„Quality is the ultimate form of sustainability“
With their unique business concept, which offers members highest quality fashion, shoes and (home) accessories „Made In Europe“ at artisan prices, Moritz Offeney and Marco Reiter aim to change the way we consume for the better. Here, the two ETIQL founders talk about their purpose, first achievements, and the huge potential of quality products „Made in Europe“.
Let’s start by talking about the purpose behind ETIQL. Could you explain your vision and the problem you’re aiming to solve?
Moritz Offeney: At ETIQL, our purpose is to transform the world of consumerism towards long-lasting products. We believe that the consumer goods industry has created a profit-maximizing throwaway society, where poor-quality products with short life cycles harm the consumer and our planet and exploit the workforce all over the globe. This irresponsible waste of resources and unacceptable treatment of people needs to change.
Marco Reiter: Our solution is to facilitate access to timeless designed and long-lasting products that are built to last. We want to make them affordable for you by directly sourcing from artisans and charging only the „true costs“ to make them. Our goal is to create a business model that doesn’t depend on product sales per se but instead focuses on increasing the well-being of all stakeholders and generates profits through services…
How does this exactly work? Explain your business model a bit more in detail.
Moritz Offeney: We offer our members a compelling business model, providing exclusive access to a diverse portfolio of luxury products at their true costs. By subscribing to an annual membership at a competitive price of 60EUR, our members gain access to more than 1.500 selectively sourced products. The portfolio is increasing every month by approximaetly 100-200 products. One of the key advantages of being an ETIQL member is the substantial savings of up to -80% on every purchase in comparison to the traditional retail price the product would cost in case the customer would have purchased with a traditional brand. This discount allows members to maximize their purchasing power and obtain products at significantly reduced prices compared to traditional retail channels, without sacrificing on quality. With a selection of over 1,500 products to choose from, our members enjoy a wide range of options tailored to their preferences and needs. The portfolio will continue to grow and will touch all points of daily living.
Marco Reiter: Our members can also take advantage of a pre-order feature to secure upcoming products before they hit the market, ensuring they stay ahead of the curve. For those seeking a more flexible option, we additionally offer a subscription-free day pass priced at 30EUR. This allows customers to experience the same unique conditions and privileges of membership, enabling the purchase of two products without the commitment of an annual subscription. In one sentence: Our business model enables consumers to extend the lifespan of their purchases and contribute to a more sustainable future. On the 5th of June we will also offer a non-member-price for parties which do not want to commit to a membership. The product prices though will be higher as the ETIQL member prices.
Can you tell us more about the values that guide your company?
Marco Reiter: Certainly. Our brand manifesto reflects our commitment to putting the planet first and leading the transformation towards conscious consumerism which we define as „long-lasting“ products. We believe that the industry compromise of short-term profit over long-term sustainability is unsustainable. By separating our products from our profit and offering access to the highest quality products at their true costs, we provide an antidote to nowadays fast and real time consumerism and show that quality is the ultimate form of sustainability.
Moritz Offeney: Our values are centered around doing things the honest way, making products with care, creating positive impact, leading the transformation, and embracing life. These values guide everything we do at ETIQL, from selecting our artisans, craftspeople, and manufacturers to ensuring transparency and integrity in our product offerings. Our vision is that more and more customers gain access to these high quality products and by doing so we step by step slow down the consumption spiral.
Ethics and sustainability are at the core of ETIQL. Who“s your audience, how do you engage with them and what type of consumers do you target?
Moritz Offeney: ETIQL members share a common mindset and lifestyle rooted in conscious living. They are aware that their choices have social, economic, and environmental impacts. Our audience consists of conscientious curators – selective, self-confident, caring, and cultured individuals. They value authentic life experiences, purpose, transparency, and quality in the brands they buy. Certainly as we are still a very young company our members are „early adopters“ which spearhead the change in the industry.
