Click on one of Everlane’s most popular products, the Cotton Heather V, and you can view its production costs in a simple infographic — $4.28 for materials, $4.65 for labor, and $0.20 for transport. You can compare Everlane’s sales price ($18) to that of a traditional retailer’s comparable t-shirt ($50). You can also find information on the Los Angeles factory where the t-shirt was made, read about its owner, Mr. Kim, and click through pictures of the production process.
While most retailers obscure production costing, Everlane actively promotes it. Founded in 2010, Everlane sought “to exploit the market inefficiency of brick-and-mortar retail” and to provide quality menswear at a fraction of department store prices.  It has since expanded into womenswear, leather accessories, and childrenswear, launching 170 new products in 2015, in light of a total 2014 product line of 110 items.  Last year, Everlane’s revenues tripled from $12M in 2013 to $36M, with gross profits increasing from $8.1M to $18M.  Transparent pricing coupled with high-quality, minimalist design enable Everlane to capture the socially conscious millennial who seeks a product with a story. The company succeeds in “forging a deeper, more emotional connection by including details such as real-time weather conditions and the local time of each [factory] locale. The resulting effect on a jaded e-customer is not unlike that when one stumbles into an honest relationship after dating a string of serial cheaters.” 
Everlane espouses a solely web-based distribution model, circumventing capex and labor expenditures associated with stores. Unlike more established retailers that employ an extensive intermediary network, Everlane designs in-house and works directly with factories, spanning from Vietnam, Spain, to California. Not only does the direct relationship with manufacturers allow Everlane to pass on increased savings to the consumer, it allows Everlane to more easily ensure that factories comply with its labor and ethical sourcing standards — a problem that has plagued retail giants like H&M and Nike.
Everlane adheres to a low inventory policy to minimize working capital costs, often leading to stockouts. Before a launch, Everlane deliberately orders less products than its demand forecasts imply. It initially releases small batches to gain feedback, iterate design, and produce stronger versions. Everlane’s direct relationship with factories facilitates a rapid feedback loop. This prototype-build-pilot model also heightens consumer hype around product restockings. For instance, the launch of Everlane pants led to a 12,000-person waitlist.
Merchandising and Marketing
Everlane never discounts products as part of holiday weekend promotions, and goes as far as shutting down its site on Black Friday. Everlane’s prices are permeant, contrasting with retailers such as J Crew and Gap who run steep and frequent promotions. Founder, Preysman, articulates, “We don’t want to play games with anyone because in traditional retail, brands sell 80% of their stuff at discount and it’s really just them lying to their customer. Our view is that we want to keep things as simple as possible for people.” 
Everlane largely markets through social media platforms such as Instagram with no print campaigns or television advertising. In an effort to establish deeper connections with its following, Everlane recently hosted happy hours across the U.S. with talks and parties tailored around the theme of Transparent Cities. This guerilla-style marketing approach allows Everlane to spend less on marketing in comparison to other retailers, passing on the savings to its customers. In March, Facebook announced that Everlane would be one of two brands piloting Business on Messenger, a service that enables companies to engage with customers through Facebook’s Messenger. The increased functionality with Facebook in addition to the launch of its own app in May are part of an effort to make it “so dead easy to buy from Everlane that you’d never shop anywhere else.” 
Everlane’s operating model, focused on designing minimalist, quality products while curtailing overhead costs, allows it to deliver a luxury product without a luxury price tag. As e-commerce continues to steadily rise as a percentage of retail sales, Everlane will likely continue to acquire consumers at a rapid pace.  However, it must be careful that its growth does not undermine the brand equity it has so skillfully developed. Everlane would do well to consider the effect of deliberately low inventory on missed sales and earnings opportunity. While its current cult following may be willing to wait months for its Petra Bag, new customers may not be as “sticky” or forgiving. Everlane’s rapid proliferation of products may also jeopardize its simple and easy shopping experience. While scaling, Everlane must ensure that it continues to aggressively manage factories to ensure compliance with its ethical standards and sustain its high brand equity – its greatest asset but also its greatest liability.