Blümchen Club by Erika Garcia and Justin Buisson, sold via EverpressJUSTIN BUISSON / UNSPLASH

Calls to revolutionise traditional retail are louder than ever. In a world dominated by the clutches of fast fashion with its unethical labour practices and staggering amounts of waste production, it’s clear that something has to change. But practising climate conscious shopping habits that don’t break the bank, weed out greenwashing and still appeal to personal style isn’t easy. So where might one begin?

“Supporting grassroot creators is the reason we exist”

Cue Everpress, the global fashion marketplace on the front lines of revolutionising slow fashion since 2016. Since the brand’s inception by CEO Alex Econs, Everpress has grown to become one of the biggest platforms for independent T-shirt designs, keeping its ethos of supporting independent creatives and championing sustainable practices close to heart. “Our business was built on two principles: zero risk (to creators who use us), and zero waste,” Alex explains. “We will always stick two fingers up to fast fashion. Our place is simple — to make it easy and affordable for people to shop sustainably without greenwashing them in the process.”

The Everpress business model is centred around its community of creatives, who are provided with the necessary tools to build, design and sell their products via the Everpress platform on a pre-order basis. “Supporting grassroot creators is the reason we exist. We’re a community for each other,” Alex tells me. “Our creators don’t have to pay any upfront fees as we work to a pre-order model and only print what we sell. And when it comes to production — we handle the costs, logistics and delivery. That means our creators take away more profit to be able to fund their passions.” It’s this culture of community that Alex is most proud of. To date, Everpress has paid out £6 million to creators across the globe, funding everything from business start-ups to top surgeries, as well as helping small businesses stay afloat during the pandemic.

“Our business was built on two principles: zero risk and zero waste”

Zero risk, zero waste is the Everpress strategy. Some might say that’s easier said than done, but Alex is keen to see it through to action. “If the fashion industry doesn’t change soon, we’ll have even more mountains of waste, fewer choices, less originality and lower quality,” he explains. “Our pre-order model already saves dead stock from landfill, but we know we can do more to combat unethical production in the short-term.”

He continues: “We’ve launched our own brand of blank T-shirts for creators to upload their designs to. These are made from organic cotton and are manufactured into tees at a Sedex-monitored workshop in Cairo.” And as to why that might be important? “An international, independent body, Sedex rigorously investigates workplaces according to their four pillars of Labour Standards, Health & Safety, Environment, and Business Ethics,” Alex explains to me. He’s proud of Everpress’ association with the organisation. It’s yet another indication of the platform’s commitment to bettering the lives of both people and the environment: “The workshop puts its workers at the fore, from paying fair wages to providing transport and meals for all employees.”

Sustainability isn’t just another buzzword for Everpress — it’s a precedent. “To keep our carbon footprint low, the supplier we use will only ship T-shirt orders out to our printing houses when the shipping containers are full — instead of shipping on demand,” he continues. “This is a great example of sustainability in practice. Not some big showy initiative. And while most factories ship products to warehouses out using one polybag per garment (making a lot of waste) — ours uses one recycled and recyclable polybag per 100 garments or no bags at all — just packed straight into the box.”

While it’s clear that Everpress is actively seeking to help people embrace a lifestyle of slow fashion, even Alex admits that it’s no easy task. In his view, the biggest challenge to sustainability in the industry is if “scale and ethics can co-exist.” He muses on a recent article written by Everpress sustainability writer, Sophie Benson, investigating whether there really is such a thing as an ethical business. “[In the article], a business owner asks if growing would stay true to their brand’s ethics,” he tells me. “That’s something we’ve always been aware of as we’ve grown and is so ingrained in our pre-order model. For us, it’s about helping people find T-shirts they love that’ll stand the test of time from a quality and style perspective. We’ve never bought into trends, and because our product can’t be shipped instantly I think that stops people from buying on a whim just because.”


Mountain View

Reflections on the 'capsule wardrobe'

There’s no doubt that Everpress is making itself known as a game-changer in the industry. But Alex is full of big ideas, and knows there’s still work to be done in cultivating a better understanding of what it means to be sustainable in a genuinely tangible way. “We’re doing everything in our power to be climate and water positive by 2025, and also working on being a fully accredited B-corp company by the end of this year,” he tells me. “We’re also in the process of launching a creator fund and local mentorship scheme to continue supporting our creative community,” he adds. “We’ll continue to be focused on more ways to help our creators work with us to create campaigns that make a difference to the world.”

And so in the true spirit of Everpress’ ambition, I leave you with Alex’s parting words: “Watch this space.”