Have you ever wondered where your clothes come from?
Sure you have. Maybe you’ve noticed, even examined the tags. Possibly uttered a small sigh of relief when you saw that your shirt had been made in America; dismissed any gut-wrenching thoughts when you saw it had been manufactured overseas.
But what do you know about your clothes beyond that?
Know your factories. Know your costs. Always ask why.
This is the mantra of the newly established clothing manufacturer Everlane, whose mission is to sell high-quality clothing, honestly. They believe every product has a story, and they want to tell it in the most radically transparent way possible.
The idea of radical transparency is demonstrated in their “true cost” for each item – a sum of pricing for materials, hardware, labor, duties and transport. The cost is then doubled (versus marked up 8x, as in traditional retail) for the Everlane price. Not to mention, they give you extra information on the fit, how the style originated and even facts about the factory it was created in. It won’t be the cheapest item you have ever bought, but not the most expensive either.
Now you might be thinking: wait a minute – what secrets are all the other retailers hiding?
Just by offering all of this information to their consumers, Everlane makes people realize what they don’t know about their clothing and its production process. The current world of retail is tainted with skepticism and distrust because of what is hidden. Exposing the truth in retail production has not only challenged the existing status quo, but it has upped the ante for every other retailer out there.
Before searching ravenously for the nearest location, you might be interested to know that no brick-and-mortar Everlane stores exist. They are online only, to reduce costs even more for their customers. Don’t worry, their website is better than a store – and if you live in New York or San Francisco, they will deliver your clothes to your location, free of cost.
Recently predicted to be “the next J-Crew,” Everlane will be even less of a secret in 2016.
And hey, next time you’re shopping for clothes, do yourself a favor: know your factories. Know your costs. Always ask why.
To see the full case on Everlane, click HERE.
-Ali Chastain, Junior Behavioral Strategist