At Semper we create or source elegantly functional, beautiful products designed and manufactured to endure.
There is no in-built obsolescence here. If something we sell is supposed to have a short life, we’ll tell you before you buy that it may well need to be replaced or repaired at some point in the future.
Ethics is a big thing at Semper, which despite how trite and over-used such a claim sounds, we’re actually quite serious about. Materials are sustainably sourced; for example all timber is either FSC or recycled, from local merchants if possible to keep the transport miles and their impact down.
Labour and suppliers are also local. Small businesses are the backbone of any local economy, and as we ask people to buy or commission something handmade from Semper we are prepared to do exactly the same thing. To be blunt, we’d be a bit of a fraud if we didn’t.
The ethics point extends to our pricing as well. Credit where it’s due, we are following the lead set by Everlane in the United States with what they call ‘Radical Transparency’, though our reasons for doing so are slightly different to theirs.
Each product listed for sale on the Semper website should have a graphic at the bottom of the page illustrating each components of the Cost of Goods Sold. At Everlane they call it the ‘True Cost’, but to be conservative we call it what it is from an accounting perspective – COGS (see if you can spot the accounting joke in the graphic). Here’s an example:
The graphic will illustrate Semper’s price to you, and what you might expect to pay for a similar product under a traditional retail pricing model.
Why are we doing this? Well-designed products manufactured to endure cost more than what you will pay from a large corporate, and we believe people should know what goes into the products they buy. Our hope is people look past the mark-up differential (and price) and take pause to consider the amount of labour and material involved in the product they are considering purchasing. Better informed than not, eh?