Garments and shoes are more than stitches and glue.
Highsnobiety went on a journey with Swedish label, ASKET to discover the road map to full transparency, sustainability and traceability of their manufacturing process. The conclusion of the journey revealed – The Impact Receipt. The Impact Receipt is the brand’s marketing tool that aims to educate customers about the value and meaningfulness of each item they purchase.
It is an incredible idea that reads like a laundry list of what goes in and out of making a garment and the energy it takes to reach the store shelves. It also lists a combination of manufacturing costs and carbon footprint costs are calculated revealing the total sum of the value of the garment.
“Garments, products of delicate labour and precious resources, have lost their value. We buy more and use them less than ever – packing our wardrobes, filling landfills and fueling incinerators.”
An ecological breakdown of your purchase.
Above is what an average ASKET receipt looks like for a t-shirt with a life expectancy of 180 wears – if washed properly with a delicate wash like the one ASKET promotes on their site: Tangent GC.
I found this article ingenious because in footwear, The Impact Receipt would be at least 12” long!
And I thought about what extra care consumers would be advised to use to extend the life of their shoes. Basic shoe-care would be a new trend, and perhaps revitalize the work of the shoe cobbler and shoe repair artisans. It would also reduce the need for full blown seasonal collections, shipments and inventory. Consumers would in turn, take better care of there goods and brands would be forced to push out real quality and craftsmanship and less automated glue-slapped outsoles.
Value is perception
The purpose of The Impact Receipt is to showcase the ASKET brand’s integrity and the promise to not be another fashion brand (a debatable claim), but to expose what value means. It is the year 2020 and we are still trying to educate people on value. Value is not inherently learned. It is personal perception that is taught via individual thoughts and experience accompanied by the advise of others.
That perception is what brands and marketers try to crack. What does value mean to you? Is it the number of stitches, or the vibrancy of color? And is the value of the garment dictated by the origin of the thread or the chemicals used to create the color? Or is it, how both variables have an emotional connection to the consumer’s purchase decision?
Let’s say that today, we live by this equation of value, S+D=V
- Sustainability + Design (aesthetics) = Value
We are now understanding that value today equates to the impact production has on the world, is eco-friendly, and promotes some kind of transparency, etc. These core values now start to permanently remove the idea that cheap is chic for those who can afford. It can also hypothesize that “cheap” creates waste and degradation on the planet and value products do not.
What would the Footwear Impact Receipt look like?
To find out your company’s carbon footprint, you can know how your collection impacts the environment with calculators like the one below from TerraPass.
Talk to your factory and supply chain manager to help in these calculations to give you a good idea on logistics costs, add all the line items from hide-to-heel, and come up with your own Impact Receipt. You may be surprised how much actually goes into producing your collection and getting it to the doorstep of your customer.
To get your personal impact calculation to see how your lifestyle fares in the ecosystem; Global Footprint Network has a hand tool as well below.
As mentioned, an Impact Receipt for footwear would be at least 12” long – but will shift the way people think about manufacturing shoes. It would tell all the secrets of manufacturing around the world and reveal the true cost to the factory and the workers, when your shoe costs $29.99 and made offshore. If done right, a Shoe Impact Receipt would show that you, as the customer, would actually OWE money to the supply chain!