After 20 years in business together, twin brothers Byron and Dexter Peart are starting a new chapter in their career. The master-minds behind WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie and WANT Apothecary have shifted their approach to luxury retail with their latest venture. In the age of the conscientious consumer, the pair knew that they could do more to push the landscape of sustainable shopping: enter Goodee.
Goodee is a curated e-commerce marketplace for sustainable luxury goods. Each brand is carefully vetted to ensure it meets the high ethical standards set by the company. From home decor brands like ecoBirdy, a line of children’s furniture made entirely from recycled toys, to beauty brands like Austin Austin and Haeckels, which both offer products made from upcycled materials and natural ingredients, this curation of goods has a positive impact on our planet.
The website labels each product with icons, notifying the buyer what makes each brand stand out—whether the selling point is products made from recycled goods, water conservation, or aiding marginalized communities—which helps to take the research off consumers’ hands.
This approach isn’t a far reach from their previous work. With the advent of WANT, the duo established themselves as innovators in the luxury fashion world. Founded in 2000, WANT was ultimately sold in 2017 when the brothers realized they wanted to change the conversation surrounding ethical consumption.
Similar to Goodee, WANT served as a creator and curator of essential fine goods, but the purpose of the Peart brothers’ latest project is to dig deeper into the values behind these products. “This idea of essentialism, I think, is at the core and the root of what we’ve been about for the better part of two decades now,” explains Dexter.
But what exactly is essentialism? The mindset of minimalism has taken off in recent years with documentaries, books, and, of course, the delightful Marie Kondo all preaching the benefits of reducing what you have. Essentialism takes this idea of cutting back while acknowledging society’s inherent need to consume. If people invest in items that last, they will in turn consume less.
“It’s about having a relationship with products and stories instead of just having less,” states Dexter. “Who are the people that are making these products? Why should you even care about these products? Why should these products exist? And really getting into a deeper conversation that’s not just about paring back.”
“That doesn’t say that the minimalism conversation by itself isn’t war- ranted, but there’s another angle beyond that,” reveals Byron. “There’s more nuance to the consideration of contributing to lives as well.” During their time at WANT, the duo observed a shift in what consumers were looking for. They saw a major gap in the market for sustainable luxury and knew it was high time for them to step into this role. “It’s interesting because it’s not that far off of an evolution from what we’ve done before,” says Byron. “But I think that what makes it different is the collectivity of all of these brands that are 100 percent dedicated to making changes in the world as well.”
Goodee has an extensive list of criteria that brands must meet if they hope to get carried on the site. It’s important that each brand abide by the three main pillars of Goodee: good people, good design, and good impact. “There’s so much beauty and design in the world,” says Byron. “If it focused on sustainability, wouldn’t that automatically make that a better product and a more essential item?”
The pair is excited to see how Goodee’s approach will affect the market as they continue to curate and eventually create their own sustainable products. As they take this next step in their careers, the brothers feel grateful that they have one another for support, saying they “consider it a bit of a superpower” that sets them apart from the average entrepreneur looking to go it alone. “To be in partnership with your brother is a complete luxury,” imparts Dexter.