The Lunary marketplace vendor image

The Lunary provides an e-commerce platform dedicated to sustainable and ethically produced fashion, showcasing a variety of apparel and accessories from brands committed to social responsibility.

If you’d like to start your own marketplace like The Lunary, you’re facing a buy vs build decision. So before you decide to build it in-house on top of Spree open-source, consider using Vendo which is a marketplace SaaS. Go live, start selling, iterate.

Build vs Buy a marketplace?

Open-source usage offers numerous advantages, like complete control and development versatility, but these come with significant financial costs. The process of developing a complete marketplace solution is lengthy and expensive, often requiring months or years. This has been our takeaway from several marketplace projects.

If you haven’t acquired substantial funding, you’re likely to find more value in an off-the-shelf, comprehensive marketplace solution like Vendo, advice from someone who has a long history of billing for marketplace development work.

Back to The Lunary marketplace case study

The Lunary marketplace stands out as a symbol of sustainability, inclusion, and innovation in online shopping. It was founded by a woman of color who is dedicated to promoting brands that prioritize values over profits. The marketplace also actively supports brands started by marginalized community members, fostering a diverse and welcoming business atmosphere.

What makes this marketplace special is its carefully selected collection of sustainable fashion, beauty, wellness, and lifestyle products. These items are created by women, LGBTQ+ individuals, and BIPOC-owned brands and makers who follow strict sustainability and ethical guidelines.

The Lunary’s dedication to sustainability is evident in its everyday operations. They use 100% recycled or recyclable materials for printing, paper-based and recyclable stickers, and packaging materials made from recycled materials to reduce their impact on the environment.

In addition, all the products available at The Lunary are vegan and cruelty-free, demonstrating their commitment to ethical consumerism. Even their Astronomy Club tees, made from 100% recycled cotton or organic cotton without harmful chemicals, show their dedication.

They’ve also taken a bold step by not accepting any new apparel with plastic-based materials like polyester or nylon since October 2019, showing their determination to reduce environmental harm.

The Lunary’s marketplace is more than just a place to shop; it’s a digital haven that supports and celebrates marginalized individuals. It’s not just about buying; it’s about becoming a part of a community called the Astronomy Club, which is open to everyone who shares the marketplace’s values and hopes for a better future.

How to emulate The Lunary marketplace success?

To somewhat mirror The Lunary’s achievements, it’s a good idea to launch your marketplace quickly, within weeks rather than months. Assess how well your products suit your audience’s demands and adjust your strategies for attracting customers based on actual feedback. 

Experiment with the market before fully committing to its development.

Here’s what you’d be getting with a Vendo free trial:

  • Book a marketplace demo call: We’ll set up your demo marketplace and populate it with products, so you could give it a try and start selling in 14 days
  • Customize your Storefront: Use the drag & drop page builder or custom CSS
  • Onboard Brands: Invite your brands or choose brands from our catalog
  • Select Products: Curate products and collections manually or automate it
  • Embed products: Make your content, newsletters, social media shoppable
  • Get Paid: Get paid as soon as products are shipped by the brands
  • End-to-end automation: Brands sync, fulfillment, payouts, invoicing, taxes

When you’ve tried all that and it works, start thinking about building your own, custom-made marketplace project based on Spree Commerce. First, by decoupling the storefront and going headless with Vendo marketplace API, and later with your own backend, if you decide you really need it. Just lift and shift the storefront.

Nobody has to know what’s under the hood, right?