Sean Kernan in Mind Cafe

Building Sustainability with Everlane

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Amid the sustainable fashion uproar, consumers have switched from fast fashion to eco-friendly clothing options. Big brands such as Patagonia, Girlfriend Collective, and OuterKnown have caused a social media frenzy. Nonetheless, there is a brand that drives its determination within its commitment. 

This brand not only screams ‘Radical Transparency’  through its fashion-conscious clothing but is a favorite within sustainable fashion. 

A brand that even the Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle, cannot get enough of. From shoes to blazers, Everlane is one of Meghan’s top choices for fashion royalty. Fans of Markle have also started wearing the eco-friendly brand! 

Despite the attention that the fashion brand exposes, what makes it stand out from the rest? And how exactly is Everlane ‘transparent’ with its sustainable clothing and accessories? 

Keep reading to understand!

What is Sustainable Fashion?

In recent years the word ‘sustainability’ has been showing up throughout digital platforms and some consumers are engaging with the aspect of sustainable clothing.

Consumers have gravitated toward what is in products and what they wear.

However, what exactly is sustainable fashion? And why is it essential for our planet?

Fashion magazine Vogue puts it simply as “an umbrella term for clothes that are created and consumed in a way that can be, quite literally, sustained, while protecting both the environment and those producing garments”. 

To take it even a step further, this means clothing production uses more eco-friendly practices when designing, building, and consuming garments. The production of sustainable fashion creates a positive impact on both humans and the environment. 

Granted companies that strive for ethical clothing also focus on their workers and employees. This means that the conditions of workers need to be safe and provide acceptable living wages. 

earth day campaign hand showing tree bubble media mix
Photo: rawpixel.com on Freepik

Everlane’s Founder: Michael Preysman

At just 25 years old, Michael Preysman founded and became the CEO of the brand Everlane. Before developing the brand, Preysman attended Carnegie Mellon University located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

He graduated with a dual degree in both economics and engineering. Shortly after graduating from Carnegie Mellon University, Preysman became an investor at a private equity called Elevations Partners. 

There he worked for both of the offices that the company had. One was located in New York, and the other in Menlo Park. He invested in Media and Entertainment companies. 

Setting off his journey with a passion for design, branding, and storytelling, along with inspiration for affordable clothing. Michael became determined, ambitious, and self-assured about his success. 

He carried out his plan of creating a brand that reflected the needs of the consumer and the world. With this in mind he began to execute a brand that targeted his goals which were; to make clothing and accessories well-designed with an affordable price point. 

Intending to build a brand that would differentiate from the others within clothing and accessories, he created a way to inform and educate its consumers on the ins and outs of the products – encouraging consumers to know what goes in the products and how ethical they are to the planet.

Consequently, he included the origins and cost of the product breakdowns 

Throughout the process, Preysman developed a company with no middleman ability to share the cost of each product, making him a distinguished leader with transparency.

 Everlane’s founder is no stranger to sustainable fashion.

Along with his commitment to brand differentiation, the brand is deemed to be eco-friendly to the environment. 

Everlane’s Breakthrough in The Fashion Industry

Success Within Numbers

Michael Preysman founded Everlane in 2010 as an online retailer in San Francisco. 

When choosing his business model, Preysman’s attention was set on a specific model that focuses on direct-to-consumer selling. As a result, this model primarily focuses on advertising and having no middlemen throughout the process.

Everlane aimed for minimal modern with a touch of aesthetic sustainable clothing at an affordable price With a mission of selling ethical clothing with transparent pricing for consumers.

In 2012 Everlane started operating pop-up shops and developing its brand. Later, in 2014 it developed partnerships that helped the brand spread its name throughout the industry.

The startup became a hit once it started receiving seed funding. By 2015 there was a seed funding of 1.1 million and a referral invite list which expanded its subscribers to 60 thousand in just 5 days!  

With success doubling throughout the years, consumers couldn’t get enough of Everlane’s price breakdowns and the brand’s transparency. Today the brand has locations in New York, San Francisco, Washington DC, and other US locations! 

Sustainability Check

The brand’s commitment to transparency helps the consumer know exactly what goes on in the manufacturing and making process. 

97% of Everlane’s materials are made from certified recycled fibers that hold polyester and nylon, and the shopping bags used are either 100% recycled plastic or certified papers. 

Within the past years, Everlane has integrated 1 million pounds of post-industrial & post-consumer recycled materials into their products. 

In 2018, Everlane launched the line, ‘Renew’ which consisted of outerwear that was made out of 3 million recycled bottles. By 2019 the brand had committed to eliminating virgin plastic from its products and supply chain and managed to stick to that commitment

In 2021 the brand released two ‘ReLeather’ sneaker styles which include recycled leather and scraps made of polyester.

In addition, these styles also had 80% less water in production while Jeans that are produced are LEED-certified factory in which recycle 98% of water. 

Everlane focuses on less carbon, using organic cotton, less plastic, and cleaner denim

Throughout its website and social media networks, Everlane educates and informs its consumers about its factories, supply chain, working conditions, and price breakdowns. 

With the option of ‘Choose What You Pay’ Everlane consumers can buy the product with options that makes it affordable and accessible. 

Katina Boutis Directing Everlane’s Sustainability

Katina Boutis, Director of Sustainability at Everlane attended and spoke at one of Fashinnovation’s 7th WorldwideTalks

Boutis spoke about the brand and what she does on a daily basis. From creating and executing sustainability goals for the brand to making ideas.

Everlane has a strategic road map that plans out the goals that the brand has in mind for sustainability.

Katina breaks it down into three pillars which are, keeping the earth clean, keeping the earth cool, and doing right by the people

The goals are connected with each other and the company focuses on moving forward and making fashion cleaner.

Lastly, Katina speaks about how the world is at a difficult time right now and change would be a great step in making a difference.

A Change in CEO: Andrea O’ Donnell

Everlane has started a new chapter within its team. Founder Micheal Preysman stepped down as CEO to become executive chair and a climate activist

Formerly known as the President of Fashion Lifestyle at Decker’s brands, Andrea O’Donnell has stepped in as the new CEO at the beginning of this year. 

Preysman and O’Donnell continue to bring environmental impact to the business. With values aligned the pair worked together to make the transition happen.

Finally, with the start of a new chapter, there is no doubt the brand will continue to sustain its commitment to sustainable affordable clothing and accessories. 

Thus, to know more about sustainable brands check out our article, “A Sustainable Commitment: Patagonia”

Oddet Ramos

Content Producer & International Intern

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Oddet Ramos

Content Producer & International Intern

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