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A Mark Cuban Company

  • April 23, 2019

Everlane: The Rise of Radical Transparency

A true direct to consumer brand with "no middlemen taking their cut and no brand markups," the company writes on their website.

Everlane is a direct to consumer clothing brand headquartered in San Francisco, with offices and one retail store in New York City. This is a true direct to consumer brand with “no middlemen taking their cut and no brand markups,” the company writes on their website. “Instead, we design our own luxury basics and sell them exclusively at a fraction of the traditional retail price.”

Launched 25-year-old Michael Preysman in November 2011, Everlane now claims over 1,300,000 customers and has a massive social media following, for good reason: unparalelled transparency and high-quality clothing. This direct to consumer clothing brand focuses on what they call “Radical Transparency,” and their About Us page explains it best:

At Everlane, we want the right choice to be as easy as putting on a great T-shirt. That’s why we partner with the best, ethical factories around the world. Source only the finest materials. And share those stories with you—down to the true cost of every product we make. It’s a new way of doing things. We call it Radical Transparency.

Everlane doesn’t stop there, with just words. They actually show the exact costs of the products they manufacture! At the bottom of their About page, there’s a graphic where you can see the varying inputs for products of theirs, like a cashmere sweater: materials, labor, transport, duties, hardware, and the total cost. Then the brand shows their price, promising a normal markup of 2-3X, while traditional retail has a markup of 5X or more. The transparency of this brand goes beyond anything we’ve seen, and it’s easy to see why Everlane is a No Middleman favorite. They use their direct to consumer advantages to deliver products that are high-quality, fashionable, and reasonably priced.

With products ranging across all the wardrobe staples—shoes, jeans, t-shirts, dresses, and more—Everlane’s shopping experience is among the best we’ve seen, for such a wide variety of items. The product pages are exceptional and have several helpful elements: excellent photography (with zoom), videos of people walking with the product on (gives you a feel of the material and how it looks at many different angles), link to factory information (more on that later), and really detailed information in the product description (the millimeter length of the fibers in their cashmere sweaters, for instance).

They even tell you how tall the product models are, so you can get a better idea of how the clothes might fit you, given your height. All in all, an excellent digital shopping experience, and if you’re in New York City or San Francisco, you can also visit one of their two retail stores! Their return policy is solid: you have 90 days to return items, minus a $6 restocking fee.

If you’re the type of person who values business practices like fair trade or workplace conditions, you’ll likely love Everlane’s incredible devotion to evaluating and showcasing the factories used in their supply chain. When choosing a manufacturing factory, the direct to consumer clothing leader will “evaluate factors like fair wages, reasonable hours, and environment.” Their goal, according to their website, is for every factory in their supply chain to achieve a score of 90 or above.

Additionally, their descriptions of the factories and their relationship with them is fascinating. Here’s an excerpt from Everlane’s summary of their factory in Hangzhou, China:

When deciding the recipient of our first Black Friday Fund, we wanted to choose a factory partner that’s been with us for a while. Our factory in Hangzhou was a natural choice. The idea was to donate the profits made on Black Friday (35% of the gross revenue on all orders) and use that money to improve the workers’ recreational time. When asked how we could improve their lives outside of work, they requested we built a basketball court and outdoor recreation area. So that’s what we’re building.

Lastly, the brand’s new line of shoes, Tread (launched in April 2019), focuses on green initiatives. Everlane will be making their new sneakers from recycled plastic, helping to keep plastic out of landfills and oceans, while also working toward a carbon-neutral supply chain. In their typical transparency, you can see their ongoing statistics and progress on the Everlane Tread page.

Everlane has the complete package, when it comes to delivering value to consumers: fashionable, high-quality products; an excellent shopping experience with offline options; and reasonable prices with outstanding transparency. Without a doubt, Everlane is a No Middleman favorite and direct to consumer industry leader.

A Mark Cuban Company