oiseau eco fashionCatamount Ventures, L.P.400 Pacific Ave., 3rd FloorSan Francisco, CA 94133-4607To Whom It May Concern:Oiseau, the French translation for “bird,” is a contemporary womens boutique that focuses exclusivelyon sustainable and eco-friendly fashion and accessories. The store will be located in the Fillmore Streetshopping area.The goal of Oiseau is to show our customer that she doesn’t have to wear hemp and tie-dye to be“green.” She can still be fun, playful, and fashionable. The store will intend to carry a mix of basic andfashion items from brands that focus on the idea of sustainability, such as Alternative Apparel,Loomstate, and Edun.Oiseau seeks to target young women aged 18-30 who are urban, trend-aware, and of course,interested in the environment and sustainability. These consumers would already live in the SanFrancisco area, and likely frequent the Fillmore shopping district. The median income of Oiseaushoppers would be in the middle-middle to upper-middle income class bracket.Pricing will be aligned with stores with somewhat similar demographics, especially where they pertain tofashion-conscious, relatively affluent, Generation Y consumers. Essentially, Oiseau will aim to replaceitems that would normally be offered to this consumer with eco-friendly ones. The store will focus onproducts in the contemporary price point.Notably, Oiseau will essentially have no direct competition within the San Francisco area. While thereare some stores focusing on eco-friendly clothing, none seem to focus solely on contemporary fashion.Store that carry eco-conscious lines are most often not promoting them as such.Industry reports strongly suggest that not only does “green” fashion have a strong and loyal following,but that the trend is expected to grow despite economic adversity.Oiseau would surely be a strong addition to Catamount’s environmentally conscious portfolio.Sincerely,Raylin WrightFounder and Owner 2176 Fillmore Street San Francisco, Ca 94115 • 415.607.5609 • oiseausf.com
Company DescriptionOiseau, the French translation for “bird,” is a contemporary womens boutique that focuses exclusivelyon sustainable and eco-friendly fashion and accessories.Located in the stylish Fillmore District of San Francisco, Oiseau seeks to target young women aged 18-30 who are urban, trend-aware, and of course, interested in the environment and sustainability. Ideally,select publications that focus on fashion and an eco-friendly lifestyle would also be included. Theinterior of the store would have a very natural, organic feel.LocationLocated at 2185 Fillmore Street, Oiseau would take over the space, which was formerly Shabby Chic.At this location, a major bus route stops nearby, driving traffic. Marc by Marc Jacobs is across thestreet, bringing stylish consumers to the area. Jurlique, a store offering natural cosmetics, is alsonearby, bringing in consumers who are interested in ecologically friendly products.Product OverviewGreg Alterman, founder of Alternative Apparel, once said in an interview, ”Everybody has to wearclothing, so you might as well wear something good for the earth.”1Oiseau seeks to carry a mix of basic and fashion items from brands that focus on the idea ofsustainability.Our goal is to show our customer that she doesn’t have to wear hemp and tie-dye to be “green.” Shecan still be fun, playful, and fashionable. Below are brands that Oiseau feel be key performancebrands because of existing market presence, assortment, and fashionability.1 Consumer Trend News. Alternative Apparel. Youtube.
Alternative Apparel focuses on authenticity and comfort. In 1995, the company set out to create theperfect t-shirt – one that was “designed for fashion, made for comfort, and tailored for a flawless fit.The company has since expanded to include a multitude of fashion garments. Oiseau will carry thelined titled Alternative Earth, which focuses on eco-friendly and sustainable apparel. 2www.alternativeapparel.com/alternativeearthAlternative Earth will be Oiseau’s primary source of basic items such as tee shirts (non-graphic),sweatshirts, jersey pants, and non-fashion cardigans. While Alternative Earth is a diffusion line,consumers would likely recognize Alternative Apparel.The mission of Edun is to help build Africa as a viable source of production for fashion. Founded onthe premise of trade not aid, EDUN is a for profit business that aims to raise awareness of thepossibilities in Africa to encourage emulation. To help achieve this goal, EDUN is investing in thedevelopment of a community-based value chain, beginning with organic cotton. 3www.edunonline.comEdun would be a source of fashion apparel for Oiseau. Products would include dresses, fashion tops,sweaters and cardigans, outerwear, and select graphic tees.2 “About Alternative.” <http://www.alternativeapparel.com/About-Alternative/>.3 “About Edun.” <http://www.edunonline.com/about.aspx>.
