If the word “transparency” causes you to be instantly skeptical, you are in good company. The term is often used as marketing hype and nothing more. In response to the secretive apparel industry we find ourselves in, CMFG is now offering full transparency pricing on all new releases. Just scroll down on any recent release to see the infographic below (bottom left).
I know of very few companies who are doing this (Everlane and Oliver Cabell come to mind). I believe this is because very few companies have a financial breakdown that they can take pride in. The low markup, high wage payout and high fabric costs are all sources of pride in our production and you deserve to know about it!
To give you some perspective, I’ve included the findings of a Wall Street Journal article on polo shirt company KP Maclane. These numbers reflect standard markups in the apparel industry. The Final product is marked up 100% to retailer and then 100% more to the end customer. KP Maclane manufactures in New York City (bottom right).
Summing up the material and labour costs you can see the CMFG product cost on this example (Indigo Chambray Shirt) is $75.55, whereas the KP Maclane total is $29.57, with most of the difference being in labour payout. This doesn't necessarily mean that KP Maclane is running a North American sweat shop (considering their numbers reflect a large/efficient factory production set up), but it certainly deserves scrutiny.
The goal of this comparison is you seeing where your money is going. Apparel brands are being watched closer than ever before (a very good thing) and CMFG is happy to push the bar of transparency as far as possible!
Full KP Maclane article: