This is pretty much how it unfolded.
Accountant: Why do you not brand your clothes?
Cloke: Because we don’t do branding.
Accountant: But everyone wearing your hoodie or tee is a walking billboard. It’s free advertising.
Cloke: We don’t make billboards.
Accountant: You don’t understand. You’ll never be successful and make money if you don’t brand yourselves properly. If you make a brand desirable you can have a markup that’s 800%. Maybe more.
Cloke: We don’t do ridiculous markups.
Accountant: You really don’t understand.
Cloke: You don’t understand.
And that’s just how it is. There is no logo on our gear (other than the label). We don’t do branding for a number of reasons. These reasons aren’t based on economics. They're based on principles. We think they are more important.
No Big Brand Tax
So here’s the thing...that hoodie you see in the store from the well-known ‘Big Brand’ comes with a tax. We call it the Big Brand Tax. It’s what you pay for someone else having their brand logo on something you wear. It doesn’t have to literally be big branding. Just a small and discreet logo from a well-known fashion house on the chest of a polo shirt is enough to push the cost of that garment up to a margin of 800%. You read that right. 800%. It’s why fashion is reported to enjoy the highest profit margins of any products in 2018.
Why? Well...those fashion houses have to support the overpriced and over-indulgent lifestyles of celebrity influencers. You know...the type that live on Instagram and seemingly do nothing but relax on big yachts and drink champagne. Those big brands also have to support big advertising campaigns. That means shelling out for big budget adverts and big budget photoshoots. The there’s the big shot executives with big paychecks. Not to mention the big bankers who might be involved, demanding the big profits to support the shareholders demands. We just need to support our cheese roll addiction and coffee habits.
High Price Means High Quality. Right?
Nah bro. Nothing could be further from the truth. Higher prices mean nothing more than higher profits in most cases. Sure, there might be some extra flourishes on the garment. The materials used will likely be a little better. But a high price doesn’t always mean high quality. We’re not saying all products are the same. That wouldn’t be true either. We’re just saying a high price doesn’t necessarily correlate to a similarly high level of quality. The big fashion houses are pretty smart too. They know they just need to make the quality good enough that you’re not disappointed with it so as to not undermine the brand. They also know there’s some psychology behind premium pricing and a high price is often enough to make you think the quality is high too. Our gear is just as good as most big brands. Mostly it’s better.
Big Brands Don’t Make Toffee
Huh? Yeah...most make nothing for themselves. Here’s how it works
- Big Brand want to make a new hoodie
- Big Brand goes to offshore manufacturer (Bangladesh is arguably the home to big brand manufacturing).
- Big Brand gets goods.
- Big Brand slaps on Big Brand Tax
- Big Brand sells hoodie
In a lot of cases, the same manufacturer will be making garments for others. The same factory that makes T-shirts for H&M can make them for G-Star Raw. So, paying for a Big Brand doesn’t mean made better either. It’s the same skill pool making the goods.
In fact, you can shop online and get luxury goods from the same factories as Prada or Burberry. Take a look at Italic.
You Do You
Cloke is about supporting your journey and your dreams. Our gear is a blank canvas for you to add your own attitude. It’s about going places, seeing things and living a life less ordinary. It’s about choosing experiences over things.
It’s about a defining lifestyle. We don’t define you. You define you.
So there we are. We don’t do branding. We don’t do a Big Brand Tax. We design the best hoodies and tees we can. We sit back, snack on cheese rolls and drink some coffee.
We’re happy with our approach and our principles. The Accountant can get stuffed.