Image source: EcoCult
As the online retail landscape recovers from the Warby Parker effect, 2015 has seen the rise of a new breed of e-brand to play catch-up with. With a refreshing focus on sustainability and affordability – no middle men here – these brands have the savvy consumer firmly in mind.
In short, the retail start-up scene is booming, and the only way you can shop them is via their websites. Ahead of Reformation founder Yael Aflalo’s appearance at our New York summit in October, we deconstruct the top e-brands to keep an eye on this year to find out what makes them work.
Reformation is a brand with a simple premise – clothes for self-confidence and sustainability. But since launching in 2009, the e-brand’s been nothing short of a revolution. Founded by Yael Aflalo, the LA-based brand’s eco-friendly business model makes the most of what technology has to offer. It tracks and publishes the environmental footprint of every item, uses sustainable technological fabrics like Tencel, and has even created its own clothing recycling and returns service as part of every purchase.
Launched in February 2015 (thanks to funding and online distribution deals from the Rocket Internet-backed Global Fashion Group), Finery London’s combination of key fashion heads and e-commerce nous has been a winning formula ever since. The brand was able to tap GFG’s global online distribution network from the start, meaning it could get past the usual hurdle of employing the best factories. More importantly, the eclectic high-street-meets-high-end clothes are great – with a design team including Caren Downie (ASOS) and Emma Farrow (Topshop), it’s no surprise.
Calling itself the “Warby Parker for luxury leather bags”, Linjer has set its own bar pretty high. Founders Jennifer Chong and Roman Khan started the brand after a hunch that the overpriced leather bag market could do with a serious shake-up. Defying the unreasonable mark-up on luxury designer leather goods, they sell their bags for a quarter of the price. As one commenter puts it on their ProductHunt page: “Linjer has simply mastered the art of optimised retail.” Sound good? You can support the Oslo brand’s Kickstarter fund here.
Tickets are now available for our NYC Summit here.
Reported by Claire Healy