As you would know if you've followed Brown's for a little while on Instagram or been a member of our email list, I have a bit of an issue with sale culture, and I talk about it, a lot! While simultaneously putting items on sale as I learn how to manage this small business and keep stock levels high, but not too high...
So, here's the rub. Basically as a business that is concerned with being ethical in my approach this culture of sale concerns me for a number of reasons:
1. I feel it devalues the creativity, hard work, crafting and making of items, I'm concerned that when you reduce the price automatically people see the item as having lesser value, I don't like this reductionism.
2. I believe that sometimes that hunt for a bargain or a sale item can become a vehicle to overconsumption - buying things we don't need because they are cheaper/reduced, not seeing the spending and the accumulation because it was a 'bargain'.
3. The expectations that it can create in customers that there will always be a sale. Again I feel this can devalue products and businesses as being seen as always on sale and an item has been overpriced and then reduced.
But in saying that there are also some really important parts to having sales for businesses, and the reasons for me at the moment are:
1. My businesses is still very new. I am still learning what sells and what doesn't, what price point my customer is willing to pay for goods, what ranges my customer likes best and what they are not really into. This means that there are times where I won't have chosen the right look/style/price point for my customer and at that point I need to let stock go, recoup some of those costs and try again.
2. I don't want to create a belief that ethical always means expensive, there needs to be opportunities for people to buy goods that are well made, ethically made, but also get a 'good deal' on them, this offers people who may not normally buy ethically a pathway into this space with a reduced cost.
3. Sometimes I need more space. I have a very small shop and a particularly small area to hang clothing, therefore in order to be able to showcase new season fashion I sometimes need to reduce and let go of previous seasons at lower prices.
Now, please don't think I am preaching here, or seeking approval, I just feel that being a business that is about ethics, it's important I check in with mine and tell you about them so you understand where I'm coming from.