Everlane's Radically Transparent Tees
San Francisco's Everlane was founded on a simple concept—what if you actually told customers how much it cost to make something? Starting in 2011 with a batch of 1,500 tees in four colors and one style, Everlane has been on a mission to bring radical transparency to the clothing industry.
For decades the clothing industry has become so wrapped up in labels that brands can charge nearly anything for the right logo or the right pattern. It's not rare to to see big fashion brands take a t-shirt that cost a few dollars to make in southeast Asia, slap an animal silhouette on the breast pocket, charge $50 for it and call it "luxury".
So in 2011 Everlane and founder Michael Preysman called bullshit. They decided to forget about the label and push consumers to focus on how their clothes are made.
For every item they sell, they freely share the exact cost of production—from raw materials to labor to shipping and taxes—along with their final markup to you. They do it because they're confident that if you know how much it costs to buy well-made clothing, you'll start to scoff at luxury brands that charge three, four, or ten times that for the same thing.
But Everlane doesn't stop there. They also share incredible detail about all of the factories they source from, including photos and specifics about labor practices. Most companies would prefer you don't think too hard about where their products are made. Everlane demands that you do.
Four years into this bold experiment, Everlane now sells more than 25,000 men's and women's tees per month, along with a full range of shirts, sweaters, outerwear, swimwear, pants, and shoes.
Their men's and women's tees, which now come in dozens of styles and colors, are made in a factory in Vernon, CA, a few miles south of downtown LA. Visit Everlane's website and you can see photos of the factory and learn more about the materials that they use to make each tee.
For instance, the men's tees are made from conventional 30-single yarn cotton imported from India. Their women's tees are made from lighter, 40-single Supima cotton grown on conventional farms in the U.S. Each one is laser cut and pre-shrunk so that it fits true to size year after year. And at prices starting at $15 they're cheap enough for daily wear.
Whether Everlane's business model will disrupt the entire industry or remain a niche sell, it's still too early to tell. One thing that's for sure, it's becoming harder to pick up a tee at J. Crew, H&M, or Gap and not think, how was it made?
Everlane Inc. was founded in 2011 and is headquartered in San Francisco, CA.
To learn more about the factories Everlane sources from and its transparency practices, visit the Factories page on their website.