A mega-trend that is fast developing in America and Europe is the idea of a subscription service to clothing and accessories stores, where customers don't outright purchase products, but subscribe to a monthly or six-monthly product at a flat fee. Why? The number one answer, for the Americans at least, is weddings. In South Africa, we go to a lot of weddings, and all kinds of events, business events, fashion week every 6 months, family get-togethers, a big night out, and all these events warrant at least one new purchase. If you multiply those new purchases by the number of events in your calendar, you'll get a sense of how much it adds up to.
There are a million different kinds of subscription services. The ones that I think works best for Waif is a boomerang subscription, where you're charged a fee to wear the jewels for a month, return them, and get a new set the next month. This works for a number of reasons: It means you get to have new Waif items all the time, it means old Waif items don't land up in a landfill (a big plus for everyone), and it means more eyeballs on Waif pieces, which means free advertising for me!
What will happen to the pieces that come back to me? They'll get cleaned up, their pins will be re-done (you'll never receive an earring that's been worn by someone), and they'll boomerang out into the world again. My brand's footprint expands, yet it's carbon footprint is reduced. Clever, huh?
The sharing economy is an exciting new world. It's the logical next step for brands who care about the environment because it means we get to continue to produce, therefore furthering our product, getting regular customers and regular feedback, AND get to control where the product lands up (AKA Not in the ocean, suffocating a seal, on the cover of National Geographic)!
So what do you think? I'm curious to know any thoughts you might have. I'm also curious to know what you'd be willing to spend per month, or every 2 months, for one, two, or three pieces that boomerang in, and out of your jewellery box.
Creator @ WAIF