SUSTAINABILITY IN STITCHES – JOURNEY OF THRIFTIFY6 min readReading Time: 5 minutes
In a world where the fashion industry is at a crossroads with climate change casting a long shadow over our planet’s future. Rónán Ó Dálaigh, Founder and CEO of Thriftify is a passionate advocate for the global shift away from fast fashion towards a circular economy. With recent ominous warnings about the potential shutdown of the Gulf Stream and a growing list of climate-related disasters, Ronan cognized the urgent need for a fundamental transformation in the approach to fashion consumption.
Thriftify, at its core, is an embodiment of this vision. Providing a digital platform that empowers organizations to breathe new life into pre-owned and pre-loved garments, while diverting them from the landfill and into the hands of conscious consumers. Through this innovative approach, Thriftify is not only driving a sustainable fashion revolution but also offering a glimmer of hope in the face of environmental challenges that affect us all.
- ENTRY OF THRIFTIFY AND THRIFTIFY’S MISSION
The global landscape is witnessing an increase in catastrophic events attributed directly to climate change. This realization serves as a driving force behind Thriftify and its mission.
Thriftify’s inception revolves around the idea of reimagining our economy to operate differently, with a strong emphasis on circularity rather than the prevalent linear model. There is a predominant use of oil in the production of plastic fabrics like polyester in the linear model . This has led to a staggering statistic: a shocking 60% of all newly purchased garments are discarded within the first year of use. Essentially, fast fashion brands are currently manufacturing products with the intention of eventually disposing of them.
To combat this unsustainable trend, Thriftify has identified a solution: Thriftify assists organizations that receive post-consumer textiles in their journey to digitize and subsequently sell these garments across various online platforms. This innovative approach aims to facilitate a shift towards a more sustainable and responsible fashion industry, aligning with the global imperative for a greener future.
- REVOLUTIONIZING THE CHARITY REALM – THE CIRCULAR FINANCIAL MODEL
The central message of Thriftify revolves around the vision of a sustainable economic future that transcends the mere circular production and consumption of goods. Thriftify’s core belief lies in a financial model that is equally circular and incentive-driven. Thriftify advocates for an ecosystem where not only the production and consumption of goods embrace circularity but also the organizations benefiting from this model reinvest profits circularly. Thriftify predominantly serves non-profit organizations, empowering them to channel generated funds into a spectrum of social benefits and positive impacts, crucial in addressing the mounting challenges posed by climate change. Their model not only revolutionizes how people shop but fundamentally alters the purpose behind shopping, placing cause and impact at the heart of the shopping journey, transcending mere price and convenience considerations
- THE CHALLENGES
During the initial launch stage of Thriftify in Britain about a year and a half ago, a multitude of challenges was faced by the organization.
Currently, their primary challenge lies in scaling the operation, transitioning from a startup to a scale-up. While this endeavor is not without its complexities, it is characterized by a different set of dynamics. The focus has shifted towards implementing processes and streamlining operations across the organization, resulting in reduced stress and pressure. This shift, while still challenging, is viewed as more enjoyable, as it represents a transition to a more mature phase of the business, where the emphasis is on growth and efficiency rather than the initial struggles of a startup.
- THEN, VUE.AI X THRIFTIFY HAPPENED
Initially Thriftify was considering building their own machine-learning algorithm, but they soon recognized the paramount importance of a robust and extensive dataset in achieving effective results. This realization led them to Vue.ai, a platform known for its cutting-edge technology and substantial data resources.
Vue.ai’s artificial intelligence capabilities have become an essential for Thriftify’s operations. By leveraging Vue.ai’s technology and its extensive dataset, Thriftify is now able to seamlessly handle garment attribution across multiple languages and channels. This AI-powered solution not only streamlines the process of understanding and categorizing the incoming garments but also enhances the efficiency of deciding which items to sell online. Ultimately, Vue.ai’s contribution has transformed Thriftify’s ability to navigate the complexities of their industry, making them a more agile and data-driven organization in the competitive world of online retail.
- THRIFTIFY’S SCALE
In the near future, Thriftify aims to enhance its technology to provide users with a comprehensive suite of services, including pricing, attribution, omnichannel listing, fulfillment, and merchandising. An exciting prospect lies in dynamic channel listing, tailoring product presentations to suit different online marketplaces and customer preferences. A significant challenge the company aims to tackle is optimizing the shopping experience within their marketplace by using innovative solutions to personalize product recommendations based on size, preferences, patterns, colors, and price points. Personalization challenges? Fret not – Vue.ai’s dynamic personalization lets retailers personalize recommendations through consumer and product data. This personalized approach is what makes a retailer stand out from their rivals!
In addition to this, Thriftify is also developing a customer-facing app and exploring ways to make volume commercialization more efficient for their customers. The company’s product roadmap reflects a dynamic and innovative approach to the pre-loved fashion industry.
In conclusion, the world is grappling with the dire consequences of climate change. Emerges Thriftify, with a mission to shift the fashion industry away from its destructive linear model towards a sustainable circular economy, Thriftify has pioneered a platform that breathes new life into pre-loved garments. This not only reduces waste but also fuels a profound shift in how we consume and support charitable causes. As they continue to scale and innovate, Thriftify is poised to lead the charge towards a greener and more conscientious future.