This Fashion Revolution week we are diving into the true cost of returns on the fashion industry and what we are doing to prevent returns in our supply chain. In the fashion industry on average around 30% bought online are returned. Luckily, O My Bag customers return around 8.5% items on average. We understand and believe that you should have the opportunity to feel our leather and try our bags out with your outfits to see if it is really the bag for you! Therefore, we totally understand if you would like to return an item to us. As a brand, high returns are bad news. It means a lot of additional shipping and handling costs and it results in a high carbon footprint, which is damaging for our environment. This blog explains how we are constantly working to improve your online experience to decrease the need for returns and see how we can work together to minimise our carbon footprint.
How we learn from your returns
Some O My Bag fans make use of our easy return system to try on several different pieces at home and keep their favourite. This is very common throughout the fashion industry, but for us as a bag brand it’s a rather new development. We try to help you in making your decision before you purchase, so you don’t feel like you will need to order multiple pieces to choose your favorite. We offer virtual shopping sessions, and we’re always here to help, so get in touch with us to answer all your questions.
Sometimes we receive feedback about our leather and how it might look different in real life than on our webshop. This is because our premium quality leather is tanned without the use of harmful chemicals and has no synthetic top finish. No bag is the same; irregularity in color and texture are all part of the charm. It will not stay flawless but will pick up signs of use, making it a unique product that ages beautifully over time. The shade of our leather evolves when used. It is a living and natural material that ages, so the color deepens and develops a nice sheen. Its color will also alter when exposed to sunlight and with handling. When we receive feedback about our leather, we try to teach you about the different types of O My Bag leathers, so you know what to expect.
Our leathers may arrive with small light scratches from transportation, or even have a small stretch or tick mark. These light scratches can be removed easily with leather lotion. Check out our care guide to see how to care for your O My Bag. We believe this is what makes your O My Bag a unique and precious possession.
What happens to your product once it is returned?
All returned items are thoroughly checked by our warehouse team and luckily almost all returned items can go back to stock so they can be purchased by another O My Bag fan. If the item is damaged, it is shipped to our store in Amsterdam where our quality experts will do a brush up or repair it if necessary. After a little care and repair the item is sold in our pre-loved library. This way we're always able to find a home for each O My Bag.
What is the environmental impact of returns?
As you probably know, we at O My Bag are very active in taking the right steps to minimise our impact on the environment. Returns contribute to climate change and they worsen our air quality. We take this very seriously and have therefore calculated the impact of the return flow on the environment, so we know which goals to set in trying to reduce returns. The transportation of all returns currently accounts for about 200 kg of CO2 emissions every year, this equals the production of about 10,000 cups of coffee. Next to transportation, we are also conscious of the packaging that is used for these products. When we ship in cardboard boxes, unfortunately, these boxes cannot be reused once they have been returned. This is because cardboard boxes are often a bit damaged after traveling to a customer and back which enlarges the chance of them breaking in the next shipment. Luckily the cardboard is recycled into new boxes. Besides cardboard boxes, we offer RePack packaging. This is packaging that can be reused for about 35 times, which makes it a more sustainable type of packaging. The best bit? When you return your RePack packaging you can choose a discount from a range of different brands that use RePack, including a 10% discount for O My Bag.
We do our best to compensate for the impact on the environment that we are responsible for, but of course, preventing CO2 emissions is always better than compensating the consequences.
Help us help you!
We want to help you find your perfect match right away, so there is no need to return! Fewer returns means a happier planet and happier customers. Here are some tips for you as our customer to find your perfect O My Bag without having to return anything:
Use a measuring tape to estimate the size of an item.This way you can make sure your laptop fits and/or the bag matches your posture perfectly.
There are many shops all over the world that sell O My Bags. Have a look at our store locator to find a shop close to you where you can try on your O My Bag in real life.
If you order an item, use RePack as a packaging method.It's the most sustainable packaging method we currently offer and this way, we can re-use the packaging material if you decide to return it.
Mirjam (Head of Logistics at O My Bag)