Dedicated to creating a demand for organic cotton and socially responsible methods of production,Loomstate focuses their design approach on their respect for nature. Natural shapes and colorsinfluence their casual clothing, which is primarily made up of graphic tees and jeans. 4www.loomstate.orgLoomstate will likely become the primary denim brand of Oiseau, both because of their relatively wideassortment of styles, and because the brand is already well known and will be familiar to consumers.Graphic tee shirts will also be included. Loomstate does produce other garments such as fashion tops,dresses and outerwear. Oiseau will consider these items, but they will be carried to a much lesserextent than the brand’s denim or tee shirts.Designed by a former sculptor and a fashion industry buff, Prairie Underground creates unique, earth friendly garments crafted from organic cotton and wool. 5 www.prairieunderground.com Prairie Underground will be Oiseau’s largest supplier of outerwear. The company carries an impressive selection of blazers and jackets, and fashion knits such as sweatshirts, leggings, and dresses.4 . “About Loomstate.” <http://www.loomstate.org/about/>.5 “About Us.” <http://www.prairieunderground.com/aboutUs.html>.
Oiseau will also consider merchandise and clothing that promotes a charity, cause, or social issue.These items will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Katharine Hamnett – CFDA Haiti Charity Nahui Ollin - made by for Enviornmental Tee – proceeds are impoverished Mexicans Justice Campaign to donated to efforts to from discarded candy end illegal fishing rebuild wrappersIn addition to providing consumer with sustainable merchandise, Oiseau seeks to educate the public onthe eco-conscious lifestyle. Publications might include Boho, and Peppermint (from Australia). Bookscould include Green Chic, Eco-Chic: The Fashion Paradox, and Style, Naturally.
BrandingThe logo of Oiseau is a green bird. The bird, of course, relates to the name, which is the Frenchtranslation. Consumers can also connect the color to the idea of eco-friendly merchandise, and tonature. The typeface is clean and modern, and is meant toappeal to the store’s contemporary demographic.PackagingIn lieu of traditional bags, Oiseau would utilize reusableshopping bags made from organic cotton. This would serve tostrengthen the idea of the sustainability, even after theconsumer has left the store.Business CardFront: Bird silhouette is cut out Branch embossed - convex on front Recycled cardboardBack: Bird silhouette is cut out Branch embossed - concave on back
Letterhead 2185 Fillmore Street San Francisco, Ca 94115 • 415.607.5609 • oiseausf.com
Market Analysis GREEN NOT JUST A TRENDTarget ConsumerOiseau seeks to target young women aged “Fashion and the business of fashion are all18-30 who are urban, trend-aware, and of about trends. Green acts like a trend... It has thecourse, interested in the environment and same energy. As a fashion director, I look for energy. And with Green, you can’t get enoughsustainability. These consumers would already of it – you want a piece of it. It is the only trend Ilive in the San Francisco area, and likely have ever seen that is a movement. In fashion,frequent the Fillmore shopping district. movements are never really talked about. ButThe median income of Oiseau shoppers this is real. And it has the energy of a trend, butwould be in the middle-middle to upper-middle will change and garner even more energy. It isclass bracket. Because many consumers are going to get more sophisticated and edgier. People are going to figure out how to internalizeyoung, they may be “independently- and externalize it. It is not going to go away. If adependent.” While they themselves may be store like Barneys is feeling that on all differentstudents without significant income, they may levels, then you can be sure it is here for good.”be getting allowance from parents. In addition,because the store focuses on “green” Julie Gilhart, Barneys New York, seniormerchandise, not just a specific fashion style, vice president and fashion directormore affluent consumers may be attractedbecause of the product attributes.Barbie M. Casasus, senior director and consumer strategist at Iconoculture, a global consumerresearch and advisory company, states that 20-28 year olds represent approximately $520 billion inbuying power. They are also willing to pay more for organic and fair-trade merchandise.“Gen Y and the Millennials are really driving this trend,” she says. “And they’re pretty passionate aboutit. While it’s a category that’s still in its infancy, the demand is growing.” 