In conversation with the founders of the wearness, an online shop for ethical luxury & beauty
Source & Copyright by the wearness
Author: House of Eden
The wearness is a Online Marketplace for ethically produced fashion and sustainable luxury. Selected fashion-, Jewellery- and Beauty products by companies and designers who rely on quality and sustainable production methods in their manufacture - but also absolutely meet the aesthetic demands of the fashionably demanding.
With us, the founders gave insights on contemporary challenges within the fashion industry, ethical luxury and their vision for the future.
The wearness team
Which problem of fashion industry is the wearness fighting against?
We think: "When you talk about luxury, you also have to talk about sustainability." The wearness' approach is ethical luxury: From whom and where does the product come from? Transparency is important for us and for the customer. Something expensive is not indecent. Many think luxury is not democratic, but pieces that are not mass-produced simply have a price.
And this is the price, we must be willing to pay. Even if some products are put aside for a season, they are definitely not something disposable. This is very important to us in terms of sustainability. The biggest problem is buying, wearing it three times and then throwing it away. We want to prevent that by offering what customers love. That happens through good aesthetics, good quality, but also by knowing the origin.
How do you choose the labels and designers?
In 2017, we started with a long list of interesting labels. We filtered these and then personally visited them in their showrooms at trade fairs. We wanted to see the collections and touch the fabrics. We follow very strict criteria for aesthetics, combined with a journalistic approach: We are interested in the stories behind the brands.
We have also developed detailed selection criteria, concerning production facilities, suppliers, control functions and even how interns are paid.
Source: The wearness
What are the greatest challenges for sustainable fashion brands?
In general, the biggest challenge for sustainable fashion brands is gaining visibility. As well as a missing understanding of the consumers that sustainable production is slower and more expensive than conventional fashion. We are currently used to fast deliveries, high frequency and low prices and it will take some time before people can start to rethink - but it can work, as we have witnessed in the food and beauty market.
Despite the pandemic, our marketplace was able to continue working relatively normal. The reason is, that we work with the brand's product lines and therefore do not hold any stocks ourselves. We arrange the sale and the labels send the goods directly. Fortunately, many of the brands we work with offer season- and timeless products. In addition, most of the products are made in Germany, which makes things easier for us.
However, what we are clearly seeing is a general feeling of uncertainty among the population, resulting in some reluctance to buy. Consumers and society are now realizing that slowing down can work and is actually good as well as necessary. Of course, the current situation is very difficult for all of us, but it also shows that things need to change in future.
Source: The wearness
How will fashion marketplaces change in future?
We strongly believe that digital concepts will benefit from the crisis - we can already see that very clearly - but also ideas and projects that rely on communities. The current situation marks the fragility of our economic system and shows that growth and profit maximization at any costs are not a solid foundation to build on. Companies should always be a part of the society. To us, sustainability also means that staff cannot be laid off and partnerships cannot be canceled immediately.
At the moment, we are very much focussing on the idea of the "Circular Economy". We live in a world of limited resources and should reward sustainable business models that combine economic, ecological and social benefits. And how the fashion industry can resolve its immense waste problem through a circular approach. For this, we will need digitization.
Related topics: The dark side of fashion - Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
What is the vision of the wearness?
Responsible consumers. More quality instead of quantity. Circular economy, in which disposed clothes are understood as a new resource. Policies, holding companies more accountable. Respect for human rights and ecological regulations.
Learn more about the wearness