Good to have you back, hope you are enjoying your weekend. I surely am, as I will meet up with a friend today and stroll around the city.
As it is Saturday, I am happy to announce a new brand in Kind Style. Today the brand IVY & OAK will be highlighted. This brand offers beautiful garments with a sophisticated and luxurious style, while acting revolutionary on transparency and sustainability. Read more about this brand in detail and get inspired with their collections!
Ivy & Oak is a fairly ‘new’ brand from Berlin, Germany. The founders Caroline and Christopher founded the brand in 2016. Because of the youngness of the brand, Ivy & Oak is able to do things totally different and focussing on the needs of the market: transparency and sustainability. They create collections that are long lasting in regards to both design and quality.
Ivy & Oak limits its production to avoid filling warehouses with unnecessary overstock. This creates a unique and exclusive collection, not needing to mark down too many styles.
They source the most beautiful and sustainable qualities for their garments, as well as using rescued dead-stock fabrics. This way they are making sure their products are responsibly manufactured according to the highest ethical and quality standards.
Their collection is fully focused on timeless pieces, great designs and simplicity. Collections that are made to last. They develop two collections a year and are not focusing on fashion-forward.
Their collection consists of apparel, accessories, bridal wear, maternity items and outerwear. They offer their ‘essential basics’ in organic cotton and work mostly with natural materials. Each garments speaks sophisticated design and timeless simplicity.
I went to De Bijenkorf’s Pop-up to see the collection myself and to feel the garments. I was suprised by the fits, the strong and delicate qualities and the beautiful details.
My favorite items of their current Spring/Summer 2019 collection:
What they do with kindness
Ivy & Oak provides the market what it needs: Transparency. They fully open up about cost-calculation and they way they avoid extra costs. One of the things they do differently: they do not believe in traditional trade fairs, unnecessary middlemen and their associated costs. They keep it simple. The customer only pays for what they ultimately get: a beautiful product in a great quality at a reasonable price.
Their collection can be bought directly online in their own webshop, or at a limited amount of online retailers. Occasionally they use the pop-up concept in traditional retail. Like in De Bijenkorf, the luxury warehouse of The Netherlands, were they offer their collection for two weeks. This is on costs of the retailer. Ivy &Oak simply doesn’t spend money on retailing or sales agencies (“middleman”). This makes it somewhat harder to find a garment, but the true lover will find it.
My visit of the pop-up of Ivy & Oak in De Bijenkorf
To provide ultimate transparency, Ivy & Oak provides cost-sheets with their garments online, where you can see exactly how the price is build up. This way they create the ultimate transparency of the true costs, something that has been unavailable information for the consumer for a long time. A lot of people don’t know what it costs to produce a garment in fair-trade conditions and with this transparency sheet, Ivy & Oak makes it visible and understandable.
Ivy & Oak produces 80% of its’ garments in Europe, which reduces the costs of transport and results in better ethical regulations for labor.
Explanation of the sheet:
They show the costs of labour of one garment (€ 19,05), transport from their European factory (€ 1,31), materials (€ 36,55) and trimmings (€5,40). These prices average but give a good insight. The true cost of a garment of Ivy & Oak is € 62,31 and with a markup of 3.2 they sell the garment for € 199,95
IVY & OAK strives for sustainability for the whole fashion chain, being a member of SEDEX – one of the world’s largest organisations that helps companies manage responsible sourcing in their supply chain.
Review & Opinion
I have been very surprised by Ivy & Oak. Their items are true beauties and their transparency and sustainable drive makes the garments even prettier. This way, you will be able to wear their items with pride. I am also surprised by the Studios esigns and matching prices. In my opinion the design is close to Acne , but with a Samsoe Samsoe price. Good job, Ivy & Oak. I love a good classic and their items, to me, will be investments for the long run (something they strive for as well). I like their feminine shapes and flowy fabrics, as well as their colors and small prints. Not too much, just right. Their collection of wedding dresses has been another surprise for me, as they are true designs and so affordable. You can get married dressed in a Ivy & Oak for € 169,95 or less. Love that!
The brand just started in 2016, so they are really growing and developing. Nevertheless, a good point for improvement in my opinion is their lack of info info on ethical standards. They state to strive for high ethical standards, but nothing in particular is explained. From my personal fashion background, I know production in Europe comes with better ethical standards, but still nothing is stated in particular to be humane. It would be great if they can open up and give transparency about this important part of the production – aside from fair labor costs.
Another point of improvement would be Ivy & Oak’s acts with kindness. Their cultural and social involvement is not exciting yet and can be an extra add-on
Their transparency sheet is such a great revolution. Especially for those who never knew the true costs of a production. Many companies won’t be able to reveal their price calculation the way Ivy & Oak does it. A small point of critics: I honestly don’t think a lot of brands can work with a retail mark-up of 6-10x. Ivy & Oak works with 2-4x and from my experience in the fashion industry, I know most brands offer a reasonable mark-up of 2.4. Ivy & Oak has an average mark-up of 3.0 They can afford this, as the skip the middle man and the prices are still very good. But it shouldn’t be a standard to say other companies make 6 -10x margin. This only happens in big fashion chains with huge production quantities.
Overall, a beautiful brand with classic beauties in their collection, giving you the confidence to wear them with proud. Their transparency is revolutionary and it’s a brand worth to invest your money in.