Not a lot of people know this.

But there is something (so I am told) very, very unusual about Always Wear Red.

I never anticipated it happening.

But I’m endlessly flattered that it has.

(I’ll let you know what it is in 30 seconds.

It’s to do with just one particular Always Wear Red Baker Boy Cap, pictured here:

So keep reading).

The Three R’s

Always Wear Red is a D2C (direct to consumer) brand.

That way, I can operate at lower margins and pass as much value and quality to the client as possible.

Because no one between me and them takes a cut.

(It’s Always Wear Red.

Then it’s you. 

And that’s it).


Even with this simple model.

The shadow of The Three R’s still frightens me.

  • Returns.
  • Rejection.
  • Rethinking (changing your mind).

Returns. Rejection. Rethinking.

The cost of things coming back to a business can be catastrophic.

And it can happen for many reasons.

I think that reasons include:

  • The customer not knowing about and caring about the brand and the change it is trying to make.
  • The customer not knowing about and (to some degree at least) caring about the people behind the brand.
  • Crap product quality.
  • Crap packaging and point of sale materials.
  • The customer being generally underwhelmed by, and indifferent about, the whole experience.
  • Ordinariness.
  • An uninteresting experience.
  • Carelessly processed and executed packaging, so there is clearly no consideration of the unboxing or gifting experience.
  • The customer being made to feel that once the sale has taken place, the brand does not give a shit about them any more.
  • The product not delivering on the quality promise that was made at the online store.
  • The product and the brand not making me feel how I thought it would make me feel.
  • The brand not saying thank you to me – personally and sincerely – for me choosing them.

There will be more.

The Always Wear Red Baker Boy Cap.


So now to this one particular Always Wear Red Baker Boy Cap.

Pictured here:

What’s so special about it?

After around 1,000 individual relationships with Always Wear Red customers.

Why is the customer relationship around this one particular Always Wear Red Baker Boy Cap so significant?

Well – it’s because it was returned.

And more specifically because it’s the only piece that has ever been returned to Always Wear Red since we launched on Valentine’s Day 2016.

Our returns rate is 1.

Not 1%.

1 piece.

And it’s this, one, Always Wear Red Baker Boy Cap.

(The average returns rate for an e-commerce business is 30%.

And it’s 9% in a bricks and mortar store).

First Time. Every Time.

Always Wear Red is imperfect.

I work hard to be better tomorrow than I am today.

It’s because I want to be extraordinary in everything I do.

First time.

Every time.

For just one reason.

It’s because if I don’t aim for extraordinary.

There is only one other description for me.

And no one but no one should ever, ever be comfortable being called that.


  1. What size is the returned cap? I could have a backup. And this would be extra special. I’d be the owner of the only thing ever returned. This is fate intervening to tell me I need two. Fingers crossed on the size.

  2. Shaughn I can only tell you the truth… I don’t know which one it is.

    When it came back, we laid it gently on the table in the studio – and stared at it.

    Nothing had been sent back before.

    And nothing since.

    It was new for us.

    We inspected it thoroughly and because it was still absolutely perfect, we brushed it down and popped it back into stock.

    And that was that.

    So all I know is that it’s one of these:

    Thanks Shaughn.


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