Everlane is one of the culprits that drove me to moonlight as the medlare. I eagerly await their “Coming Soon” new releases and felt a bit shameful when it came to photographing for this post, because I realized how much of my wardrobe had been replaced with Everlane. So what makes them special in a sea of fashion companies?
The greatest appeal for me comes twofold. The first is their structure of “Transparent Pricing”. While some may call it a gimmick to help with marketing, I find that being able to see the exact breakdown of each item on their website, from the cost of materials, sourcing, labor, etc makes me feel more empowered in understanding what goes into the making of the clothes I buy. It allows me to slow down how quickly I purchase things and weigh whether the value makes sense, which also affects how I approach buying clothes elsewhere if transparency is not touted. The second is their style neutrality. While I love a good print or bright color, I appreciate incorporating basic items into my closet, making it easier to mix and match, everyday of the week. In a sense, I feel less of that frenetic desire to buy something new, when my closet feels more standard.
With that said, my fangirl love for Everlane wouldn’t come with a gripe or two. I hold them to a higher standard when it comes to technology and processes because of what they stand for and how influential they have become on how other brands approach manufacturing, pricing, and consumption. Since they are primarily an online business, I’d like to see more efforts on improving the customer’s digital experience and how it translates to their physical products. The last year has seen an incredible expansion of Everlane’s product array, but it would be nice to have fewer new products and instead more efforts to refine the fit and materials of their classics.
Everlane serving up 🥟 🍜🥢🍚🥠
Quality 🥟 The first item I ever bought from Everlane and continues to be one of my dependent everyday favorites was a pair of black leather loafers. A bit jealous of how stylish S looked on his way to work, I wanted to both avoid having to wear heels but still look professional. While it took a few wears to break them in, they continue to be quite versatile. I have found with the majority of Everlane’s products, the materials are resilient. My other favorites in this category are the pima stretch cotton shirts made in Lima, waffle cashmere sweaters, and their button up shirts. On the flip side, I’d like to see more iterations and consistency of their denim. My yearning for comfortable and structured jeans continues to evade me.
Pricing 🍜 I spend way too much time trying to figure out if I’m getting a good deal. Sometimes that deal isn’t really good, but it’s less than the cost of the retail price, so I feel that smirk of achievement despite knowing that in the end I’m not really winning. If brands are continuously offering 40% off their items, something is amiss. The way Everlane approaches pricing has led me to use their products as a benchmark when it comes to making a new purchase. Instead of awaiting promotion codes to arrive in my inbox, I can review their Transparent Pricing section to get a sense how much an equivalent item costs. In some cases, whether it’s the end of the season or to account for overproduction, Everlane offers a “Choose What You Pay” option, where the decision on how much of a discount you want is in your hands. One of the other things I’ve been curious about is how much of a markup is applied on women’s clothing versus men’s. Sometimes I look at S’ closet and envy how it’s comprised of high quality but lower cost pieces. After all, aren’t my clothes using less materials? Comparing across Everlane’s men’s and women’s products, the margin they make on most items is relatively consistent (whew!), other than the $100 cashmere sweater, which incurs an extra $10 of material in the men’s sweater but retains the same price as the women’s.
Customers 🥢 A large part of Everlane’s success is how they interact with their community. In my experience with their customer service group, they have been friendly and strive to resolve issues. Online, you can see a fierce following and presence of customers willing to dive into every new release.
Transparency 🍚 aside from pricing, Everlane really shines when it comes to understanding how and who makes their products. You can take virtual tours into their factories spanning from Italy where their shoes are made to the various tee producers in LA and Peru. They delayed releasing their first denim line, in order to identify a manufacturing partner in line with their sustainability standards. Everlane recently released a jacket and sweatshirt in their ReNew line, produced from recycled plastic bottles, and I’m excited to see how else they plan on expanding their sustainable stance.
Good Karma 🥠 fair pricing, transparent production, and sustainability seem like good enough when it comes to a fashion brand, but Everlane takes additional steps here. From their 100% Human collection, which has contributed proceeds to the ACLU to their yearly Black Friday charity pledge, I look forward as Everlane continues to find new ways to give back to the community.
minor meddling: what could be better
Sizing/Fit this is a section that makes me a bit sad when it comes to my Everlane endeavors. Despite living in a city where there’s a physical store, I find it much easier to shop Everlane’s inventory online. However, I struggle to understand how the sizing and fit of their products will ultimately come across on my frame. More often than not, I will end up returning orders due to the fit. I also get confused when I shop with brands where I end up across three different sizes for one general item. But not all is lost! While I can’t fully appreciate how difficult it is to mass produce clothing for vastly different body types, I do think Everlane has a digital advantage with its business primarily driven by online interactions to improve how their products fit and consistently across sizes. So here’s my plea to help reduce the confusion:
Enhance how customers can track and estimate what size they will be in items through the website. Since Everlane has been coming out with new items more frequently, it’s difficult to compare which items I have previously purchased and love the fit with newer productions. I’d love to be able to identify my favorite pieces and over time be able to see size or product recommendations based on my favored fit/style. It would also be nice to store in my profile which sizes fit even if you didn’t end up purchasing an item. Think about all the data! You can have all my data! Think about all the return shipping you’d save!
Utilize your community, technology, and your return data for fit enhancements! I am a beleaguered survey responder but also an Everlane advocate, so please solicit and let me see the feedback in action.
Drop the feature to add yourself to the waitlist. Maybe it just goes into Everlane’s database, but I’ve never actually received an email notifying me when the actual product releases.
Deliver 🥡 and now we talk about shipping. I get it, it’s costly and can’t be free. But my gripe is that the policy here is that it’s free only if you buy two items. I still don’t understand this argument rather than setting a price threshold. If you spend $200+ on a pair of shoes, I sort of feel like the shipping should be comped. There is also a $6 restocking fee on mail-in returns, which can be avoided if you use the Happy Returns drop-off or in-store return options.
At the end of the day, I’m pretty excited to see what Everlane does next. They’ve successfully captured my attention and prove to be one of the first sources I turn too when I need to replace everyday wear in my closet. In my personal pledge to slim down my own closet and make purchases that prove adaptable, I look to see what Everlane transforms next.
My capsule wardrobe favorites: