of forced everyone to get comfortable with the technology. Then you realize the benefits. So I go, I don’t have to sit through a plane flight, you know, several times a week or whatever. So are you meeting everyone kind of at the beginning of the team’s day across the different time zones? Huh? OK.

graham (31:06.386)
Yeah.

graham (31:14.974)
Correct, correct. It can be the beginning or the end because, you know, that’s why the day kind of stretches out quite a bit now. But it’s good, you know, I’m not complaining.

Paris Vega (31:27.638)
Yeah. Well, I wish you all the success. It sounds like the world needs this to be successful. And I guess that’s the other kind of key way to market your business when you’re when you’re solving something that’s literally better for all of us. We all want you to win so that we have, you know, cleaner cotton out in the world.

graham (31:47.526)
Thank you. Yeah. And, uh, Paris, thanks for helping us get the message out there. Really appreciate you inviting me on your pod today. Been, been real good.

Paris Vega (31:55.19)
Yeah, you’re welcome. And I forgot to ask one of my regular questions. Is there any books that you’d recommend for kind of hopeful entrepreneurs or people in business wanting to start something?

graham (32:09.018)
Um, no, if I can say, um, particularly, you know, my background is in textiles. So I’m not a pure marketer. I’m not an economist. Um, that said, I love the economist magazine and read it all the time. You know, that, you know, my inspiration actually comes from reading those magazines, reading industry magazines and reading at least two newspapers a day. Um, that kind of keeps me in touch. Um,

Paris Vega (32:10.934)
Okay.

Paris Vega (32:16.822)
Yeah.

Yeah.

Paris Vega (32:24.406)
Okay.

Paris Vega (32:34.774)
Okay.

graham (32:37.942)
But yeah, as far as an inspirational book, no. The last book I read was really Moneyball, about getting analytics into baseball. But yeah, I’m sure that won’t help. Okay.

Paris Vega (32:52.15)
Yeah, okay.

Paris Vega (32:56.982)
No, that’s good. I’m going to put all that in the show notes, economist magazine, newspapers, and moneyball.

graham (33:03.034)
Yeah, that’s it. You got it. Good mix.

Paris Vega (33:06.102)
All right, everybody, that’s another episode of the First Customers Podcast. Check out Graham Stewart. We’ll put links to his website and company information in the show notes on parisvega.com and we’ll see you next episode. Thanks again, Graham.

graham (33:21.038)
Thanks, guys.


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