This Activewear Brand Is Polling The Internet On Every Big Business Decision

Photographed by Winnie Au.
Talk about taking the whole "customer first" mentality to the next level: Orin, a new activewear brand that's set to launch soon, is letting random strangers select basically every major building block of its business, Tech Insider reports. Before it comes to life, however, potential customers get to weigh in on what it'll look like, how it'll be made, and how much it costs by taking a quiz online. Billed as "crowdsourced activewear," per the label's website, folks can weigh in on three categories: products, manufacturing, and models.
Cofounder Kevin Chan told Tech Insider that he came up with the idea for the quiz after noticing certain mass-market brands' transparency. He pointed to American Eagle Outfitters, which instituted its no-retouching pledge in 2014, but direct-to-consumer brands like Everlane have also toyed with this type of interactive format. "It's a hypothesis I wanted to test," Chan explained.

In the first section, users can weigh in on which items they actually want to buy (such as a certain style of top or bottom), plus favorite colors. There are four options for each, using examples from Lululemon, Equinox, and Athleta's Instagram accounts. Chan's taking it beyond Orin's product offerings, because he believes customers want to know what's happening in literally every step of the process.

Next, users select a sourcing option, which will subsequently affect Orin's price range, including the garments' country of origin (U.S.A. and Sri Lanka are on opposite ends of the pricing spectrum; Colombia and China are also options). Prospective customers also weigh in on how carefully certified the factories should be ("standard" leaves the environmental impact uncertain, while "luxury" ensures high sustainability, quality, and labor practices), as well as how much workers are paid: the status-quo minimum or a living wage, which, depending on where the products are made, means a percentage is added to the price tag. Also, the quality of materials is up for discussion: standard, premium, or luxury — the latter two are at a greater cost.

While Chan insisted that the manufacturing section isn't meant to be political, it does make users take a hard look at pricing and decide if it's more important to have cheap leggings or ethically made leggings. (For reference: Leggings manufactured in Sri Lanka would likely retail for $16, whereas the same pair made stateside would go for $60, according to the publication.) So, once you check off the boxes, you'll see the estimated cost of a top and bottom based on your choices. Users also have a say in the ethnicities and body types of the models the brand will use.

If you want to see how your answers compare to those of the internet at large, you'll have to sign up for Orin's newsletter, which will also notify you of the brand's launch. It's definitely an unorthodox approach — and one that rightfully has some scratching their heads. But it's still refreshing to see brands embrace transparency — especially when it relates to the often closed-off process of how our clothes are made. The entry window closes on August 22, after two weeks of user submissions.

More from Shopping


R29 Original Series