Marco Reiter: We engage with our audience through a concise and honest approach to communication. We promote a candid dialogue with our customers, engaging and informing them at every touchpoint. We believe in elevating everyday lifestyles through beautifully designed modern essentials that uplift the environment in every sense.
You chose your manufacturing partners and artisans very carefully. They are all based in Europe, mostly in Italy, work with the highest standards of responsibility and ressources and look back on a long tradition and expertise. Why is this so important to you?
Marco Reiter: One of the key advantages is the assurance of superior quality and exceptional craftsmanship. Europe has a longstanding reputation for producing products that are meticulously crafted and built to last. Moreover, European manufacturing often places a strong emphasis on ethical and sustainable practices. European countries have well-established regulations regarding workers‘ rights, fair wages, and safe working conditions. Additionally, there are stringent environmental regulations that promote sustainability in production processes. We currently produce 95% of our products in Italy where we have strong and long lasting relationships. All our manufacturers we visit in person, speak to all suppliers and understand their supply chains. On top of that we technically integrate with our manufacturers to guarantee a future seamless and efficient production which leads to limited waste and over capacities.
Moritz Offeney: Europe’s cultural diversity and design heritage also contribute to the appeal of products labeled „Made in Europe“. Each European country has its own unique design aesthetics, reflecting its rich cultural background. This diversity offers consumers a wide range of styles to choose from, allowing them to find products that align with their personal preferences and individuality. Supporting products „Made in Europe“ contributes to local economies and communities. By purchasing these products, we help sustain local industries, preserve traditional craftsmanship, and create employment opportunities within the region. This support plays a vital role in fostering economic growth, vitality, and cultural preservation. As Marco said, we have a personal commitment to Italy where most of our artisans are based. We aim to increase our portfolio of manufacturers to other regions in Europe once we expand further our product portfolio.
Can you share some successes or milestones that ETIQL has achieved so far?
Marco Reiter: Sure! One of our core Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) at ETIQL has been member savings. We are proud to say that we have generated approx. more than 2.0 million euros in membership savings as of May 2022. This milestone validates our experiment and proves that our strategic approach to building a new era of direct-to-consumer brands is effective. We aim to balance the interests of all stakeholders and become the antidote to fast and real time fashion-consumerism as for example brands like Zara, H&M or even worse: Shein. We aim to generate more than 1EURm in Member savings in Oct/22 per month.
Moritz Offeney: We are operating with more than 40 manufacturers at the moment and have built a portfolio of more than 1500 products which we aim to grow to at least 2000 exclusively selected items until the end of the year. This April, we achieved product sales of more than 1100 items per month. Since day one we are the worldwide leaders when it comes to the quality-price ratio of our products and this standard we will maintain.
What are your future goals for ETIQL and how do you plan to achieve them?
Moritz Offeney: We want to build a sustainable, yet fast growing business. With the term sustainably I mean a business that on the one hand clearly focuses on hyper growth but on profitability at the same time. We do not believe in ongoing fundraisers and massively cash burning businesses over several years.
Marco Reiter: We actually want to build a business model that becomes a role model for current and future consumer brands. We are very aware that we alone can not change the consumer industry. We need other people to adapt, to copy our concept. That would be a big achievement. By partnering up with more fantastic artisans – and our close ones constant orders and revenues, we definitely want to strengthen the economical power of Europe and Italy in particular. We believe that the best quality can only be made by using the best materials and the skills of the best artisans.
As founders of ETIQL, what inspires you the most about your work?
Moritz: Long working hours, no to limited free weekends and a minimum of 20 calls with Marco a day! Jokes aside, it is the ability to build something from a piece of paper, a business which might leave a positive impact and contribute to society. Etiql combines the personal values of Marco and myself and therefore is a very personal pursuit for us.
ETIQL is the worlds first community driven direct-to-consumer-club transforming the industry of consumerism by offering its members high quality products on cost price, made by European luxury artisans.
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