IndieGetup — a Denver-based menswear marketplace that incorporates local, sustainable apparel brands — originally began when founders Brandon Dendas and his business partner, Max Mangs were researching clothing companies. Although Dendas and Mangs did not have fashion expertise, their minds were initially geared towards starting their own brand. However, during their searches for clothing lines they loved Dendas had a realization.
“From this process, a lightbulb moment accorded. I asked myself, ‘why is it so hard to find these brands? — and why isn’t there a centralized location to discover and shop these brands?’ From there, we scrapped the idea for a clothing brand and conceptualized what was to come — IndieGetup,” explained Dendas.
IndieGetup, established in 2017 gets its name from Independent + Getup. Independently, according to Dendas, represents being small, independently owned brands — Getup being style. The importance of focusing on not only local apparel brands but also lifestyle-oriented companies was their initial target. The first 18 months of the business consisted of over 150 brands that were either featured directly on the platform or through giveaway promotions. However, that soon changed.
Sustainable fashion has become increasingly important to designers — whether by mindfulness of fast fashion, conservation, awareness of surplus waste and much more. For Dendas, he wanted to ensure eco-conscious lifestyle clothing meshed into the platform. However, that meant he had to make some major changes.
“Through working with and interviewing these brands, we learned of the detrimental impact the fashion industry has on the environment. Furthermore, the mistreatment of workers oversees, “said Dendas. “With this in mind, we completely revamped our platform to focus entirely on sustainably and ethically sourced apparel brands — specifically for men. This took us about six to eight months to entirely relaunch our site and cut ties with over 150 of the brands we’ve previously worked with, but no longer fit our core criteria, “explained Dendas. “Currently, we have 15 brands on the platform. We are adding new products and brands each week”
When shopping on this platform you might ask, what are the benefits? First, any brands included on the platform must align with the criteria Dendas and Mangs put on the forefront — innovative, ethical-practices and local contribution.
“We uplift each brand’s background story including the inspiration behind the brand, the entrepreneurial journey and their focus within sustainability. This allows our visitors to discover new emerging brands by both their lifestyle and location. In addition, having the assurance these brands are sustainable or ethically sourced, “said Dendas.
The process of designing and manufacturing products didn’t initially come second nature to Dendas. Moreover, to launch a successful website he acknowledged the need to perfect his web design through trial and error.
“Through my previous job experience, I had an arsenal of digital marketing practices to create an optimized platform. However, I had no idea how to buy a web domain, “explained Dendas. “So, as millions of others do, I took it to the interwebs and started learning from scratch. I learned to build a WordPress site, bought a theme from themeforest.net and customized it through Visual Composer.
Digital marketing has influenced fashion in today’s age in more ways than one. With social media influences such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc., brands are able to advertise and sell their product within their online platform. In the eyes of Dendas, digital marketing has completely changed the landscape of the fashion industry. Within IndieGetup, Instagram is their “valuable tool for discovery.”
“Digital marketing eliminates the need to work with wholesalers or open brick & mortar locations, opening the door for bootstrapped, grass-root brands to dominate within the fashion industry, “explained Dendas.
Targeting sustainable and ethically-sourced brands in the menswear realm has been of the utmost importance to Dendas – especially since the relaunch of the platform in October. “Our main focus in 2020 is to onboard as many brands that align with our criteria as possible, “said Dendas.
Photography courtesy of Convirtue