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Retailers who promote product quality, transparency, & sustainability will flourish.

These days, you can find pretty much any information you want online — and because that’s the case, shoppers are no longer content not knowing everything about the products they’re purchasing.

The proliferation in recent years of transparent, sustainably conscious companies such as Warby Parker and Everlane has initiated a radical shift in the retail industry — one we can expect to gain greater traction in 2017.

Consumers are becoming more interested and invested in where their money’s going rather than simply what it’s buying, which means it’s not enough anymore to sell high-quality products with no information on their backstories.

Instead, shoppers have begun gravitating toward retailers who reveal all the inner workings of their operations. Everlane, for example, details the entire production costs of their products: materials, labor, duties, and markup. They also include information on the factories in which products are made, complete with pictures and videos of the employees and factories themselves. This way, Everlane’s customers know exactly what’s gone into creating the product they’re thinking of buying, and they can feel better about the ethics and background involved in their purchases.

There are a number of factors at play in this trend: a worldwide shift toward sustainability, consumer desire to be more ethically conscious in purchase decisions, and a keen interest in supporting brands with a “strong sense of identity.”

Here’s an example: Vend customer the Bread and Butter Letter, a vintage clothing and homeware boutique based in New Zealand that sells only New Zealand-made goods, told us recently that “we’ve noticed our customers increasingly ask the important questions: where the goods come from, who made them, what they’re made from. We’ve also noticed that people increasingly reject our paper bags and bring their own!”