Better Know A Brand: Goodee

Continue reading Better Know A Brand: Goodee

How the Brothers Peart, already well-known in the luxury-design world, are re-focusing their retail efforts on impact over impulse.

The “pandemic pivot” is something of a cliché already, but for Byron and Dexter Peart — the identical-twin brothers behind cult luxury fashion brand WANT Les Essentiels — their gear-switch was already well underway when COVID-19 hit. Goodee, which they founded in 2019, is an e-commerce platform that pairs the design eye the Montreal-based duo is known for with a focus on fostering an ethical and sustainable global design community.

A cursory “stroll” of its marketplace, which features art and decor from artisans around the globe, reveals a plethora of stunning items in all the usual retail categories: homewares, bath and body, fashion, and kids’ stuff. But here’s the part that’s atypical of retail: the Goodee team specifically selects products for their transparent sourcing and ethical employee practices, as well as their focus on upcycling and waste reduction. And thanks to the Pearts’ expert curation, the products are all very easy on the eyes. For its “ingenuity and creativity in the face of crisis,” Fast Company named Goodee one of its Most Innovative Companies for 2021.

Goodee provides a refreshing counterpoint to the Amazons of the world — which prioritize scale and efficiency — proving that consumers need not sacrifice their environmental ethics for aesthetic pleasure. Goodee’s philosophy is also proving to be a solid business model: In its first 18 months, the brand raised upwards of $4.7 million in funding, earned B Corp certification, and established a partnership with Nordstrom for a 100-piece affordable home-decor collection. During the pandemic, which has arguably been the world’s longest online-shopping blitz, Goodee’s purchase-return rate hovered around five percent compared to Amazon’s whopping 40 percent — Goodee’s products are designed to last.

While the Pearts’ priority is giving unknown artisans a big boost, their site is part of a larger and encouraging trend, which has seen giant retail companies, like Target and Sephora, committing to diversity quotas, not just in their employee structure, but in their product inventory, as well. Goodee’s current roster of featured brands is nearly half BIPOC–owned and 50 per cent female-led, which, like everything the company does, was a conscious choice.

As for the future of the brand, the brothers are exploring the possibility of an in-house line of Goodee goods, as well as a return to brick-and-mortar, where they got their start. Thanks to their help, artisans from the broader global design community have their chance at a start, too.

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