The clothing and fashion industry is one of the leading contributors to land pollution. The increasing trend in fast fashion and streetwear has gotten people to invest bucks in pieces that can only be worn several times before losing their quality and worth. Apart from that, the fabric sources of many streetwear brands are not environmentally friendly and hence not sustainable.
However, the increased awareness of people since the beginning of the century has gotten people to speak up about climate change. The clothing and fashion industry needed new representatives ready to provide people with a shift in the business regarding sustainable solutions. That’s the pain point that got Nate Berkopec to start The Factionist.
The NYU student was determined to steer the fashion industry away from the traditional wasteful manufacturing methods by starting his own casual streetwear brand.
With a perfect market of college-going students right around him, Nate was convinced he’d be able to make The Factionist successful. He got to work and built his brand by getting ethically sourced fabric turned into casual wear, including T-shirts and hoodies.
Nate also used this opportunity for his own clothing line to spread awareness of major social issues by getting social logos printed on the clothing items. Since the trend of using social awareness as a way to do good while boosting your customer base, Nate had envisioned his The Factionist shirts, T-shirts, and other items would sell like hot cakes. With the right attitude and a positive mindset, Nate got to business.
The Factionist appeared on Shark Tank’s Season 1 to ask for the sum of $30K in exchange for 20% equity in his company. Nate presented his business, shared his vision, and explained how The Factionist differed from most other brands in the market.
However, neither the goodwill of making fashion sustainable, the fashion industry eco-friendly, and raising social awareness on various issues nor the number of his company’s sales so far attracted the sharks.
While Nate thought he had a unique idea and perhaps the next big thing on the street in his bag, The Factionist was only able to make $3K in sales. Apart from that, none of the sharks thought Nate had an innovative idea or a plan that no other business could copy. With no leverage or competitive advantage, the company would drive itself towards stagnancy and eventually bankruptcy.
Kevin O’Leary and Robert were out because they didn’t see any unique product at The Factionist. Kevin Harrington and Barbara weren’t impressed with the numbers and announced they were out.
With the most experienced in the fashion industry and knowledge of how the market actually works, Daymond told Nate this investment would make him lose his money 100%; with that, he was out.
Nate walked home empty-handed that day as his business didn’t have an innovative approach or some out-of-the-box product to contribute to the fashion game of the era. Apart from that, his company’s valuation also spoke volumes about his failing business. However, Nate did land a job at Barbara’s company due to his drive, passion, and generally positive attitude.
Our Review of The Factionist
Before coming to the world’s most renowned reality TV show, Shark Tank US Season 1, Nate Berkopec’s company, The Factionist, could only make $3,000 in sales. After appearing on the show and hearing how his business has nothing new to offer to the world, Nate was convinced that The Factionist wouldn’t work out. Even the Shark Tank Effect didn’t kick in to save The Factionist.
With no investment at hand to try something new or go with a variation in the products of his business, Nate discontinued the 6-month-old clothing line.
However, people were still quite impressed by Nate’s determination and enthusiasm toward the cause. People still expect the NYU student to work wonders and come up with another unique, but this time more profitable, business idea.
While the brand, The Factionist, closed before receiving any serious customer traction, here’s what people who had bought clothes from NYU’s soon-to-graduate entrepreneurs liked about the product.
- The idea of having an ethically sourced fabric to manufacture the clothing items was quite appealing to the early customers
- Customers were pleased to have invested in a sustainable and eco-friendly business idea that made them feel as if they too had contributed towards making fashion stop ruining the climate and environment
- Customers were quite impressed with having a social awareness logo on their clothes to use the brands clothing items as a way of self-expression
- Customers also got to print any social awareness quotes or messages on their clothes which was a great way to let their voice out in public regarding a cause
- Customers loved the quality of the fabric used by The Factionist, as it was soft and breathable. The fabric was also quite promising in terms of sustainability
- Customers were also satisfied with the unique cuts and designs offered to them by the clothing line
- The stitching of the clothing items by The Factionist was neat and showed the quality of the product
Although the business idea didn’t work out, here are some things that weren’t well-received by the customers or other parties looking to invest in The Factionist
- The prime idea behind the brand was quite shaky. It didn’t have a proper foundation as the brand’s actual product didn’t quite represent how they were solving the larger problem at hand that is claimed to be the reason behind the Factionist’s launch
- Numerous people found the idea easily replicable, making The Factionist lose its competitive advantage. If people were to look, they could easily find various businesses with the same idea in the same industry at an even more affordable price point
- The idea and the designs of the clothing items from The Factionist were perceived as quite traditional by many customers
Who is The Factionist For?
Casual wear may have found its market today, but the style isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. For people who do love to spend their days wearing casual streetwear, The Factionist would have been a great option. Apart from that, the social awareness quotes and logos are a form of self-expression, another increasing trend that The Factionist used to cater to effectively.
Are There Any Alternatives?
If you’re into the casual style of clothing, Bobblehaus is a great brand to check out. The company manufactures affordable and quality clothing items that are sustainable and can last longer than your average streetwear. The breathable fabric is rich in texture and ethically sourced.
Apart from that, Bobblehaus is also actively working on making the brand eco-friendly by offering to plant ten trees upon every single purchase. The brand is a perfect match for the current GenZ style of clothing. They also have an accessories section for bikes if that’s an area of interest for biking enthusiasts.
Our Final Thoughts
The Factionist failed to develop as a niche brand. The company had nothing new or unique to offer to the market. Despite having a great idea backing up the brand, The Factionist failed to make applaudable sales, hence losing to gain the sharks’ support.
However, Nate Berkopec’s enthusiasm and drive will get him far in his journey toward success. People hope to see him soon with another brand in the market.