CONTENTS WRITTEN PROPOSAL INTRODUCTION Wardrobing Why sustainability The circular economy Unique selling point
THE MARKET Case study - Patagonia Case study - Mud Jeans Mud Jeans interview Buy me once website Recycling as a service Subscription services Klarna payment method
The competition Crossroads Zarrell Lena Library
THE CONSUMER Millennials Who is the audience Pen portrait existing Pen portrait target Survey and focus group results Workshops for the consumer
TRENDS Minimalism Conscious care Visual Merchandising Social Media
Proposal for conscious lifestyle label 365. Aims:
To provide a solution to the overconsumption issue of wardrobing. To create a sustainable lifestyle brand. To prevent and reduce fashion waste. The aim of this proposal is to provide a solution to the overconsumption issue of wardrobing. The objective of this project is to create an original and innovative sustainable lifestyle brand which focusâ€™ on the prevention and reduction of fashion waste, through the practice of renewing apparel items.
The outcomes of this project include: - The creation and promotion of a renewals workshop; in order to educate the target audience about the brand, the community and to encourage a greener lifestyle. This shall be a live aspect for individuals to learn different techniques of reusing and reworking clothing. - The production of a business plan for the brand. Including the following sections: the background, services, market, promotion, management plus organisation, a swot and pest analysis then financial forecast. - The promotion of the brand through two social media accounts, these socials shall also be live features of this project. Instagram to engage creatively with the target consumer, and Twitter to communicate with customers, businesses and professionals. Content for these platforms will be originally sourced from photoshoots, and there shall be a creation of theme running through both social accounts. - The construction of a fully functioning easy to use website, with: an about the brand section, how it works, where to shop, store locater, events and workshop dates with times, examples of previous workshops, a customer story and a contact page. - A template app. As the intended audience become more dependence on their mobile phones, this app will not only offer an easy way to purchase apparel but will hold space for a community of likeminded consumers to come together. The app will contain: a purchase section, a community forum page, buy/ sell segment and previous workshop outcomes with upcoming dates for coming events. - A retail standard store visual merchandising plan will be produced, this shall work together with the branding and promotion of the concept, the style of the website and app as well as the social media channels, giving the brand a strong identity. - A digital look book shall be created to showcase different styles, cuts and colours offered by the essentials brand, this shall promote an edited wardrobe and reduction of fashion consumption. The book will be accessible via the app and website, along with links to the direct feature on social media accounts.
The concept: Based on the idea of purchasing an apparel item, wearing it and then returning it, the concept of 365 works to prevent this and reduce fashion waste caused by gently used returned merchandise. By creating a brand with an open year exchange policy; this encourages consumers to renew their clothing rather than throwing away what they already own and then repurchasing, adding to the habit of fast fashion. The practice of renewing is the main focusâ€™ of this project, as a lifestyle brand the concept will enhance consumer experiences and provide more than just a product.
This project concentrates on the sale, resale and reuse of everyday essentials. Basics are often extremely easy to buy, usually every woman knows what colours and styles suit her. Due to being so easy to buy essentials are often over consumed, The Great British Wardrobe Report 2017 revealed an average woman owns 95 items of clothing and only wears 59% of them regularly. 365’s concept reduces the amount of unworn clothing in the wardrobe, and promotes wearing everyone one owns. This project aims to educate shoppers about their buying behaviour and provide alternative methods to greener consumption, through educational talks, workshops and information packs. With the desire to keep up with trends, millennials constantly try to change their style. In an effort to slow down the pace of fashion, and the cut the excess of waste produced; 365 promotes an easy switch from high street retailers for everyday pieces. Consumers continuously lean towards renting rather than buying, which adds to the demand for this concept. Mintel‘s 2017 trend ‘why buy’ displays that millennials are more open to renting and sharing. Millennials are now 4.6 times more likely to rent products and 2.3 times more likely to use sharing services than other generations. As the trend suggests, existing and emerging brands should adapt rental models and invite consumers to experience products and or services. Mintel describes that rental business strategies are sustainable and create less waste. 365 provides products created for millennials, as well as a service. The business model shall set an example to other retailers, with an easy to follow clothing lifecycle. In 2012, 64.9% of stores said they were victims to wardrobing, adopting this practice will allow any retailer to sustain losses due to used returned merchandise. (Wilson, 2012) “1 in 6 women admit to purchasing an item of clothing or an accessory, wearing it, and then returning it for a full refund” (Buchanan, 2013) Although created with millennials in mind, 365 targets the specific group of females aged 21 to 24 years old. Interested in fashion and wellbeing, influenced by Instagram style pages and their friends, this audience has a healthy amount of disposable income. Younger audiences have less income therefore create preference to brands based on price. While this project concentrations on sustainability and reducing consumption, the consumer may not have any particular concern for these topics, which is not negative factor, it has been said that the apparel resale industry is expected to double by 2021, with 75% of purchases motivated by environmental concerns; this indicates the requirement for this concept within the market, not only to prevent and reduce fashion waste but to educate about its effects too. (Forer, 2017) Within a recent survey created to reveal consumers habits and needs, 83.3% of participants said they were motivated by price when purchasing apparel items. These results display the driving factor for clothing amongst the target audience is cost; followed by quality and comfort. 33.3% of consumers aged 21-24 said visual merchandising within a physical store draws their attention, a further 33.3% stated open uncluttered space attracts them to selected retailers.