6According to a study conducted by Maritz, a consumer researchcompany, 47% of generation Y consumers would be willing to pay morefor “green” brands. Of this, 77% stated they would do so because they“care about the environment. 21% because they feel it is the “right thing todo.” 2% would do so so that others knew they were environmentallyaware.In addition, 46% of those polled said they would shop at a retailer moreoften if they knew they were environmentally conscious. 6Iconoculture has discovered four distinct shopping groups interested insustainable fashion: the Living Green, the core fashionista, the WalkingGreen, and the Spending Green.7The Living Green: This consumer has embraced all aspects of an eco-friendly lifestyle, from eating organic foods, buying used clothing fromvintage and thrift stores, to buying garments made from recycled fabrics.“[She] is driven by dedication, purity, and awareness,” notes Casasus. The Core Fashionista: This consumer is ultimately fashion-driven. In a traditional marketing sense, shewould be the trendsetter. “She sees herself in a power position,” states Casasus. “She is rethinking andredefining her sense of style and eco-chic.”6 Mahoney, Sarah. “Gen Y Demands It: Green Fashion That’s Chic.” Marketing Daily. 7 April 2008. <http://www.mediapost.com/publications/fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=80029>.7 “47% of Gen Y Would Pay More For Green Brands.” Environmental Leader. 14 September 2007. <http://www.environmentalleader.com/2007/09/14/47-of-gen-y-would-pay-more-for-green-brands/>
The Walking Green: These are the trend followers. They are often interested in eco-fashion because they want to belong to a community that they feel is important. Style wise, these are the early to late trend adaptors. This is the riskiest group, as they may not legitimately be interested in the “green” movement, and are not trendsetters. The Spending Green: Iconoculture found that this group is interested in “green” fashion because, “that sense of exclusivity and entitlement are important to her. She embraced green when it was still very much a luxury category, and she intends to keep it that way. For her, buying green connotes luxury, not any kind of sacrifice." Market Outlook The author of the book, Style, Natrually, notes that she is persistently confronted with the question, “Is “green” fashion a trend, or here to stay?”Her answer is, “companies are...assembling entire divisions to address sustainability, not only in theirproducts, but across their company’s practices... I highly doubt that companies are going todisassemble those divisions and design philosophies two seasons from now because it’s ‘out of style.’”8David E. Wigder. Senior Vice President of Digitas, a marketing solutions firm, states, “Even mainstreamretailers are weaving ‘green’ into their overall merchandise... Even during tough economic times, therewill always be interest in ‘green’ clothing by those that can afford the premium for them.” 6Sustainable fashion may perhaps be most commonly associated with higher-end designers such asStella McCartney, or with low end, “hippie” apparel. But there are, of course, many contemporarydesigners, such as Loomstate and Edun, who are perhaps more well-known in urban environments.But even big-box retailers are beginning to cash in on this trend. In a report by Deloitte titled, 2009Industry Outlook: Challenging Times, Emerging Opportunities, stores such as JC Penney’s are focusingon sustainability because, “sustainability is a growing priority for shoppers.”However, the report also notes that firms focusing on “long-tail” retailing (meaning, they focus on nicherather than mass markets,) seem to be quite lucrative. In that sense, specialty stores, like Oiseau,would have an advantage, in that it would focus specifically on a niche market, and seek to be theexpert. 9 Behavior Demographics Geography Psychographics Actively seeking “green,’ Age 18-34 San Francisco local Interested in eco-friendly fashionable merchandise Generation Y lifestyle Regular users, first-time Female From affluent Purchases organic users; attracted to neighborhood groceries product attributes 94108, 94115, 94123, 94114 High Usage Student, new grad, Supports charities for young professional ethical change8 Oakes, Summer Rayne. Style, Naturally. Page 20. 2009 Chronicle Books.9 Deloitte. 2009 Industry Outlook: Challenging Times, Emerging Opportunities.<http://www.deloitte.com/- assets/DcomUnitedStates/Local%20Assets/Documents/us_industryoutlook_ChallengingTimesEmergingOpportunities_ February2009.pdf>.
