Black Book Fashion shares why we believe in supporting independent fashion designers.
1. Always Limited Edition
The benefit of shopping independent designers, is that you will always and also inadvertently, be buying a limited-edition product. Independent designers cannot, and do not mass produce their collections, and often produce on demand. Many brands on Black Book Fashion stick to small batch production to maintain the exclusive handmade nature of their collections, keep inventory low and stay flexible.
2. Independent design is where the innovation happens.
Independent designers tend to be smaller brands and not hindered by more complex strategic business considerations. In fact, innovation is needed to stand out and appeal to larger audiences. As Business of Fashion and McKinsey notes: “It’s the smaller brands that have been better at genuine innovation — and that’s what consumers want.”. It’s no secret that the large fast-fashion brands jump on every trend in their pursuit of a fast turnaround and quick profits. In the process, creativity and innovation become sanitized.
3. Fashion is a community, everyone benefits
It’s not easy being a designer, let alone having to oversee the entire process of bringing a collection to life. This involves everything from sourcing materials, overseeing production, managing inventory, creating mouthwatering imagery, marketing, dealing with customers … the list is endless. Therefore, it goes without saying that fashion is one big collaboration from the factory worker, to the fashion photographer, the brand manager managing digital platforms, to the retail staff and the administrative back-end. This community often share a dedication and passion unmatched in other industries to help bring a designer’s vision to life. Therefore, each purchase helps to support the community and all the characters involved in creating something beautiful that consumers enjoy.
4.Transparency of who you are buying from
When you buy a mass-produced item, you have little knowledge or connection to the person on the other end making it. In fact, the anonymity hides a complex web of international factories and supply chains. Independent brands on the other hand often rely on smaller, family owned cooperatives or factories to produce their collections. Without the required volumes and financial resources to make upfront down payments, they simply cannot work with anyone else. Such partners often set their own labor and cost standards, ensuring fair-trade practices while maintaining quality craftsmanship. It also means as a consumer that you are able to enquire directly with the brand about who made the collection and where. Such affinity should help drive more responsible practices and it is no surprise that brands are not shy about leveraging it as a key selling point of their brand.
5. Independent designers stand for something
Independent designers are never afraid to have an authentic and powerful narrative that is core to their brand and existence. Independent brands can often articulate clearly the reasons and motivations why they do what they do since the brand is a personal reflection of the designers closely held beliefs and values. Without the benefit of a large brand, standing for something is also an important and much needed point of differentiation. Whether it is expressing a strikingly original creative vision, or supporting sustainability or ethnical causes for example, it are independent brands that stand for something to stand out.