Please read the following information about our buying practices before submitting an application. If you application clearly contradicts the ideas stated below, please do not expect a response.
What we consider
The following is a list of product and brand features that we consider while sourcing products for Ware. Some of the listed considerations are things we look for, some are things we avoid, and others are just clarifications. Please read carefully.
- Packaging - We look for minimal packaging of products, if not package-free. We look to avoid plastic - especially of the single use variety - whenever possible. We have a bulk station that we are actively growing, and we'd love to find more products to fill it out.
- Functionality - Conscious consumption is consuming less. We tend to avoid super niche, single-purpose products. Multi-purpose items are so very appreciated around here.
- Ingredients, inputs, and components - We need to know it all. We spend all day talking to our customers about what goes into the products we carry. If a brand doesn't tell us, we can't stand behind a product.
- Production - The Ware customer cares how their products were made. We work to be able to provide this information. If that information isn't available, we are not likely to consider carrying a product/line.
- Gender - We avoid highly gendered products. If a business' branding and marketing isn't in line with that, they aren't a fit for Ware.
- Local / proximity to Ware - The closer, the better. Both in terms of further bolstering our local economy and minimizing the fossil fuels consumed in transportation, we seek out the
- Quality and durability - If a product has no other sustainable attributes, it should at least serve its purpose, and look good doing it, for many (MANY) uses. Oftentimes, an heirloom-quality item has a lighter carbon footprint than its mass/fast-produced counterpart just by nature of sending fewer out-of-commission items to the landfill.
- Margins - We cannot work with brands with less than a keystone markup. From living wages to recycling programs to a beautiful storefront, we simply can't make it work otherwise.
- Representation - Per the Census Bureau, the United States is 13% Black, 6% AAPI, and 19% Latinx. We aim to have the companies we align with reflect that diversity and be (at the very least) proportionally represented in our store. We're not there yet, but eager to get closer to those goals. Stay tuned for updates!
- The humans behind the products - In general, it's nice to have some information about the folks who make the product and own the business (if they're not one in the same). If we didn't care about this kind of stuff, we wouldn't be running a small business.
- Branding - Think it's shallow for us to turn down a perfect product for aesthetics? Think again. Branding that looks out of place in our store doesn't tend to sell well at Ware.
- Give back brands - Of course it's not a bad thing if your brand contributes portions of their profits to important causes. We do see it as a red flag (in the form of greenwashing) if your brand doesn't also take care to manufacture products in responsible ways as well as treat and compensate its own employees fairly, if not generously. Programs like 1% for the planet are wonderful, but are only small gesture if the brand contributing 1% isn't otherwise doing its part.
- Amazon and big box stores - For the most part, we won't carry products that are readily available at large chains like Target or Whole Foods, and we try to avoid carrying lines that are offered on Amazon.
- CATEGORIES WE DON'T CURRENTLY BUY (at all) - pantry, children/babies, pets, CBD, intimate/sexual health, apparel, and footwear.
All that sound good? Then CLICK HERE FOR THE VENDOR APPLICATION!