Our mission is to reduce clothing consumption. At the same time, we live off selling clothes. An obvious paradox.
You can read more about how we contribute to reducing clothing consumption here. To sum it up, we create systems that make it easier and more attractive for you to use our clothes longer. The best example of this is our lifetime service, where we repair your garments as long as you want. You might be wondering how implementing these pricey investments is even economically possible.
We are able to run our business this way by making decisions that radically distinguish us from "every" other brand.
We don't do discounts.
40% of the worlds clothing is sold at a discounted price. That creates bad margins for the company, and makes it easer for customers to buy things they don't need.
We never overproduce.
It is very normal to produce way too much of something, that later gets thrown away. That means lost income and an huge negative environmental impact.
We sell pretty much every garment without intermediaries.
A retailer typically needs 50% of what you pay to stay afloat. Many brands even have a second intermediary – agents that sell to the retailers. That makes for an enormous price pressure on production.
We don't do outreach sales.
Most companies have salesmen that obviously need a salary.
We spend a relatively small amount on marketing.
Marketing is expensive, and for many companies takes a big chunk of the total budget.
We sell multiple items before they are produced via "on demand" and "crowdfunding" models.
The norm is that a company must pay for production before the products are sold. That means that the company often has to take out a loan, and we all know how expensive that is.
We want to make money on a "planned to last" principle, and are exploring new areas of business within repairs, redesign and maintenance.
The fashion industry is based off of the principle "planned obsolescence", where the companies motivate their customers to switch out their wardrobe as often as possible.
Last but not least: Our prices aren't low.
The industry is characterized by price pressure. That makes for bad margins and means that companies must focus on volume. Large volume means that one can pressure producers and partners to the max, resulting in miserable labor conditions and catastrophic environmental impact.
Now you are probably wondering why everyone doesn't do what we do. The short answer is that we have the same question.
The longer answer is probably that the industrial revolution has introduced mass production, and commercialism has rooted itself in two "truths":
1. People want as cheap products as possible, whatever the cost.
2. Motivating people to buy new things as often as possible is smart. The life of a product should be as short as possible.
Both of these factors drive up the volume and income for companies. The obvious losers are the planet and the workers who make the clothes. So our final question is: Don't we all lose in that version?