Amazon — Dare to be different in making your Private Label Fashion Brands

Have you heard the news? Amazon’s much-speculated private label fashion brands have quietly entered the scene. This is a natural course for the ecommerce behemoth as they already own powerhouse fashion ecommerce sites Shopbop and MyHabit plus private label offerings in other ecommerce fashion sites and department stores have been widespread for years because of their better margins.

With Amazon’s reach and perfected ability to deliver the best customer experience they have the potential to be THE massive player in affordable fashion taking on on Zara (Inditex), H&M, and Macy’s.

While I’m sure all of the fashion “pundits” will be discussing the clothing…

How fashionable will it be? Will it be on trend? Will they just focus on basics, those evergreen items for our closets? How will they bring their data driven relevance in commodity products to something, that’s well, not commodity from season to season for a customer? (data has a hard time deciphering that styles of a sweater can change from one year to the next and once I buy a red shirt, it doesn’t mean other red shirts are relevant to me).

I’m see another huge opportunity knocking at Amazon’s door…

Amazon is entering the apparel industry, which has been mired in controversy over persistent low-wages, unsafe working conditions, and harming the environmental.

So what’s the opportunity?

Since Amazon is starting from scratch they can BE A LEADER of the pack, using their expertise in operational excellence to set strategies and standards to build a better, more responsible fashion supply chain from the get-go.

Amazon can:

· Set the highest of factory and material standards. Using their operational excellence and data prowess they can create a more transparent, efficient, and fair supply chain by partnering with their factories, raw material suppliers, and the Sustainable Apparel Coalition.

· Work with their factories to set fair pricing. There is a trickle down effect of harsh pricing demands that often come at the expense of the factory workers, the environment, and the communities in the developing countries where the factories reside.

· Empower the women that make their clothes. Women make up 80%* of the workforce at garment factories. Women who build literacy, financial, health, and communication skills (to name a few) are more productive at work. Amazon can spread their “Learn and Be Curious” value by joining forces with their factories and even competitors like the GAP in their P.A.C.E program to uplift the female factory workers.

These opportunities are a start for Amazon to be a responsible leader in the fashion industry, driving the needed change that’s only just slowly begun.

I’m excited by the prospect that Amazon will be RADICAL and TRANSFORMATIVE. They have the might and the eye for excellence to disrupt and improve the most complex supply chain!