July 13, 2022
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It is the new buzz-word for sure. If you are not spruiking your transparency “credentials” you are already behind the 8-ball.
But are you?
Increasingly we are seeing business cite transparency for a reason why customers should buy from them, but it is difficult to find out much about where their products are from. Who made them. Who else there is in their critical supply chain.
Blanket statements like “Australian Owned & Designed” sounds great. But what does it really mean? Someone sitting in their apartment in Bondi started a business, sketched a few designs on a napkin and sent it to <insert other country name here> to have it developed and made.
Is it Australian owned? Yep. And designed? Yep.
But what about that should make a local consumer feel really good about the purchase? Have they been misled? No, but the wording is such as to imply that it is a local product.
Transparency in the clothing sector became prominent following the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh in 2013, when more than 1,100 workers lost their lives and a further 2,500 were rescued / injured. Fashion Revolution began a global campaign with the catch phrase “who made my clothes”.
So many clothing / fashion businesses have jumped on the bandwagon. It looks great to be sprouting such phrases, especially during Fashion Revolution Week (April each year), but how many of these labels / brands are actually showcasing the highly skilled people who made their clothes? Do they even know who made their clothes?
We have a (former) client who espouses transparency all over their website. But there is no mention of Pattern Room patterns. No mention of the maker who made the clothes for them (someone we know well). No mention of the fabric supplier. Is this transparency? Ah, sounds pretty opaque to me.
Why do this? Why try and convince consumers that you are transparent in your activities? MIT Sloan School of Management found that consumers may be willing to pay 2% - 10% more for a product from a company that provides greater transparency (https://hbr.org/2019/08/what-supply-chain-transparency-really-means).
But don’t be too dejected, there are brands / labels out there who are doing their absolute best to be truly transparent. Companies like Patagonia and Arnsdorf. There are many of them, but not enough. Too many are talking the talk, but not walking the walk.
What does transparency really mean? Be honest with your customers about the what, the who and the where. Let them make informed decisions about their purchases. Build trust with them and they will thank you.
Australian Owned & Designed. Would be MUCH better if it was Australian Owned & Designed, made in <insert country name here> (preferably locally made).
In the interest of transparency, the photo (above) is our team. Left to right:
Mai – Lead Production Machinist / Sample Machinist
Kate – Senior Pattern Maker
Anna – Pattern Maker (has sadly left us for warmer climes)
Sarah – Admin (has also left us)
Julia – Director / Head of Development
Daniel – Chief Financial Officer
Sharon – Pattern Maker / Cutter
Holly – Lead Sample Machinist
Hien – Machinist
Jessica – Technical Sketches
Rachel – Junior Pattern Maker
These are the people who create the patterns, test them with samples, perfect that fit that you love so much from our patterns.
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