There’s a very compelling micro-trend happening right now in the fashion world that’s just beginning, but seems really promising. It brings costs down, as well as waste. It’s in-house crowdfunding.
Right now, there are just two brands I know that are doing this. Gustin, which is built on a crowdfunding model, where they post a project, like a pair of jeans or a jacket, and they only get made when enough people fund the project. This is their whole business model.
And then there's Taylor Stitch, the San Francisco-based clothing company. Maybe they've been doing it for a while, but I’ve only recently become aware of their crowdfunding efforts. They’ve got a few projects up now over at workshop.taylorstitch.com.
Having just done a run of products for the Hand & Eye shop, the benefits of this model to a brand are now incredibly obvious. It’s a gamble whenever a brand decides to make a run of shirts, pants, jackets or any product. You just don’t know which products will sell well, or not at all. For some brands, this is what Fashion Week is of course all about, a way to test product designs and take orders from retail clients. But brands that are small, that don’t show at Fashion Week? Well, launching a product is even more of a gamble.
Enter the crowdfunding model.
For consumers, if done well, this model can mean reduced product cost, because the middle man is basically cut out, which is of course a win. It also means a little patience is required. It may take a few weeks to actually get that jacket you want, assuming it’s funded, but it will be cheaper.
And of course the material waste reduction is a huge benefit for everyone. It will be interesting to see if more brands incorporate this model. I hope they do.