the magazine | why do we only operate in pre-order?

Ok, many of you have asked us why we only operate in pre-order and if we had planned to store our future collections. So we’ll try to answer you as clearly as possible… let’s go!

Ok, many of you have asked us why we only operate in pre-order and if we had planned to store our future collections. So we’ll try to answer you as clearly as possible… let’s go!

In recent decades, let it be said, fashion has not gone in the right direction on several levels. And on one particular point, we can even say that it has turned into a huge mess… you guessed it? We are talking about the management of unsold items.

Okay, you’ve already heard about it, especially now, so we won’t add anymore to that, don’t close the page just now 😁.
We simply think the fashion brand model has to change, is going to change and we want to be in… don’t you? Yeah? Let’s recap (and we rely on you to talk about it around you).


1. Sales (Sale of goods at reduced prices at certain times of the year)

Sure, we all love sales, it’s the time of year when we think we’re getting good deals, prices are down, we can get dressed for the winter (or even the summer), it keeps the economy running and everyone’s happy. At least, that was what we thought in 1830 (yes, this practice is almost 200 years old and we should perhaps question it), when a certain Simon Mannoury, founder of the Parisian department store “Petit Saint-Thomas”, invented the sales.

Except that, over the years, stores have had to adapt to increasing competition, changes in consumption patterns, price inflation throughout the value chain… and so a method was born: include in non-discounted prices throughout the year a margin, linked to future selling prices with sales. As a result, prices have artificially increased, so that stores can recoup their costs during the sales period.

At esther bancel, we very clearly say NO and will always say NO to this practice of mindless race for the lowest prices. How do we do that? We don’t have any stock to sell. Consequence? Our prices are fair all year round. It’s simple, isn’t it?

Breakdown of our prices: the purchase of materials according to the country’s specialty, the purchase of haberdashery (buttons, zippers…), the creation of sewing patterns, the making in France from traditional tailors in exemplary working conditions and remuneration, transport, the preparation of your orders with packaging and small gifts, the salary of our team which is at your care and to finish the margin which allows us to reinvest in the company and in particular in the next collections.

2. Waste and unsold items

So here we enter into what horrifies us the most… throwing away or burning unsold items😡. We will not go any further on that point, because we think it speaks for itself. But think about it: an unsold stock, even after private sales, discounts and other means of selling off, is a stock that has every chance of ending up thrown or burned… No need to tell you that for us, this simply is unimaginable.

Well, these are the 2 main reasons why we refuse to store our collections for the moment.

Today, we are able to produce any piece from our collections in less than 30 days. And when you know the manufacturing process of a piece of cloth, believe us, it’s no small thing to do.

So yes, we could have stored up to avoid a whole bunch of problems and sit down on our principles and values. Instead, we decided to roll up our sleeves and find solutions to have as little impact as possible on the environment in which we create the brand and on the experience you live with us.

We will spare you the details, but we went through a long process to optimize each step of the production process to make it as efficient as possible.

Concerning the waiting time between your order and the reception of your products, for those who have already ordered, you know how it works, we deeply care for you: very regular emails to inform you of the progress, small gifts, phone calls if necessary… and finally for pieces of this quality, you tell us every time: “ok the wait was worth it” 💙.

To answer now the 2nd part of your question: will we never store anything? In principle, no, but we should never say never. So if one day we do it, it will necessarily respect these 2 rules:

  • The quantities stored will be very small
  • We will be confident that these stocks will be sold and the products used by our elegant and non-conformist customers 🙂

But we must admit that in the long term, our production ideal would be totally automated and managed on a just-in-time, on demand basis (one order = one part produced) thanks to the mastery of data and technology… but before that, we will have to work on powerful technological tools allowing order prediction management.

As esther bancel is for us a long-term project (we told you, we’ll be there in 44 years), we started to think and prepare our production system for these evolutions.

While waiting for this future that makes all of us dream, we will continue with this pre-order system, which in the end seems to suit you as well, given your satisfied feedback.

So yes, we could grow much faster and make more sales if we had stock. But that’s all right. In any case, building a beautiful brand takes time. We want to grow at our own pace, respecting our values and one of them is to offer you our top-of-the-range tailor-made pieces, made in France, in exceptional materials, at their fair prices, while respecting our environment.

And of course, we will keep you informed of progress on all projects. Finally, if you have great ideas that go in that direction, share them with us by writing to us. It is by collaborating that we move forward!

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