by Steve Pruitt

StevePruitt-FEATURED.jpgQ: Shoppers seem to be more concerned about where their clothes are made, and if they are ethically sourced. There’s even a new documentary out about questionable practices in the garment industry. How focused should I be as a retailer on communicating where our products come from and how they are made? Will stocking ethically sourced goods be a marketing advantage going forward?

Steve Pruitt: This is a good question and an important one. As a merchant, you need to know as much about your inventory as possible, including country of origin. However, sometimes it’s difficult to find out the exact details on where garments are made. Another challenge is that although customers want ethically sourced goods, they are not always willing to pay for more expensive clothing.

That said, what you can do is ask your vendors more about the production practices to keep them on their toes. And, if you have customers that are really demanding ethically sourced goods, you could make sure that you stock vendors with 100% transparency and make it part of the marketing for your store. This could be especially advantageous if you are located in a progressive city.

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