MEET YOUR MAKER
Fashion brands highlight garment and accessory makers
In the same vein as meeting growers at farmers’ markets and beer makers at breweries, modern youth want to be able to connect with the people who make their garments. Young consumers want to know the story behind an item of clothing or an accessory, which adds to its overall value in their eyes. The following clothing brands are highlighting the garment and accessory makers behind their products, thereby humanizing their businesses and creating resonance with today’s socially conscious youth.
Known Supply is an organic T-shirt company encouraging consumers to think differently about the clothes they purchase. Every Known Supply T-shirt tag is signed by the person who created the garment. By giving garment-markers credit for their work, founder Kohl Crecelius hopes to encourage consumers to think about how their lives and the lives of the people making their clothes are as interwoven as the threads used in their T-shirts. Known Supply’s commitment to transparency goes further than a name on the label. The brand operates three ethical factories in Peru, Uganda, and India and partners with local nonprofits to improve the lives of its workers and their communities.
The luxury startup Arno Cooperative wants to pull back the curtain and show their consumers the people behind their products. The Italian leather accessories brand seeks to humanize the manufacturing process by showing consumers who made their shoes, purse, or jacket. In each package, Arno includes a card with a photograph of the Italian artisan responsible for creating their item along with a pre-stamped postcard that can be used to send a thank you note back to the maker. The brand also highlights these creators on its website, listing artisans’ bios as well as information on their interests and families. This effort to connect consumers to the individuals who made their products aligns with modern youth’s desire for transparency.
Today’s modern youth want access to the story behind the clothing and accessories they buy. That’s why Elisa Rossi, founder of the luxury clothing startup Milaner, started her company—to connect today’s socially conscious consumers to the people who create their garments and accessories. Rossi spent months scouting luxury craftspeople in Italy with whom she partnered to produce limited-edition collections of goods such as handbags, shoes, and sweaters. Milaner uses video to highlight the people and craftsmanship behind every product, taking the time to film and interview each artisan and giving consumers a behind-the-scenes look into their studios.