One day, humility and transparency will be commonplace for retail brands.

Published on 12/04/19

“We’re the best” has made room for “we’re doing our best”. Truth, transparency and humility are now the cardinal virtues for new businesses. Lucidity? Strategy? Or simply consumer pressure? Oney decodes the trends.

Nobody’s perfect!

So says Veja, the French ecological trainers brand which practises ethical trading. Since its launch in 2005, the company has made corporate, social and environmental responsibility its war horse.

Organic cotton, rubber harvested by small producers, plant-based leather dies, refusal to advertise…the brand aims to be as virtuous and committed as possible. However, sometimes there is a gap between desire and reality.

The right to have limits.

The most surprising fact is not so much that a brand has its limits…it’s that the brand admits it and acknowledges the fact freely and with complete transparency. On its website, Veja dedicates an entire page to where it falls short: laces not yet made from organic cotton, supply shortages, synthetic dyes for leather, cotton and rubber, right through to recycling processes which aren’t quite right yet…. everything is put under the microscope and broken down.

Transparency is in?

In a world where everything is scrutinised, and no stone remains unturned, the only option is to lay your cards on the table. Transparency has become fundamental to many start-ups: The Honest Company, (selling household and children’s goods and founded by the actress, Jessica Alba) or in the ready to wear market, Everlane already uses it as a powerful tool to gain trust.

Production costs, storage will know it all!

Beauty Pie, a pure player in the beauty market, does not hold back on its website, giving details for all products in the name of price transparency, showing key figures and actual costs…this is far from normal for luxury products.

A transparency duty?

Definitely. According to the latest surveys carried out by Label Insights, which helps consumers find out what is in the products it consumes, 39% of those surveyed would be prepared to switch from one brand to another more transparent brand and 76% would even be prepared to spend more on such a brand.

So, whether or not there is an actual duty, transparency could become in the years to come, the criteria of choice or preference for the consumer. Let’s make it clear…

Photo credit: Veja