Losses continue to mount at Bono and Ali’s ethical clothing company

Losses continued to mount last year at the ethical clothing company founded by Bono and his wife, Ali Hewson.

Losses continue to mount at Bono and Ali’s ethical clothing company

Figures lodged with the Companies Office show that Edun Apparel Ltd recorded a loss of $6.4m (€4.87m) in the 12 months to the end of December 2013.

The loss last year followed losses of $7.88m in 2012 and $8.5m in 2011.

The two established the global fashion brand in 2005 in an effort to bring about positive change through its trading relationship with Africa and its positioning as a creative force in contemporary fashion.

In spite of the losses, the report states that Bono, Ali and the firm’s other directors are confident “the company is continuing its development strategy of building the ‘Edun’ and ‘Edun Live’ brands, marketing and promoting the products and increasing the profitability of the company by improving margin and market share”.

In an interview with Newstalk last year commenting on the business, Bono said: “The fashion business makes the music business look like a cake-walk. It is really, really complicated.”

Edun appointed celebrated designer Danielle Sherman as its new creative director last year and Bono said: “She is a genius. She is an amazing girl and I think she is going to take things on to the next level.”

Accumulated losses at the firm total $60.95m and figures show that the firm’s shareholders, Bono, Ali Hewson and the world’s largest luxury goods group, LVMH further propped up the firm with an additional $17.62m in loans in 2013 bringing to €71.68m in shareholder loans.

Arising from the 2009 deal to purchase just under half of Edun, LVMH provides support, investment and infrastructure to help the business grow into a global fashion brand and support its vision to grow trade in Africa.

Bono and Ali Hewson have featured in Louis Vuitton’s Core Values ad campaign with the two wearing Edun brand clothing on location in Africa in photos taken by Annie Leibovitz.

The figures show that Edun’s net liabilities increased from $37m to $43.4m during the year. The firm’s cash pile during the year increased from $596,408 to $2m.

Edun product includes sourcing from Tunisia, Kenya, Uganda, Madagascar, Morocco, Uruguay and China.

The accounts show that Edun’s 100% owned US- based subsidiary, Edun Americas, owed the Irish arm $26m at year end in respect of funding and trading operations. Net sales by the Irish-based firm to Edun Americas totalled €4.09m.

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