To capture the interest of the target consumer, the brand created through this project will promote a clean and simplicity feel. Inspired by Scandinavian style, 365 will promote a minimalist atmosphere, through branding, marketing and promotion. The use of white space will be key to the consumers with aspirations of uncrowded surroundings. The focus group conducted displayed that the intended consumers have little to no knowledge of the impacts caused by their consumption, although interested in sustainability. The sustainable fashion market is endlessly evolving, brands launch with new innovative concepts often. This project is niche, not only does the idea sustain itself it works to prevent and reduce the impacts of environmental damage which have been in place long before the start of trade. Unlike the competition who operate subscription services, this concept allows customers to own the products they purchase with the opportunity to exchange them once they are worn out or want something new. Based on survey results, which display females aged 21 to 24 shop for basics once every few months, shoppers can exchange their items up to 6 times per year. This volume of renewals shall therefore appeal to the target customer, so instead of repurchasing an item they already own, they simply bring that item back and exchange it for another. Alternatively, the customer can send an item back via post and receive what they have requested days later. After the first year the renew service ends, but the consumer will still have unlimited access to all the benefits which comes with buying an apparel item from 365: the app, workshops, educational talks, and guidance on caring for products. Dissimilar from the regular fashion lifecycle consisting of: material, production, shipping, use and disposal, this project extends the cycle of a standard item of clothing. Different to the 5 stages of the traditional lifespan, 365 works for endless rotation, from one consumer to the next and then the following, until items can no longer be resold, garments will be reused and reworked into something new through workshops. The brand, products and services shall be communicated through the use of digital marketing due to the unnecessary use of paper and its waste through advertising. Using the correct social channels; which are most popular amongst the target audience, Instagram and Twitter. Through imagery and interaction, the concept will be displayed as clear as possible, offline methods of communication will be done through advertisement outside of the store and an open invite to the launch event and workshop space. Due to the original concept and feasible use of this idea, females aged 21-24 will want to adapt their shopping habits to that this project promotes. Not only will this project solve a giant overconsumption problem within fashion and fill an untouched gap within the market, the target audience will save a vast amount of money they would usually pay to replace their everyday essentials.
WARDROBING The term wardrobing is the process of purchasing an apparel item, wearing the item on one or more occasions, then returning it to the store for a full refund. While returns are a part of business, brands lose a lot of money by returns of gently used products which they are unable to sell.
Fashion retailers suffered 6.4 billion pounds in losses in 2012 due to unsalable, gently used and returned merchandise. (Business of fashion, 2013)
STANDARD RETURN POLICY
heavy returned item
365 EXCHANGE POLICY
Sustainability is the term used to describe the ability to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. (Evans 2017)
WHY SUSTAINABILITY? The fashion industry continues to impact negatively on the environment, fashion is the second largest world polluter. Many consumers have no knowledge of the effects caused by their buying behaviour, this project shall educate those on how their consumption adds to the issues produced by the industry.
THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY STOP MAKE, USE, DISPOSE! The circular economy is the alternative to a traditional linear economy. Resources in a circular economy are kept in use for as long as possible. Circular fashion is designed so that the subcomponents can be disassembled or separated to facilitate repair, remake, reuse and eventually material recycling at its end of use. (WRAP, 2017)
Though, 365 will not operate as a circular brand, elements from the lifecycle shall be used within products, services and marketing. 365 uses the same design process: repair, remake, reuse and recycle.
UNIQUE SELLING POINT
THE ESSENTIALS LABEL
Patagonia was founded in 1973 by Yvon Chouinard and is known for manufacturing sports clothing and gear. Patagonia promotes Worn Wear, a service which offers store credit for used garments and temporary repair pop-ups. If an item has been purchased from Patagonia, is in good condition and functions properly they give credit up to 50% of the value of what they sell the item for. Patagonia travel around the world, hosting pop up events where anyone can take clothing to be repaired, any item from any brand is welcome. The brand constantly tries to keep garments in action longer and provide customers with easy ways to recycle when items beyond repair. (Patagonia, 2017) Although Patagoniaâ€™s worn wear program is available to everyone, the repair service is not permanent, only happening every so often in pop-up form, there is also no guarantee that every item will be repaired. At 365, every item can be exchanged for another in comparison to offering store credit and never receiving the full value of the item back.
Based in the Netherlands, Mud Jeans is a circular denim brand which provide an innovative guilt free consumption service called ‘Lease A Jeans’. How it works: pay a joining fee of 20 euros, receive the jeans and pay 7.50 euros every month for 12 months, wear until they no longer wanted or worn out. Although ‘Lease A Jeans’ is an extremely sustainable way of consuming, the consumer ends up paying 110 euros for a pair of jeans that cost 98 euros. Leasing jeans is beneficial if the consumer keeps the jeans for over a year and can then qualify for a new pair, but if before a year the jeans are given back; the subscription is not worth the monthly fee. (Mud Jeans, 2017)
In comparison to 365, consumers can exchange their item/items up to 6 times per year, offering regular consumption without the implications, the service is free and does not come with subscription or joining fees. This concept gives customers the opportunity to try out many different styles at one price with the benefits of knowing all used products are reworked into something new. Page 11
Bert starts by explaining how he constantly finds himself thinking of the impacts of fast fashion. When he was asked to explain the motivation behind the ‘lease a jeans’ concept he described how he wanted the industry to change, he knew there was alternative ways to consume and was devastated when he saw first-hand the effects caused by the fashion consumption.
INTERVIEW Interview with Bert Van Son, owner and CEO of circular denim brand Mud Jeans.
“At Mud, we don’t just want to make sustainable jeans we aim to close the loop in jeans production, we repair and recycle our jeans, because we know natural resources aren’t unlimited” (Van Son, 2017)
In 2012, Bert Van Son saved Mud Jeans from bankruptcy and a year later came up with the concept ‘lease a jeans’. This idea gave Mud their name and made them who they are today. Bert labelled leasing and jeans unfashionable, but says he found it extremely interesting.
Mud Jeans is a brand built for sustainability on the grounds of a circular economy. Bert clarifies he wants to make the world a better place.
“Right now, not many people are familiar with the leasing of clothing, the concept is strange to some, but Mud has become known for that brand who wins awards and creates innovative ideas” (Van Son, 2017)
When questioned about Mud’s design process Bert when on to detail each stage. Right through from using old returned jeans, cutting out the metal, having the denim shredded into pieces, blended with virgin cotton, spun into new yarn, dyed, weaved and finally check for imperfections before being sold via the website or through concessions.
When discussing opportunities for the brand Bert was eager to explain that 80% of customers whether they have brought or are leasing the jeans, send them back after use. Similarity to this project inspired by Mud’s concept, though not compulsory for either brands, 365 holds strong incentives for the consumer to return used merchandise which is not echoed through the purchase model at Mud Jeans, while this is in place for the leasing scheme and there is rewards when renewing a subscription of jeans over one year.
The brand offers and encourages the opportunity to try something new, which is why Bert believes the scheme works so well.
At Mud Jeans we close our own loop, we save water and we save waste” (Van, Son, 2017)
To conclude the interview Bert was questioned about Mud’s weaknesses. Bert comments that they like any other circular brand do they constantly face challenges every day.
At present, Bert states Mud have over 2,000 customers renting jeans with that number set to increase. Their typical customer is said to be around 35 years old with children, someone who enjoys travelling, is always open to new experiences and has a good education.
The largest concern at this current moment is the price of recycled cotton, as it becomes more expensive, it makes it harder for Mud to produce how they do. Bert goes on to explain the brand often struggles to keep up with the demand for their jeans, as they are continuously spoken about, the desire of these jeans has double year upon year.
In Bert’s interview, he was asked to explain what he believes set the brand apart from others, his response:
“Old jeans are the only base for our new jeans”
At Mud Jeans, they rely on their commissions in retail stores to produce income. Though there are weaknesses Bert says he shall continue to thrive for perfection, commenting: we are not at all in a vulnerable situation but in an ideal world we would not have anything to worry about.
(Van Son, 2017)
Instead of offering a money back service for returned products that occasionally get resold, Bert explains Mud uses everything they produce to reproduce.
