⚠️ Long Post. Scroll down for the TLDR version.

As an ex-industry, recovering shopaholic, I say this to myself often: “ONE LESS DRESS.”

📈Do you want to know how a public apparel company measures their success? Comps. For outside of industry folks, “comp” refers to a company's same-store sales compared to the previous year.

Let’s play this scenario out.


A person buys ONE LESS DRESS in Summer ’21 from Company then they did Summer ’20. Company has -20% less in sales than same time last year. For arguments sake, say they sold 5 dresses the year before. (Using small numbers here to make the numbers feel understandable on a micro-scale. 😂)

As this happens, buying & planning teams are crunching numbers behind the scenes. Adjusting projections to make less or figuring out a way to make up the -20%. How? Through aggressive markdowns, opening additional outlets, coming up with more styles, better styles, just to name a few options.

What happens if Company posts a -20% comp consistently? Eventually, they’ll have to buy less, distribute less, or sell less units at higher cost to make up for the margins.

Still with me?

Now this triggers production. A few months later, production is going to put in less orders to the factories than it did the year before.

🏭Less production = less co2 emissions.

Multiply ONE LESS DRESS by a hundred for 1 store. Thousand for a country like Singapore. Tens of thousands for Southeast Asia. Hundreds of thousands for Asia. So on and so forth for the 7.9 billion people who inhabit this earth.

WAKE👏UP👏CALL👏: The fashion industry is the 3rd most polluting industry in the world, followed only by fuel and agriculture.

Companies are supplying to keep up with a demand that we have created. So who’s to say we shouldn’t be partially responsible as well? We’re responsible for the demand, the companies are responsible for the supply.

Wear what you own. Buy secondhand. Borrow from your friends. Buy better if you must.

TLDR: Consumers create the demand, companies supply. You buying ONE LESS DRESS can absolutely make a difference.
August 10, 2021 — sera murphy