Do you know how that dress, sustainable or not, got to you and the many people it took to create it?Durated wants you to. With total transparency from cradle to grave, the founders of Durated hope to engage consumers and producers into knowing more about the production, logistics and social lives of the things, they buy and sell, everyday. Working with several different brands and partners, from small Brooklyn and Berlin based producers to well-known international fashion labels, Durated will provide producers with the tools and infrastructure necessary to track the production process.
During its initial stage, the site will provide a collaborative venture between Durated and the brands to find the best way to track as many products as possible leaving their manufacturing facilities. Any products featured on Durated will be inherently transparent and the founders hope to shed light on all steps in the apparel production process. Every step will be made visible, from production, environmental impact and transportation. As long as the product is “durated‚” you can follow it wherever it goes.
Durated’s founders liken what they are doing to Patagonia’s Footprint Chronicles and its “global campaign for responsible capitalism.”
Ecouterre caught up with Kim Borgström, from Durated’s curatorial team, to get the scoop.
Who will be gathering the information for all the products?
Information is one of the backbones of Durated’s philosophy and as such it is important not only to us personally, but also for our credibility and for our users that the data gathered is unbiased and beyond doubt. To make sure that the stories we tell are detailed and insightful and that the information we provide on production processes, on factories, on work conditions and origins are accurate we will oversee the collecting of the data ourselves in collaboration with the brand.
How will a Durated user have access to information about a product’s production process?
All the information on the production process of an item will be logged in an individual id-number. By looking up an item through our website or app, or by registering the number to our system, all of the data that has been collected throughout the making of that item will be visible. All the way from raw material to finished product.
Tell us how developing an e-commerce platform like this came about; how did you perceive there was a need?
Is it too pretentious to say we wanted to change not only our shopping patterns, but also the way we think about our possessions? Durated is not only an e-commerce platform, it is a holistic approach to consumer goods born from a vision to counteract wear and tear shopping and production. On one hand we hope to encourage producers to make long-lasting quality products using fair and sustainable methods. On the other hand we are a tool for consumers to make better informed choices about the things they buy and the companies they support. Shopping is and should be a lot of fun but it has also come to be a great responsibility. We believe that helping consumers choose more sustainable options is the way forward in a world that is already on its knees.
How will this create new revenue streams for businesses?
Apart from creating the kind of goodwill that we believe attracts the conscious consumer of today, the Durated platform is also home to a second hand market. When an item is sold through us we have a possibility to let part of that revenue go back to the original brand. Long lasting, well made items will thus provide their brand with an opportunity for a passive income for as long as the item lives and is resold.
How does Durated make it possible for companies to “make a percentage on every resell transaction, gaining not only monetary profits, but also a unique insight into the lives of their products”?
All Durated items are fitted with individual id-numbers that are used not only to tell the story about their production, but also to record the story of their life. Through Durated and other social media profiles, customers have an opportunity to document their items and what they have been up to when using them. This is a story that is continuously written and can thus function as a tool for communication between customer and brand.The anonymous data can also help brands better understand the needs and desires of their customers which in turn will be of great help for trend analysis, cross brand collaborations and overall improvement of products.
Do you see Durated as a model that big businesses could take and use to better the transparency of their companies?
Durated is a marketplace for curated durability which means we’re looking to collaborate with companies producing objects which are not only durable, sustainable and of good quality, but beautiful and well-designed too. Thus, Durated is happy to work with brands who share these values and interested in exploring how we could collaborate with both big and small companies wishing, for instance, to improve their transparency and to better their production process.
Source: Ecoterre website August 2013