(image via Everlane)
- Everlane continues to be transparent with their pricing model, unlike nearly any other fashion company, and I respect them for that. There are allegations that some of their choose your price items are priced closer to original prices than they admit, and thus not “discounted,” but I haven’t seen ANY evidence of that – in fact, I applaud them for trying out new retail models and challenging us with the knowledge of what the things we buy truly cost, and how discounts affect a company’s bottom line.
- Everlane could do better at being more transparent about their factories, what they pay workers, material sourcing, and other labor issues: many of those concerns are covered in this article, but of course, just because they don’t name factories, doesn’t mean there’s anything particularly nefarious there, just as the fact that H&M DOES name their factories, doesn’t make them saints of the industry…
- I’ve asked for more information about where they source their wool, for example, and haven’t received an answer. That is one issue in which I’m most disappointed and in which they could be much more transparent: raw material sourcing.
- They seem to have moved away from their focus on “radical transparency” as they’ve grown instead of towards it, and the message of transparency has become rather gimmicky, which is disappointing. As I’ve stated before, I feel like they’re riding the wave of transparency they started instead of advancing it.
Better is better – I don’t expect perfection from any fashion company; the industry in general is wasteful, and built upon consumption of new, new, new. Everlane is better than most companies, though, and seems to be making progress moving the industry in an overall better direction. I respect Everlane’s commitment to upending fashion retail and their experimentation with new ways of doing things. I suppose that since I had such high hopes for them, in terms of labor practice transparency and environmental responsibility, I’m harder on them, vs other companies, and I’m more acutely disappointed that they haven’t done MORE to advance those issues, but I also understand the realities of business, and that they need to be profitable so that they can CONTINUE to make progress.
- Personally, I have 3-4 ryan tanks that are a couple years old and in heavy rotation all year-round and although they shrink a little over time (even though I don’t dry them) they have held up nicely to regular wear. I love the drape and softness.
- I have had nothing but an excellent experience with Everlane’s cashmere; I have four sweaters and two cardigans, one a few years old, and while they don’t look brand new, I’ve had no holes or issues other than slight pilling at all.
- The newer (last year’s) wool cardigan was better quality than the original, it doesn’t pill nearly as bad as the first one, and it still looks rather nice even after being used as my “winter coat” last winter. One thing Everlane seems to do well is take customer feedback and try to improve on quality. That’s why I ALWAYS fill out their surveys and email customer service with any issues.
- When they first launched I bought a “men for women” white t-shirt that I wear as a layering tee in fall/winter and it is still nice looking – no holes. I’ve not liked any of their other tees enough to keep them.
- I generally don’t do well with any of Everlane’s other pieces, they’re mostly “meh” on me in terms of fit and style – there’s always something off about them.
Overall, I wish they’d scale back their new offerings and launches a bit and really focus on their most “classic” pieces like their tees, cashmere, silk, and backpacks. I feel like when they try to do too much, and launch too many new items, quality, fit & styles suffer. And I fear that Everlane is becoming a direct-to-consumer version of Zara or H&M; always offering something new & shiny to buy instead of slowing down, and presenting higher-quality wardrobe staples.
- Every year on Black Friday for the last couple of years Everlane has donated a portion of sales from that day to a specific factory project to improve the lives of their workers. I love this, and always support it.
I had higher hopes for Everlane in terms of responsibility and transparency, and I wish they’d continued to produce more “basics” and cotton tees in their Los Angeles factory instead of shifting to Vietnam. Mostly, now, I think their focus is more on “affordable luxury” and on constantly producing new, “luxurious,” supposedly higher-quality, basics with a little something different. But most of all, I wanted Everlane to embrace slow; I want slower fashion, not faster*. And in my opinion, Everlane is becoming faster and faster…
Ultimately, Everlane still holds an important place in a more conscious wardrobe, providing an affordable way to buy better. But the company could absolutely do better overall with regard to being more transparent, and more responsible, something they can only do if we continue to support them and offer them feedback.
My relationship with Everlane:
I’ve worked closely with the company for several years in a variety of ways: they send me things pretty regularly to review for you and I earn a referral fee every time a new customer uses my link and places an order. I also earn a commission on items purchased via my affiliate links when I mention Everlane.
When Everlane reaches out to send me new launches for review, I usually say yes, and accept them, because I want to provide for you my honest opinion and review of new items. I will sometimes say no, and sometimes I just receive things in the mail I wasn’t expecting. There is never an expectation of a positive review, or a review at all. It is up to me when, how, and indeed IF, I post about anything I receive or buy from Everlane and it has always been so.
So, what are your thoughts on Everlane?
*Zady does a much better job at being slow, responsible, sustainable and transparent, while still remaining relatively affordable; they deserve much more attention and credit for what they’ve done for the industry.