Based on the idea of never needing to replace an item buy me once was founded in 2016 by Tara Button. The website encourages people to buy things that are sustainable and durable. The site is a curated selection of goods that come with a lifetime guarantee or which offer free repairs. Everything on the website is designed only to be brought once. (WGSN, 2017)
RECYCLING AS A SERVICE
H&M and M&S are two of many high street fashion brands which offer take-back schemes. H&M believe fashion is too precious to end up in landfills. In 2013, they launched their garment collecting initiative worldwide. This allows anyone to drop off unwanted garments - no matter what brand and what condition to any H&M store across the globe. Since launching their garment collecting initiative, H&M has gathered more than 55,000 tonnes of garments. (H&M, 2017)
Since 2008, M&S have worked with Oxfam in the â€˜Shwoppingâ€™ partnership, this scheme allows customers to bring in any unwanted items of clothing, even if they were not brought from M&S. All clothing goes to Oxfam and they then resell it, reuse it or recycle the fibres to create something new. Nothing goes to landfill and Oxfam uses the money from selling recycled merchandise to help end extreme poverty. (M&S, 2017)
$59, $69, $79 $30, $89, $159
$59, $69, $79
SUBSCRIPTION SERVICES The current market is over saturated with online fashion subscription services, most operate in a similar way offering 3-5 garments per order for a monthly fee, the companies often have 1-3 different price plans, but little unique selling points. Page 16
€25, €40, €50
buy now pay later
Klarna works with many online brands to add the feature ‘buy now, pay later’ this allows the consumer to place an order and receive it without making any payment. Klarna’s aim is to make it easier for people to shop online. Klarna is now one of Europe’s largest banks and is currently providing payment solutions for over 60 million consumers across 70,000 merchants in 18 countries. (Klarna, 2017) Although Klarna is not a direct competitor of 365, the business strategy allows consumers of online retailers to try before they buy, this provides a solution for overconsumption issues, consumers are only consuming what they want after they have seen the item on themselves. If the consumer can see themselves in something before purchasing, it makes it easier to decide whether they actually need the item or not. Page 17
At Crossroads, customers sell their â€˜in-style, on trend clothingâ€™ and accessories for cash or trade credit. When trading something in the consumer will receive credit that can be used in any Crossroads stores. The trade store pays 50% of what they will sell the item for. When somebody sells their items for cash, they receive payment on the spot, 33% of what they will sell the item for. Crossroads only operates in the US. (Crossroads, 2017)
Customers can select up to 9 pieces at one time. Zarrel will then deliver 3 items, which the customer can keep and wear for as long as they want. The other 6 pieces will be changeable by the consumer. When the subscriber wants something new, they return what they have into the prepaid bag and Zarrel will then deliver the next 3 pieces. The items are one off pieces and some only come in one size, the items are primarily going out pieces, Zarrel currently only operates in Malaysia. (Zarrel, 2017)
Lena Library gives consumers access to high-quality collections from up and coming designers, durable and vintage labels. Items can be exchanged infinitely for a fixed amount per month, when and as often as the consumer wants. (Lena, 2017) Although Lena Library, Zarrel and Crossroads are not direct competitors, they have elements which compare to 365. Zarrel and Lena Library both offer a subscription service which allows consumers to keep items they would like to buy or alternately continue renting them for as long as they want, where by at 365 shoppers do not have the option to rent, the concept is consumers own the products but if they want to try something different or replace a worn-out item they can. The consumer will then have an interchanging wardrobe without the negative effects of wardrobing. In comparison, Crossroads focusâ€™ on the concept of consumers selling their used clothing. Though similar to 365, the brand only offers up to 50% of what they will sell the item for and only offer store credit or cash, the store credit is used to purchase from the brand but itâ€™s a longer process than a straight forward exchange at 365.
Access over ownership is paramount for Millennials, analysis of this generation uncovers it is not just homes millennials wish to rent. Millennials are reluctant to buy items, instead they are turning to services that provide access to products without the burdens of ownership. Rising rates of a â€˜sharing economyâ€™. (Goldman Sachs, 2017) Though with this concept the consumer will own the products rather than renting them, it encourages the nature of sharing and reusing. Instead of renting for a select period of time, the consumer can own the item for as long or little as they want. Even after a year when there is no longer a renewal service, there is a community for buying and selling.
