A Company That Gives Away All Its Secrets

July 08, 2018

A Company That Gives Away All Its Secrets

Imagine a successful company that decided to give away all of its trade secrets. It told you where its factories were, what materials it used, the cost of its workforce and how much final products were being marked up. Essentially any critical detail on the company would be easily accessible on the web. Sounds crazy, right? Well, it’s not. Meet Everlane.


Founded in 2010 by Michael Preysman, Everlane is looking to “Fix” the fashion retail landscape. Using his perspective from backgrounds in economics, computer science, and private equity, Michael analyzed the fashion retail model and quickly determined it was broken. With clothing marked up more than eight times the original cost of production, he believed the middle-man world of retail needed to change. While this conclusion is nothing new to eCommerce retailers and online shoppers, Michael’s approach to solving the problem was different.

Radical Transparency

Michael launched Everlane, a high-quality clothing company, with the goal of doing more than merely profiting off the efficiencies of eCommerce. He wanted to make the shopping experience truly fair to the consumer, something he called radical transparency. It breaks down into three pillars:

1. Working with ethical factories

When you think of the selections on the top banner of an online store, you are often presented with options like Show Now, About Us, Blog and Contact. Everlane has added a new option, Factories. Their store features a map that shows every factory producing their products around the world.  Upon clicking a specific factory, you can learn more about how they found the factory, its ethical standards, processes and more. Through its relationships with factories around the world, Everlane is making a global impact by putting dollars behind factories operating ethically and pushing for a new standard for work environments.

2. Sourcing high-quality materials

Fast-fashion trends inspired by fashion shows around the world force retailers to produce in-demand clothing as quickly as possible, often leaving quality as an after-thought. Everlane has taken the approach of prioritizing quality instead, creating designed to last apparel that can be worn for decades to come.

Pricing Everlane

3. Sharing every detail on the cost of their products

Michael Preysman would have likely created a decent social enterprise using only the first two pillars, though his addition of price transparency was what pushed his brand over the edge. While it may seem like a big deal to tell everyone your biggest trade secrets, Michael has demonstrated the contrary. Everlane connects with consumers in a way no other brand has before. Shoppers see how much their product cost to make, how much they are paying for it, along with a visual comparison of the premium other retailers would typically charge.

By combining all three pillars of Everlane's mission, it becomes clear how they intend to fix the retail model. Thanks to radical transparency, shoppers are not only building absolute trust with their brand but are seeking out other social enterprises that are working toward creating a more transparent world.

You can visit the Everlane store by clicking here. To hear more about other individuals, non-profits and social enterprises making an impact, visit our blog!