In this Expert Insight Interview, Shannon Lohr discusses what it takes to start a sustainable fashion brand. Shannon Lohr works with entrepreneurs from all over the globe to launch sustainable and ethical fashion brands the right way from the start.
This Expert Insight Interview discusses:
- The concept of sustainable and ethical fashion
- How Shannon got her start in the industry
- What aspiring fashion entrepreneurs should focus on as their first steps
Sustainable and Ethical Fashion
The terms “sustainable” and “ethical” have taken on a life of their own. Back when Shannon started in the fashion industry, it was almost an oxymoron to say “sustainable fashion,” but it is a huge buzzword today. It refers to thinking about the supply chain and how your clothes are made.
A sustainable fashion brand uses potentially sustainable fabrics, natural or recycled fibers, upcycled fabrics, etc. On the ethical side of things, sustainable brands try to work with factories that pay their workers a fair and living wage. These are just a couple of the factors that contribute to this idea. There is also the clothes’ lifecycle, packaging, and other things that go into making a product more sustainable for the planet.
The Early Days
Shannon started a fashion brand back in 2010, wanting to do it sustainably and ethically, but she didn’t really know what that would entail. She dove into the research, talking to everyone from farmers in Missouri to professors in Texas and eco-friendly supermodels in Brooklyn.
She realized that fashion is a very problematic industry, so the first step she decided to take was to localize the supply chain. All of her brand’s fabrics, materials, manufacturing, and packaging were sourced within a 50-mile radius within the US, which was unheard of at the time.
Finding your Niche
The fashion industry is crowded and highly competitive, especially for start-up brands that probably do not have the venture capital behind them and do not have endless resources and money.
So, the fastest way to find your customer and hit the ground running as soon as you come out onto the market is to figure out what problem you’re solving for your target demographic. Identify who your niche, ideal customer is, and what problem you intend to solve for them.
John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.