My New Year's resolution for 2015? Shop smarter. 2014 has undoubtedly been the year of the direct-to-consumer brand. Not familiar with the concept? These are companies that make high-quality products but sell them on their website only, cutting out the middleman and allowing their designs to be offered to the consumer at lower-than-average prices.
It sounds a bit technical and not at all sexy, but these brands are young, definitely hip, and striving to change their industries. Their website design is sleek and cool, their shops are e-commerce only (no old-school brick-and-mortar for these guys), and their pared-down offerings focus on just a few items done exceptionally well. The business model, which started in the fashion realm with brands like Warby Parker and Everlane, has since ballooned into the home market and now encompasses everything from mattresses to framing. Click below for our roundup of this major trend.