Target consumers would be from more affluent neighborhoods in the San Francisco metro area.Neighborhoods would include Union Square, Fillmore, Marina, and Noe Valley. 10, 11 • Union Square 94108 o Population 13,716 o 51.3% female o 28.5% 20-34 YO o Total: 2,005 • Fillmore 94115 o Population 33,115 o 51.8% female o 37% 20-34 o Total: 6,347 • Marina 94123 o Population 22,903 o 53.3% female o 42.1% 20-34 o Total: 5,139 • Noe Valley 94114 o Population 30,574 o 40.2% female o 33.9% 20-34 o Total: 4,117 Total: 17,608 x47%* 8,276 Potential Consumers*According to a study by Maritz, 47% of Generation Y consumers are interested in “green” fashion.CompetitorsOiseau, essentially, has no direct competition within the San Francisco area. While there are somestores focusing on eco-friendly clothing, none seem to focus solely on contemporary fashion. • Eco Citizen: while this store, located in the Marina district, does carry brands like Edun and Loomstate (only tops), they focus on higher-priced designer apparel. Lines carried include Organic by John Patrick (Jacket priced at $565), Linda Loudermilk (dress priced at $759), and Sara Shepherd (dress priced at $1,200.) Being in the Marina district, the store likely has a higher frequency of Gen X consumers. • American Rag: located on Van Ness near Polk Gulch, American Rag does have a relatively similar demographic to Oiseau’s (18-30, urban, trend aware, fashionable) and carries lines such as Loomstate, Levi’s organic, and Tom’s shoes. They also carry a large selection of vintage items. This store is not focused on eco-fashion by any means, however. It seems to be purely style-driven.10 San Francisco Demographics. <http://www.zillow.com/local-info/CA-San-Francisco- people/r_20330/>.11 San Francisco County, California. <http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/06/06075.html>.
• Azalea: this boutique, for men and women, is located in Hayes Valley. While, like AR, the store is not focused on eco-fashion, it has a well-defined, contemporary consumer. Items are on trend or fashion-forward. Notably, this store has a well-developed e-commerce site.SWOT Analysis Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats Located in ideal location Vendor selection highly Can easily expand – Volatile economic climate limited brand could include cosmetics, men’s etc. Strong brand image Store personnel must be “Green’ market expected As eco-fashion grows in familiar with product and to grow in popularity popularity, other stores attributes could simply carry more “green” brands Entering ‘green’ market Must be able to sell Many smaller vendors Little explicit market data during growth phase product on aesthetics if do not require large- on eco-fashion makes attributes don’t interest quantity purchase orders predictability hard No direct competition No similar stores means More brands are Growing number of e- it is difficult to tell if adopting “eco,” meaning commerce sites focusing concept will work product selection in the on eco-fashion future will be larger Unique store concept Concept trumps productMarketing RecommendationsProductBased on consumer breakdowns as identified by Iconoculture in regards to Gen Y eco shoppers,Oiseau’s projected core consumers would be The Core Fashionista, who is ultimately fashion driventrend-setters while being interested in sustainable fashion, The Walking Green, who are trend followersinterested in eco fashion because of its rise in popularity, and The Spending Green, who view eco-fashion as a luxury item. The Living Green may make up some of Oiseau’s demographic, however,that customer may not see the merit of purchasing a new item versus a recycled or used one.While Oiseau’s key consumers may be interested in trends, it is important that “entrance items,” likelyprice-sensitive basics, not be excluded from the product mix. While The Core Fashionista, The WalkingGreen, and the Spending Green may be interested in a more fashion forward item, another Gen Yconsumer who does not fit into these groups may not be. She may be interested in the idea of eco-fashion, but not necessarily be fashion-driven. In addition, it would be assumed that consumers noteven in Gen Y, but likely Gen X, would make up some of Oiseau’s sales. This secondary group ofconsumers may view trend items as being a bit too “young” for their tastes, but be interested in theidea of eco-friendly fashion none-the-less. In this case, and again, more basic items would satiate thisneed.But one major advantage, of course, is that basic items, such as tee shirts, have become fashionable.There is no reason to expect that the basic items would not immediately appeal to the key consumersas well.
