As we grow, keeping up with demand has become more and more difficult while maintaining our slow fashion principals. On one hand, I hate disappointing people when we sell out too quickly. I am honoured so many people want to buy my clothes, so I feel it's a dishonour to those who wait to purchase when I can't provide enough inventory to meet demand. On the other hand, I don't want to get into the habit of producing more and more clothing because as we increase production, the likelihood of over-producing goes up. It's simply impossible to predict demand correctly and when given the choice to under produce or over produce I ALWAYS pick under. Its better for the planet, and realistically, clothing is non-essential so I think its OK to not get what you want sometimes if it means not creating a ton of waste.
Another issue is that I really don't want to grow into a big company. I LOVE what I do. And a lot of that love comes from being able to chat with everyone and create genuine community. If Free Label keeps growing, it will inevitably change. I like it just the way it is right now! In the world of business, the goal is always to grow grow grow. But I've done a LOT of internal reflection this year and I know my goal is not to exponentially grow. And I've decided that's ok; even if it disappoints some people. I can't sacrifice my own happiness to make others happy, or else I don't think I'd be able to keep up this business much longer.
But, like everything in life, balance and compromise are important. So I decided in order to make more people happy but still get to enjoy my small business and limited launches, I will offer at least one big pre-order each season on our best sellers: the Andie Bra, Becky Bra, and Sunday Pant. The first pre-order opportunity starts today July 30th at 1pm PST, and it includes all three styles PLUS the Monday Pant in our new fall colours - Ocean and Moss - and of course Black.
If you are new to pre-orders, here is a little FAQ to hopefully answer any questions you have!
Q: What does pre-order mean?
A: A pre-order is when you pay upfront for your garments, and once we've collected your order, we THEN make your garments just for you! This means while you get exactly what you want, it takes a bit longer.
Q: When will the pre-order ship?
A: We are aiming to ship pre-orders by mid October. THAT BEING SAID we are producing during a pandemic, and with social distancing measures production can be delayed. We ask that you are patient and expect potential delays. I will communicate if this is the case. If you aren't comfortable waiting for a pre-order, this may not be the right launch for you!
Q: Can I change my address once placed?
A: Yes! Please email customer care Jess at email@example.com to change your address if you move. We will send an email when we are ready to ship at which time you may no longer change your address.
Q: What is your return policy on pre-orders?
A: Our regular return policy applies to pre-order! You must email firstname.lastname@example.org within 7 days of receiving your order in order to request a return. Please wait for the return address (it's different from the address we ship from) before sending your return back. If your return complies with our policy we will give a full refund (not including shipping). We aren't able to accommodate exchanges, but you are welcome to try our Facebook Group if you're looking for a size trade.
Q: Can I add other items to my order?
A: Unfortunately no. Because we offer a full return policy, we are unable to accommodate in stock orders with your pre-orders as everything will ship together in October. As a small business it is very difficult for cash flow to process refunds several months after purchase. If you would like to order something in stock, please wait until the pre-order is over on August 2nd when the website goes back to normal and place a separate order.
Q: How do I know my size?
A: Please use our size chart located on each product page to determine your size. You can also compare your measurements to the garment measurements located on the product page. For bras, please use the Andie Size Guide and Becky Size Guide on Instagram stories.
Q: Will the pre-order sell out?
A: It's hard to predict, but it's possible. We custom produce our fabric in Toronto and have it all made, dyed and ready to go for the pre-order. There is a limited amount of fabric BUT we produced a lot so it's unlikely we will sell out right away. That being said, it seems like shopping habits have changed during covid and demand for comfy clothing has never been higher, so keep that in mind and please be kind if we do happen to sell out. We are already making more fabric (including white!) for more bras and Sunday Crops later this season so if you miss out don't fret. We will always make more.