CCCG Help Enterpreneurs Build Sustainable Fashion Company

Entrepreneurs Nicolas and Julia Vendramin launched their new fashion company and website – – on Saturday 1 May. We caught up with Nicolas before the launch, to talk about their venture, their story, the community they want to build, and the support and advice that Nicolas in particular received from Visionnaires and Capital City College Training, both part of Capital City College Group, along the way.

Hello Nicolas, tell us about LABELL-D, your new start-up. It’s a sustainable fashion company isn’t it? What does that mean to you and Julia?

“We have both worked in fashion for more than 15 years, but with LABELL-D, we feel that we have finally found our purpose in the industry.

“In my fashion career I worked for companies including Hugo Boss, Bally and Harrys of London, in a variety of finance and merchandising roles, but I also knew that the industry is very polluting in its nature, and I wanted to do something about that. We’ve always been passionate about sustainable living and about 12 months ago, we decided to set-up our own company to sell sustainable fashion. The idea had been in my mind for a few years, but two things really accelerated our thinking: the birth of our daughter two and a half years ago and the COVID pandemic.”

And that’s where Visionnaires, our social enterprise, and our training arm, Capital City College Training came in, isn’t it? How did we help you?

“To be honest, I can’t recall exactly how I found out about the programme called Start Up Step Up London, it provides workshops, mentoring and coaching to help start-up businesses get off the ground], but it was a real help to me.

“Because I’ve always worked in big companies, I guess I have always thought big too – ten steps ahead – but Wendy, my tutor, brought me down to earth and reminded me that a new business has to start from zero. She and the 6-week course that she taught was very pragmatic and helped me focus on the basics and get them right first. The course sessions took place before the COVID-19 lockdowns started and it was great to be able to learn in-person, with other entrepreneurs, rather than remotely.”

And then we put you in touch with a mentor didn’t we?

“Yes. We had a Visionnaires mentor matchmaking event where I met Oreste Maspes. Oreste is a fellow Italian and has experience in the fashion and textile industry, and has worked in the consumer electronics, document imaging and printing sectors too.

“We bonded straight away and, as part of the programme, I had 5 hours of one-to-one mentoring with him. Oreste is very strategic and analytical and he pushed us hard – really looking at the strengths and weaknesses of our proposition and our strategy.”

That sounds really good. And since then, you’ve been working hard to set the company and your website up?

“That’s right. We took a couple of days off over Easter and it was the first time we’ve had off in months! We now have a beta version of our website which has already had a few sales. We’ve been testing and getting feedback on the site and we are working on getting the user experience right – making changes so that buying through the website is a great experience for customers – and we’re launching to the public on 1 May.”

What sort of clothes do you offer?

“LABELL-D has garments from a wide range of great brands big and small including Acne Studios, Nike, R3unite, Ecoalf, Burberry, Stella McCartney, Patagonia and Gucci, with others coming on all the time. Our items are all sustainable in how they are produced and our collections include many items which have recycled, organic, bio-based and sustainably sourced materials.

“For example, the uppers of our Nike Space Hippie trainers are made from recycled plastic bottles, T-Shirts and yarn scraps, and our Patagonia beanie hats are Fair Trade Certified – which means that the people who sew them are paid a premium for their work – and they are made from a blend of recycled wool and recycled nylon.

“It’s wonderful to see the site taking shape and we are really excited for the launch. But beyond the launch, we want to do more. We want to build a community of customers who care as passionately as we do about the social and environmental performance of their clothes. We will inform and educate them about the actions that brands have taken on their road to sustainability and we’ll show our customers how the products we sell have been produced and certified. The website is”

Thank you Nicolas. It’s been great talking to you.

Start Up Step Up London is an entrepreneur training programme delivered by Capital City College Group’s training arm Capital City College Training in partnership with Visionnaires and co-funded by the European Social Fund and the Mayor of London. It brings together the capital’s vast business support offer into a single resource, giving entrepreneurs the tools to make their business idea a reality – find out more here.

Capital City College Group Contact Centre Wins Customer Service Award

Capital City College Group’s contact centre team has received an award for its “exceptional” customer service. The Omnichannel Experience Award 2020 was presented by Puzzel, the company that provides the customer service platform used by the Group.

The contact centre responds to around 8,000 enquiries a month, which increases significantly during the enrolment period between July and September.

Lenka Annan, Contact Centre Manager, said: “2020 has been an extraordinary year when the whole world has been turned upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite face-to-face restrictions, the contact centre has continued to use Puzzel to provide efficient remote frontline services to our students.

“During this time, we also enhanced the service with new features that have enabled the team to create and share comprehensive resources to provide an even more personal service when responding to enquiries.”

Puzzel is a cloud-based customer service system that enables contact centre staff to manage and respond to phone calls, online chat, SMS and social media enquiries.

CCCG was chosen by Puzzel to receive the award from 1,000 of the company’s customers across Europe after implementing the system in 2017.

Lenka added: “I would like to thank Puzzel for this award, and proudly hold it up as a mark of our continuous drive to provide a great service to everyone who contacts us.

“I would also like to express my thanks to my team of Learner Advisers for their dedication when handling enquiries, whatever the circumstances.”

CCCG’s implementation of Puzzel was recognised by an auditor during the Group’s reaccreditation for the matrix Standard in 2019, a quality mark for organisations providing information, advice and guidance.

Puzzel praised the Group for providing a “dependable, efficient customer service” and demonstrating best practice across all channels.

Jonathan Allan, Chief Marketing Officer at Puzzel, said “Capital City College Group are true leaders when it comes to providing exceptional omnichannel customer service.

“This past year they have demonstrated a deep understanding of their customers’ needs and have engaged a wide range of tools and channels to support students as they navigate this incredibly difficult time.

“Their flexibility and dependability have been absolutely first class and Puzzel is delighted to have been part of their journey.”

Visionnaires CEO calls for education and charity boards to show better governance of innovation

Visionnaires CEO Pablo Lloyd OBE has urged education and charity leaders to show better governance and innovation as the country moves out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an article for recruitment and leadership consultancy Gatenby Sanderson, Pablo shared his thoughts on how these sectors can continue to evolve after a hugely challenging year.

Pablo launched Visionnaires with Capital City College Group in 2019, a social enterprise to help aspiring entrepreneurs, having served as an executive and non-executive director on commercial and charity boards for 30 years.

In the article, he challenged boards to look at how well they govern innovation by, reviewing strategy, investing in innovation, gaining fresh perspective, collaborating and embracing diversity of experience. You can read the full article here.