When creating a fashion label, one of the questions is how do you want to sell the garments. In fact it is also a sustainability related question: are you able to maintain a sustainable supply chain from the label to the customer with a choice made?
Selling wholesale (B2B) or directly to the customer (D2C) are two main paths to be chosen. In 2019 we visited some of the wholesale trade shows. It was an amazing experience and a lot of great travels (Tokyo you are so much missed). The value added of presenting the collections during the trade shows and, in result, selling wholesale is that it is basically a quick way to get a potential interest of many retailers and start selling large amounts. Our observation is, however, that the wholesale prices are expected to be on a consistently low level and including the sustainability factors in the creation process increases the costs and the end price significantly. Further on we noticed that it was still difficult to convene our message regarding the sustainable choices we made to the retailers and in fact we were not sure if we would like to produce very large amounts without being convinced that all the produced garments will be truly enjoyed long-term by the fashion lovers. Additionally, we definitely could not know what all the retailers were after and if they in fact supported our values? Last but not least entering the wholesale market increases (quite a bit) a retail price to be asked from the end customer as a margin for the retailer needs to be factored in.
After a long consideration and taking all the factors above into account, we decided that the D2C way of working is something closer to our DNA and here we would like to focus on. In that way we get a chance to build sound relationships with the customers, at the same time providing a good service and convening the main message of the label. Next to that we can produce more accurate amounts of garments avoiding overproduction and waste or selling off at discounted price, which does not reflect anymore the amount of work and quality put in the creation process. To a limited extent we are still open to the B2B way of working with retailers who share our values, however.