In our latest case study we talk to Alie Mackintosh, Founder and CEO of AYM - a clothing brand driven to reach the highest levels of sustainability as it possibly can. As part of its approach it makes great use of our Review Attributes feature, leveraging customer feedback to support its slow fashion ethos.

The Challenge

AYM started as a hobby for Alie during her product design degree, progressing into a full-time career after she graduated. As a planet and people conscious brand its goal sounds simple in theory - to be both the antithesis of fast fashion and a successful business.

But in practice that’s a pretty hard thing to achieve. It takes a lot of time, effort and innovation to be able to call yourself a truly sustainable brand. 

As part of its ongoing journey AYM constantly strives to lessen its impact in terms of materials and production, but its efforts extend way beyond this. One of the biggest challenges it and other slow fashion brands face is making sure that every single item of clothing produced has a purpose, and that it’s designed to meet the long term needs of the end customer.  

“We're trying to be really conscious and thoughtful about what we’re putting out into the world. Everything we make goes through a process, not only in terms of production, but in the sense of is it versatile, is the customer going to wear it over and over again, does it create an actual need and does it satisfy wants for the customer.”

The Solution

Customer reviews play a big part in helping AYM meet this challenge. They give Alie and the team insight into how customers feel about their products - whether they meet expectations, how they're used, where they could be improved. 

For a brand that looks to create timeless, long lasting pieces this is priceless information. 

In particular, AYM makes excellent use of review attributes, adding customized questions to review requests to gather granular data on things like fit, quality and comfort.

The Strategy

AYM’s current approach started around 18 months ago when it teamed up with REVIEWS.io, having switched from a well known competitor. What attracted Alie to our solution was a fair price point for a feature rich solution. 

After an easy set up process things were quickly up and running, with review invitations sent via custom email flows using our advanced Klaviyo integration

With attributes now at its disposal (something the brand was unable to easily collect with its previous provider), AYM was able to set up its own additional questions to encourage detailed and insightful product reviews.

These additional questions vary according to product but, for example, for dresses they include height, cup size, regular dress size and size ordered, as well as ranking questions for fit and comfort.

When these attributes are analyzed alongside the main body of review content, they paint an in-depth picture of how each product lives up to expectation, which in turn informs the brand’s product development.

It’s a great compliment to AYM’s production process. For new products, it typically uses a pre-order system. This allows the brand to build up a quantity of orders to produce in bulk - minimizing waste and getting a better idea of demand.

By collecting review attributes from these initial orders the brand can be reactive to any minor adjustments that might need to be made - ensuring that when the product goes into small batch production (small batch being another of AYM’s sustainability initiatives), it’s aligned with the needs and wants of the consumer. 

“I think as long as you're open minded about reviews and you're welcoming of them, they can be such helpful tools in making sure that your product range is getting stronger.”

Using Reviews for Conscious Consumerism

It’s not just product development that gets a sustainability boost from reviews. They also help consumers make more informed purchase decisions - meaning fewer returns and fewer products bought to simply sit at the back of the wardrobe.

Attributes play a big part here too by making product reviews relatable for the reader. A shopper can better gauge how an item of clothing will fit them based on the experience of other customers they share common attributes with.

Some people may see certain questions as being invasive - like weight for example - but review attributes can always be made optional (as AYM’s are), and in Alie’s experience customers are happy to share these details to improve the shopping process for others. 

“Our customers are recognizing that the data they're putting in there will help other customers like them. It's much more of a community feel rather than doing anything that would make someone feel uncomfortable by putting something about themselves on our website - it's all about helping others.”

Complement this with UGC and you have a winning combination. Customers don’t have to imagine how an item of clothing would look on someone similar to themselves - they can see it right there in the review content. 

It’s all about giving the consumer more power to make considered choices and lessen their own environmental impact.

It’s something AYM does incredibly well with the help of our solution, and another great example of how it's taking steps to be as sustainable a brand as it can be. 

Looking to improve your own sustainability credentials? Check out our post on how to reduce environmental impact while increasing profit margins

And if you’re interested in making use of the attributes features we’ve got some great examples of how to make Review Attributes work for your brand.

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