How do retailers with an ethical platform work with fashion designers to help consumers buy better? That was the topic of conversation at Eco-Sessions, a series of meet ups brought to you by Magnifeco, an eco living blog.
Panelists shared their day-to-day experiences as retailers and included Maxine Kaye Bédat, co-founder of Zady.com, Swati Argade, owner and CEO of Brooklyn-based Bhoomki and Allison McGowan, owner of Teich, a West Village New York boutique.
It was clear that the draw for their target is a good product and that storytelling is integral to the experience. Zady, the new online e-commerce platform refers to their brand as a destination for style and focuses on content which includes everything from a designers backstory to the financials of clothing like their cost-per-wear article which helps show consumers the value of a garment.
Zady and Bhoomki also use a labeling system to provide transparency to their customer. Their classification system cues important consumer considerations like whether a product is fair trade, how and where it is made and materials used.
For emerging designers, they offered these tips on what they can focus on:
1. If you’re going to participate in a trade show, make sure you merchandise your space properly and be ready to answer commonly asked questions like where do you produce with confidence and conviction.
2. Have quality photos included in your line sheets and before you send them to a retailer, send them out to others to get feedback.
3. Be mindful of a retailer’s high traffic times and don’t come in on a Saturday with a suitcase. Be sure to email first with good photos.
4. Spend time on your branding because knowing who you are is important.
5. Find affordable and easy-to-use tools to build your brand and be sure to give your retailers their own tools to better sell your products. This may include the story of your brand, origin and how to best merchandise items.
6. Find ways to show how you are ethical. While Fair Trade certification may be expensive, be sure to focus on other methods such as showing great photos, behind the scenes content, literature and have a strong social media strategy.
7. Don’t wait for media coverage. Take the opportunity into your own hands and create a blog.
8. Be transparent about your supply chain and don’t sell in something that’s not a fit with your retailers platform because it won’t help the relationship and may even get returned.
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