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business Editor's pick sustainability

Everlane founder says time is sustainability’s largest cost

Michael Preysman, Everlane
Michael Preysman, Everlane

The biggest cost in the fashion industry’s bid to move towards a more sustainable supply chain is time, said Michael Presyman, founder and CEO of Everlane, at the Remode conference in Los Angeles this week.

The direct-to-consumer business, which has always focused on transparency, says its various progresses in sustainability have resulted in a real cost increase of 10-15% on individual products. This is something Everlane absorbs directly rather than putting on the consumer, Preysman noted.

Where he sees a key challenge, however, is in the time such innovation takes to get to market. It took the company two years to develop four new fabrics, he explained.

“We have to go out and source new materials, but those materials aren’t generally available in sustainable ways right now,” he commented. For those companies developing thousands of SKUs, getting to where we need to get to isn’t therefore an overnight fix.

Innovation is needed, but much of that also needs to come from driving change with the suppliers, he explained. “At the end of the day, we don’t own the supply chain, so we have to find partners doing the right thing and push them forward.”

His team is focused on both “moving the supply chain forward all the time, and offering a better sustainable product”. It’s impossible to have enough time if you’re not laser focused on what you want to do, he added.

He also explained that the industry needs to look at how to take such sustainable efforts back to the consumer. “Our job is to educate them on what they didn’t know existed,” he said, emphasizing the role of storytelling and transparency. “If we educate them, they in turn put the pressure back on us.”

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e-commerce Startups technology

Shopping tool Hukkster hits Time Inc’s top 10 NYC start-up list for 2013

Hukkster

Time Inc has revealed its third annual list of the 10 start-ups to watch in New York City, and… there’s a fashion name in there again.

Hukkster, as it’s called, follows in the footsteps of Fab.com and Warby Parker (in 2012 and 2011 respectively) – highlighted by the Time Inc group as one of the most promising companies to transform the shopping space.

In this instance, it’s a tool that notifies shoppers when the products they want go on sale. Hukkster tracks more than 1,000 popular online stores, allowing any user to add its bookmarklet to their browser and then hit “Hukk It” when there’s an item they want to keep tabs on.

Once the price drops you get an email, a text or push notifications. You can also opt to only find out when it goes down by at least 25% or at least 50%.

According to WSJ’s profile on the start-up in 2012, and its founders Erica Bell and Katie Finnegan, each time a user buys an item they’ve been watching, Hukkster collects a fee for lead generation, using a third-party service that has relationships with more than 18,000 retailers. Its top revenue drivers, back when the piece was written, were J.Crew, Amazon.com’s Shopbop and Macy’s.

Furthermore, in November 2012, the Winklevoss twins led a $750,000 investment in it.

Hukkster appears in Time Inc’s list this year alongside nine other start-ups from a variety of fields. Included in them are ArchetypeMe, Custora, FiftyThree, Fitocracy, Grouper, IMRSV, Klooff, Qwiki and Upworthy.