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Radical Transparency

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Online clothing brand Everlane is carving a niche for itself by exposing every aspect of its business -- from where goods are sourced to how much they’re marked up.

The upstart, which launched two years ago, works directly with global factories to sell an edited collection of wardrobe basics and accessories online at what the founders claim is a fraction of what the items would retail for in traditional stores.

According to the website, Everlane executives “believe customers have the right to know what their products cost to make … . [The website] reveals our true costs, and then we show you our markup.”

Taking the idea of transparency to another level, the website recently added a new section that shows shoppers the specific factories that make its merchandise -- whether it’s $25 Ryan tees or $65 Fold-Over wallets. Shoppers can scroll through pictures of the factories, including facilities in Dongguan, China; Ubrique, Spain; and Los Angeles. They can also explore specific data about the factory owners, how many employees they have and how each product is made.

Everlane has received an uptick in attention over the last few months, particularly after the collapse of Bangladesh’s Rana Plaza garment factory in April. Company founders insist U.S. consumers are paying more attention to how clothing is made, where it’s made and who is sitting behind the sewing machine.

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