Tribe Kelley was founded 6 years ago by Brittney and Brian Kelley. Brittney wanted to develop a made-in-the-USA brand centered around more ethical business practices that focused on fair wages and quality products. Their mission embodies ethical and sustainable practices. Paying fair labor wages and caring for the planet are a core theme as they produce the high quality and long-lasting products that allow their customers to confidently and proudly adventure around the Earth.
Tribe Kelley focuses on not over-producing inventory in order to minimize waste. Different from other fashion brands in the industry, the company does not launch frequent releases because they don’t want to have excess inventory. Garments and clothing are a huge contributor to landfill waste, largely because brands choose to toss clothes when they go out of season. Instead, Tribe Kelley plans their products thoughtfully to transcend seasonality and try to use all available fabric to avoid any unnecessary textile waste.
“Our customer base loves that Tribe Kelley clothes are made in the USA, and we’ve noticed that people care more about that and the quality of clothes,” noted Chantale Riolo, Director of Operations at Tribe Kelley. “With our emphasis on quality products and local production, our customers are willing to pay a premium clothing price because they know it will last for years and that it is supporting local people and businesses.”
Many pieces of Tribe Kelley’s product lines are basics; the clothes are trendy but the neutral colors don’t come and go out of style and can be worn for years. This approach helps when customers are coming to the decision of whether or not to buy it; at their price point it’s an investment, so it is important that the piece is something that won’t go out of style next season.
As an extension of the Tribe Kelley mission, all profits from the Feels Collection go towards Pivot, a platform that sponsors individuals and families through mental health coaching. Co-founder and CEO Brittney is a huge mental-health advocate and a cause that is near and dear to her heart.
Sustainability and Tribe Kelley
Customers are drawn to Tribe Kelley for both their ethical business practices but also because their product designs are unique and comfortable. Tribe Kelley works to incorporate sustainability throughout their business model; for example, they are working to transition all of their products in packaging that’s more eco-friendly than the standard for the industry. Starting Fall 2021, the brand will be using compostable packaging made from corn starch. It’s an alternative to the traditional poly bag that allows customers to throw it in their compost with their garden waste and food scraps when done using it.
“Tribe Kelley came across EcoCart in September, 2020 after a customer made a comment to customer service saying ‘you don’t have EcoCart you guys should try it out,’” Chantale explained. “After we got that feedback, we looked into EcoCart. Not only is the value proposition amazing, there was no downside from our perspective.”
Since adding EcoCart to the Tribe Kelley store, the company has seen a very positive response from their customers, demonstrated by a 19% lift in cart conversion. Additionally, 1 in 10 Tribe Kelley customers choose to make their orders carbon neutral at checkout. “We get a ton of DMs about having the sustainable shipping option,” said Chantale. “They love that we have it and are definitely using it. In general, customers like that the option to make the order carbon neutral is a very small amount of money but they feel good about it; it’s pennies compared to what they’re buying and good for the planet.”
Tribe Kelley sees a positive response for any added sustainability they put into their brand, finding that consumers are excited to shop with brands that are breaking the fast-fashion norm. The Tribe Kelley team feels fortunate to fall into an area of the fashion world where the brands around them are doing great things to take strides towards creating a more sustainable industry.
When thinking about advice to other brands starting out in their sustainability journeys, Chantale noted, “It’s all about baby steps. Starting is the most important thing, and they have to start somewhere. EcoCart is a great place for many brands and companies to start. For Tribe Kelley, EcoCart was super simple, cost effective, and easy for us. There are little things that you can do that make a big impact on the planet while not creating a huge negative financial impact to your company.”
To get started with EcoCart and inspire your customers to shop with a more sustainable brand, check out EcoCart for businesses.