Meet the brand that shakes fashion: Made & More

First of all, greetings from the UK! I hope you enjoyed my series of guest blogs on customer experiences. Teaching is ow almost over and I’m entering the conferences season, with a first stop in Bradford, UK, at the Global Brand Conference. The topic of the conference being “brands that do good”, I want to showcase one of my favourite ethical brand.

I’m not a die-hard ethical consumer. I try to be better, I pay attention to the origin of what I buy, and try to do good. It’s not always easy, but some brands are stiring us in the right direction, like Made & More, in the fashion industry.

This industry has a global yearly revenue of over $600 billion. (that’s about the GDP of Saudi Arabia, if you are wondering). A florishing industry indeed, that inevitably uses a growing flow of natural resources to produce ‘Fast Fashion’ goods.

Fed up with the way clothes are produced and consumed, The Slow Fashion movement is promoting a more conscious and respectful fashion industry, which is conscious of the way garment is produced and consumed, and respectful of all stakeholders involved.made&more6

Made & More is an e-commerce that lives and breathes slow fashion. Here is why I love them and why I think they set an example of good marketing practice:

  • Educating consumers: because slow fashion is not commonplace for most and there still needs to be an awakening of consciouness, Made & More helps their clients to “get there”. There are tons of resources on the website and social media to learn more about slow fashion and why it matters. That’s, to me, the key of a great content strategy.
  • Sourcing the right products: Made & More does not compromise on the quality and transparency of the garment they sell on their e-shop. Every brand is carefully selected, producers are true craftmen, and the goods have a story. Small videos presenting the creators in their workshops are often posted, and they really transport the consumers there.made&more5
  • Having a real brand mission and positioning: Made & More has a clear, zero fuss positioning: to provide sustainable fashion and transparency on who made your garment and how. This transpires from every pore of their shop: from the detailed product information on site, to the way they ship and stock the goods in the background.

For these reasons, I think Made & More (and they are not the only ones in this business) are doing a great job. My only concern with slow fashion is that it remains more expensive that what we are now drilled to consider “normal” price for clothes.

However, it’s all about consuming less and better, so if instead of purchasing 3 cheap t-shirts made in Vietnam you only buy one made in the UK, it works. What do you think about slow fashion and Made & More?

Supermarket fascination

I can no longer hide from it: I love supermarkets. They can be big or small (although, the bigger, the more fascinating), specialised or mainstream, busy or quiet, located in any country or continent…I love them all. I happily go around a supermarket ten times, pass the same section over and over again, and, in the end, spend 30 minutes to buy 5 items.

I think my obsession has become more prominent since I moved in the UK, where retail stores are very well implanted and have developed really strong brands. Whether they like supermarkets or not, UK citizens cannot deny that Tesco, Sainsbury’s or Morisson have become real institutions. They are  on every street corner, offer a large range of services, and have very strong own labels. A recent study on brand love and hate in the UK shows that top retailers are all highly ranked in the top 50 of most loved brands. That’s food for thought.

What I enjoy most, is going to different supermarkets around the world and discovering the products that locals go crazy for. The size of the section dedicated to certain products is certainly indicative of local food preferences. Among my favourites.

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  • Olive oil and pasta in Italy (spotted this summer at my local holiday Bennet near Venice)
  • Cheese and “Hageslag” in The Netherlands (They are chocolaty granules and a true winner from my latest trip at an Albert Heijn; so random!)
  • Soy sauce in Asia (Oh the memories of living on top of an E-Mart!)
  • Baked beans and tea in the UK (Tesco…my midnight shopping love)
  • And then I guess Belgium would be big for its chocolate and beer sections? Let’s go for this…I’m sure Delhaize would support this claim.

Of course this all sounds very simplistic and stereotypical, … and it is in a way, because not all UK citizens are heavy bean eaters or all Italians swimming in seas of olive oil at every meal –Thank God.

However, I cannot help but be amazed by the selection of products in supermarkets, the way they are promoted and displayed, and how shops are indicative of the local culture.

Hopefully this slightly deranged view from a marketing geek reconciles you a bit with the much dreaded weekly trip to the store. I would love to know what products overload stores in your country, please share and enjoy your next grocery shopping trip!

Is less more or do we want more for less?

“As more of our basic needs are met, we increasingly expect sophisticated experiences that are emotionally satisfying and meaningful”

I found this quote reading through the literature on design and innovation, as part of a research project I am involved in. Leaving my academic research mindset for a while, it leads me to wonder: are we, consumers, indeed looking for more and more complex product offerings, to match our vibrant and experiential lifestyles? Or, on the contrary, are we not craving for a bit more simplicity and a return to basic forms of need satisfaction ?

So, that’s the question: a we craving for sophistication or simplicity in our consumption choices? Have consumers become needy only children that think they can claim and get anything they want ? Is the market tangled in a vicious circle of  always giving away more to top up consumer expectations and competition? Or are consumers fed up with all the content, information and products that companies are bombarding them with and willing to go back to life’s essentials?

What do you think?