October 3, 2021

I was speaking to a homeboy and he questioned the authenticity of a sweatsuit he had bought. The first thing he did was run to the internet to find out how to confirm the authenticity. We started to talk about fashion in general and how clothing is sourced. We educated one another on labor practices and environmental impact. We talked about how it would be important to understand the story of clothes we wore from the origin of materials to the hands that put it together. It made me think of Blue Bottle Coffee.

Fashion is a $2.5 trillion dollar industry. Most profit comes from accessories and designer sneakers for some of the leaders in luxury fashion while sportswear shares a great market share as well. In the past providing the product and consumers paying for it was as far s things went. Now there is a rising trust deficit between consumers and fashion houses (Mckinsey & Company, 2020).

Blue Bottle Coffee allows its customers to know precisely where the coffee bean comes from the produced the drink in their hands. The venture capital company GV engaged Blue Bottle in Design Thinking to innovate in their space. Only 10% of Blue Bottle's sales happened online and they wanted to expand that. What they found from exploring how people bought coffee was they wanted trust through expertise and knowledge through transparency. So Blue Bottle features the journey of the coffee as much as it featured the taste of the bean. I feel like this is the next step for fashion. We are ever curious about the identity of designers and the impact on society and the environment.

If fashion can take inspiration from Blue Bottle Coffee they would not only see immediate success but they would build a trust with their customers that is built on empowerment.

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