Millennials are driven by sustainability and the impact of their purchases, with 87% claiming they are likely to check the sustainability criteria of the products they buy. (WGSN, 2017) Page 21
WHO IS THE TARGET AUDIENCE? 16 - 19 Students Little income Shops for price
21 - 24 Graduates Disposable income Shops for price, comfort & quality
70% of 16-24s believe that fashion retailers should be more environmentally friendly (Mintel, 2017) 57% of consumers say they prefer to use the services of companies that give something back to society (Mintel, 2015)
48% of 18 to 24 year olds recycle their clothes (WGSN, 2017) Page 22
MIMI FEMALE 22 YEARS OLD VEGAN 2:1 FASHION STYLING SOUTHAMPTON BASED MANAGER AT FAT FACE INTERESTED IN SUSTAINABILITY VOLUNTEERS AT BEACH CLEAN UPS
PAIGE FEMALE 21 YEARS OLD STUDYING LAW SOUTHAMPTON BASED WORKS IN WEATHERSPOONS SHOPS AT PRIMARK AND ASOS HAS NO INTERESTED IN SUSTAINABILITY
What do you look for when buying clothes?
PRICE STYLE EASE OF PURCHASE
BRAND REPRESENTATION CONVENIENCE
Where do you shop for basics?
NEWLOOK H&M ZARA
How often do you buy basics?
SIX MONTHS ONCE A WEEK
FEW MONTHS ONCE A YEAR
ONCE A MONTH Page 25
SURVEY & FOCUS GROUP RESULTS
Are you aware of the negative impacts caused by your buying behaviour?
50% YES 50% NO If a brand offered a year exchange policy and allowed renewals of worn goods for new ones; would you shop there?
83.3% YES 16.6% POSSIBLY Page 26
WORKSHOPS FOR THE CONSUMER As part of the service offered by 365, there shall be workshops held which involve upcycling and renewing of worn items returned by consumers. These workshops will create a variety of experiences for the customer, and at the end of each workshop every individual should be educated in at least two methods of renewing.
64% of female shoppers aged under-25 say that additional in-store services make shopping for clothes more enjoyable (Mintel, 2017) The volume of shoppers who say experiences whilst shopping makes it more enjoyment, showcases the demand for retailers to add leisure activities to their stores, doing this shall result in standing out from the current competitive market.
Though 365 is not influenced by trends, there are many which fit the feel and style of the brand, these can therefore be adapted within this project. Minimalism which has been popular for many years is one trend which is echoed through this concept, not only does minimalism encourage consumers to only use what they need, the main theme of minimal fashion is basic style, cut and the use of natural colours similarity to what 365 shall sell.
A start-up that helps consumers create capsule wardrobes. Cladwell allows men and women create more outfits with fewer items. Saying goodbye to closet clutter and hello to an essential wardrobe full of interchangeable outfits. (Cladwell, 2017) Page 28
Although it is not a new concept, the minimalist lifestyle continues to trend across the world. The movement has inspired people to move into tiny homes, cut their wardrobes and donate their possessions. Countless bloggers document their forays into minimalism. Many entrepreneurs have picked up on this and are figuring out how they can capitalize on the minimalism and decluttering trends. (Forbes, 2016) Page 29
Trends for aftercare and product preservation have emerged in 2017, new campaigns have been encouraging customers to care for their clothes in more eco-friendly ways. These campaigns include promoting washing less, at lower temperatures and only dry cleaning when essential. The economic and environmental benefits of doing so are outlined on garment labels. (WGSN, 2017)
CONSCIOUS CARE Page 30
Not only does 365 offer sustainable products which are made to last, the brand promotes a sustainable lifestyle. As part of the service available to every customer, advice and guidance is given on how to look after products purchased, there shall be a â€˜forever guideâ€™ feature on the app for customers to access at any time if they need to double check how to clean their garments sustainably. Page 31
WGSN SLOW FUTURES S/S 18
Slow futures trend S/S18 shall be used as inspiration for the visual merchandising of the store and workshop space, through the use of empty light space the feel of simplicity represents the brand.
MOOD Based on boredom. Creating minimal yet mesmerising visuals to allow shoppers to feel calm.
Creating social accounts for messaging, offers a direct way to communicate with shoppers on a conversational level. 41% of UK consumers would be interested in using an instant messaging app to contact a brand. With 47% of Europe’s population using social media weekly it’s a simple additional extra for any brand to create greater loyalty with customers.
SOCIAL MEDIA MINTEL’S TALKING SHOP TREND As a sustainable brand, most interaction in regards to promotion and marketing will be done online, this reduces the amount of waste from paper posters as well as electrical energy from billboards. Most communications from the business to consumer will be done through social media. Page 33
FINAL OUTCOMES Page 34
BUSINESS PLAN A WEBSITE SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS TEMPLATE APP DIGITAL LOOK BOOK RENEWAL WORKSHOP STORE VISUAL MERCHANDISING PLAN
FFM613 FINAL MAJOR PROJECT PROPOSAL
Major project proposal for conscious fashion brand 365.