Sunday, March 24, 2019

The antidote to death by fashion: conspicuous conservation

Here’ s a startling fact about the apparel business:

The industry churned out 100 billion pieces of clothing for 7 billion people in 2015. The problem is so bad, some brands are burning unsold inventory. The waste has got to stop.
Fortunately, some brands are making money by selling less...conspicuous conservation vs conspicuous consumption.

Cuyana, whose tagline is “fewer better things,” is one; the company’s founders, Karla Gallardo and Shilpa Shah, believe in doing extensive focus groups and consumer research to create long-lasting and versatile products that respond to a clear need in the market. The brand’s website encourages women to think carefully before making purchases. One email to customers recommends a list of practical investment pieces, while another preaches the value of intentional buying. Sure, these are ways to help customers feel more comfortable about buying a $475 work satchel or $125 wallet. But Cuyana is also promoting “conspicuous conservation,” or the notion that buying less can signal how enlightened a consumer is.

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