Tl;dr: See the gif at the bottom to find out how to make sure you get your order in time for Christmas.

Picture this.

It's Christmas 2020. Six months ago you started a social enterprise with a group of friends and everything seems to be going well. In fact, not only have you made some sales, but you’ve even seen strangers wearing your shirts out and about in Newcastle!*

Suddenly, you have a rush of orders in the lead-up to Christmas.

You probably should have been expecting this since Christmas happens every year and the sound of Mariah Carey has already been echoing in your ears for at least two months.

Still, you were somehow not expecting this and you are, therefore, not prepared.

Let’s make matters worse.

Some (read: basically all) of the shirts that have been ordered as Christmas gifts are stuck in a shipping container somewhere overseas.

In truth, this is not entirely your fault, nor could you have fully expected it, but since the cause is a once-in-one-hundred-years global pandemic that has been raging on for at least six months, you probably should have been ready for this to happen.

Bad news. The shirts miss their first flight to Sydney.

Bad news again. The shirts miss their second flight to Sydney.

Better news. The shirts arrive the week before Christmas.

Worse news. The shirts have arrived so late that neither Sendle nor AusPost nor even an expensive courier can get them to all of your customers before Christmas.

Sadly, it looks like no-one will be unwrapping a Mozzie-Free Tee on the 25th of December.

In the words of Wade from Kim Possible, this was the sitch.

This is how we found ourselves almost a year ago, six months into our brand new adventure and on the cusp of disappointing around one hundred excited customers. So, we did the only thing we could think to do: deliver all the shirts ourselves.

We downloaded a free delivery driver app and we planned out four different road journeys that covered the distance from Newcastle up to the Hunter Valley, down through the Central Coast, to the Eastern and Western suburbs of Sydney, and finally all the way down to Melbourne with a few pit stops along the way. (Don’t worry, we’re including the kilometres in our carbon neutral calculations!)

It was a hot summer and the air conditioning in one of our cars wasn’t working, but those Mozzie-Free Tees weren’t going to deliver themselves!

Map of east coast showing the routes we travelled to deliver Borne Mosquito Repellent Tshirts

In the end, we had a blast. In the short time we had spent building Borne Clothing, it had been clear that the one thing you miss out on most as an ecommerce brand is the ability to connect with people in person. Making our Christmas deliveries work out meant having face-to-face conversations with the people who had invested in our story and shown their support for our big dream: a world without mosquito-borne disease.

We had some great feedback too, and people weren’t just pleased that their shirt had actually made it before the big day, but that we’d gone to the effort of getting it to them ourselves. It was a hugely worthwhile experience, one that we’ve marked down as a foundational moment in our adventure as a social enterprise start-up.

Having said all of that, there’s no way we’ll be doing that again on purpose!

It was definitely a slog, and with hundreds more of you now getting behind our vision, there’s no way we could deliver them all between the four of us!

Moral of the story: here’s how you can guarantee that you get your order in time for Christmas this year!

Our partners at Sendle have set out the following dates for guaranteed Christmas delivery. As a reminder, we’re based in Newcastle, NSW, so plan your orders accordingly!

Sendle shipping dates (Dec 03, Dec 10, Dec 13)

*It was Tim’s mum but the rest of us hadn’t met her yet so we’re counting it.

June 29, 2022 — Bal Dhital