Fashion/TrendBasicServiceOiseau’s level of service will likely fall under full-service, as it is a specialty retailer. Associates will notonly have to sell consumers merchandise on aesthetics and style recommendations, but on attributes.They would need to know about the benefits of the brand or product (ie, organic, fair trade, etc.) andbe aware of the ecological issues that traditional products may be involved in. (For instance, that leathertanning uses harmful chemicals.)AtmosphereOiseau will combine traditional elements used in fashion-forward, contemporary stores, with moreorganic ones.45 RPM
Opening CeremonyAssociates would wear current Oiseau merchandise, and likely be given an allowance in which topurchase new clothing.PricePricing will be aligned with stores with somewhat similar demographics, especially where they pertain tofashion-conscious, relatively affluent, Generation Y consumers. Essentially, Oiseau will seek to replaceitems that would normally be offered to this consumer with eco-friendly ones. The store will focus onproducts in the contemporary price point.Azalea vs. OiseauAzalea:7 For All Mankind Vince Acne Shakuhachi Cheap Monday$190 $128 $359 $125 $170Oiseau:Loomstate Alt. Earth Edun Edun Prairie Underground$158 $25 $165 $ 145 $265
PlacementOiseau is a brick-and-mortar retail store. There are no plans for a warehouse-type facility, therefore ifan e-commerce site existed, merchandise would come directly from the store itself.Oiseau will utilize a traditional marketing channel, as merchandise will be purchased from third-partyvendors. Producer Wholesaler Retailer Consumer ⇒ ⇒ ⇒The intermediaries used would be company sales representatives for the selected brands. The biggestchallenge Oiseau will face is having to research companies beforehand to ensure that they are trulyeco=friendly and have a positive reputation, Merchandise will be purchased via fashion trade show(such as Magic in Las Vegas), from company show-rooms, or from lookbooks.There is no need to deal directly with vendors in this situation, as details such shipping and distributionwill be contracted from the wholesaler. More that likely, this detail will not even be discussed. Only shipdates and lead times will be negotiated. The shipping costs that Oiseau will incur will likely be from thedistribution center to the store, as freight costs will likely be included in the garments’ wholesale price.PromotionOiseau seeks to take advantage of the natural foot-traffic in the area. Again, there are stores in thislocation that already cater to either consumers interested in eco-friendly products, or women in asimilar demographic.Media: advertisements would be places in local magazines or publication such as Soma or 7x7Packaging: a reusable shopping bag would be given to the consumer to strengthen the idea ofsustainabilitySales Promotion: associated would be required to be well informed of product attributes as well asindustry details such as why organic cotton is superior, etc.Point of Purchase: the store will carry books and publications that inform customers about the eco-friendly lifestyleDirect Marketing: the store will utilize social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook to informconsumers about new merchandise, trends, sales, events, etc. Emails could also be sent to consumerson a mailing list.Special Events: many boutiques host special nights where a designer or person of interest in present.Oiseau will utilize this tactic in an effort to gain interest for the store and to draw in new consumers.In addition, Oiseau will likely be present atevents that concern fashion or a sustainablelifestyle. For instance, Ethical Fashion Night justtook place in San Francisco. This would havebeen an ideal event for the store to bepresent at.
Sources“47% of Gen Y Would Pay More For Green Brands.” Environmental Leader. 14 September 2007. <http://www.environmentalleader.com/2007/09/14/47-of-gen-y-would-pay-more-for-green- brands/>Alternative Apparel. “About Alternative.” <http://www.alternativeapparel.com/About-Alternative/>.Consumer Trend News. Alternative Apparel. Youtube.Deloitte. 2009 Industry Outlook: Challenging Times, Emerging Opportunities.<http://www.deloitte.com/- assets/DcomUnitedStates/Local%20Assets/Documents/us_industryoutlook_ChallengingTimesEme rgingOpportunities_February2009.pdf>.Edun. “About Edun.” <http://www.edunonline.com/about.aspx>.Loomstate. “About Loomstate.” <http://www.loomstate.org/about/>.Prairie Underground.“About Us.” <http://www.prairieunderground.com/aboutUs.html>.Mahoney, Sarah. “Gen Y Demands It: Green Fashion That’s Chic.” Marketing Daily. 7 April 2008. <http://www.mediapost.com/publications/fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=80029>.Oakes, Summer Rayne. Style, Naturally. Page 20. 2009 Chronicle Books.San Francisco County, California. <http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/06/06075.html>.San Francisco Demographics. <http://www.zillow.com/local-info/CA-San-Francisco- people/r_20330/>.