But what does this all mean in reality? What are they like behind the scenes? Let’s start with their clothing drops.
Some have related their drops and have touted them to be the next big Shein. They consider their drops a part of ‘smart fashion’ e.g only making the exact number of pieces wanted by their customers. They restock and bring out new collections every week for 15 days. But it is worth questioning the speed and rate at which they make these drops, which by comparison is the exact same way fast-fashion works. The rate at which clothes are produced is vital and the faster clothes are produced the worse it is for the environment. So is this better or smarter at all?
Their main demographic and target audience is TikTok. When you want to shop for clothing, you shop by mood on the website. It is here that you have the option to filter according to whether you’re feeling “sophisticated”, “hot”,“cosy” or more. Using personality bases is something that had been done by Shein (rival fast-fashion online retailer), and has been key to Shein’s strategic success.
As we said, they started and grew their customer base on Tiktok, and essentially went viral very quickly. But because they grew so quickly, to many it seems that their ethics get lost in the whirlwind of virality.
They often base many of their Tik Tok videos around copying other people's styles. Recent examples of these are Emma Chamberlain’s Met Gala look, Elsa Holsk, Alexander McQueen to Regina George of Mean Girls.
The majority of the fabrics used are not from recycled materials, but instead are polyester, spandex, and some cotton.
The brand itself does not show its workers where their factories are and how they produce their pieces and collections. This indicates that they are not being transparent about any of their production processes.
When a brand doesn’t indicate its processes good or bad, unless the consumer researches their history no one would know whether they were ethical or not. Then add Tiktok into the mix and you can see how their true ethics can get lots within their marketing and content.
What is it about Cider that makes it so viral on Tiktok? This is often down to the prints, colours and cuts which are often one of the 52 micro trends of the year. Also, their production model means that when a series comes out such as ‘Euphoria’, within days they can design and manufacture replicate clothes worn. The process is quick so that people can buy quickly as soon as they want or need.
The aesthetics of the brand is heavily based on their Tiktok aesthetic.This aesthetic is very trend based with lots of key trendy backdrops of plants and prints.
They also rely on Instagram ads served to people aligned with their stats, which are often where people buy directly from.
- With sustainable fashion an ever-growing niche and market, it can be hard to pick out the good and bad eggs. What Cider clothing is saying sounds good on the surface but we believe there is quite a bit of ‘greenwashing’ surrounding them. Although they claim to work in a “smart fashion” way, they make no effort to speak on their environmental or labour policies - this speaks volumes as to how much a brand cares about these issues.
This level of greenwashing is similar to recent H&M, Mango and Zara are three of the biggest brands that greenwash regularly. Their collections are simply not sustainable, although it may sound like they are. An example of greenwashing can be seen in Zara’s ‘Join Life’ campaign. This started in 2016 and promised to be a more sustainable collection of their pieces. However this collection consistently stands at the 1K, as the number of items that are currently in the collection. With each of the pieces they sell within this collection they will let the customer know its sustainability metrics i.e ‘contains at least 50% less water’. But these metrics are an estimation at best and lack hard evidence of true credibility.
Cider is continuing to quickly profit using their hashtag #ciderclothing encouraging their cult-like community to share their hauls on their social media. Whilst also encouraging over-production, consumption and an unsustainable way to shop.
Not only that but the brand has been criticised multiple times by different brands for single handedly copying their designs and not admitting to it.
But even customers have now realised the potential of their misinformation about their ethics and sustainability. There is now a well-known Reddit forum which customers have flocked to when questioning the ethics of the brand.
Where will the brand go from here? Will it go from strength to strength? Or will they try more greenwashing?
All we know is that if they carry on the way they are going - the more fast paced trended fashion pieces they churn out the worse the damages and effects are going to be long term.