It's sustainable fashion, baby !

Welcome to "Nouveau Monde", sort of a "Nouveau Genre" newsletter to better understand how to make the world better through the lens of retail. This is #9

This week in nouveau monde, we’ll talk about the sustainable fashion revolution, the B2C side, after describing the B2B side last week, and we’ll have a closer look on UpChoose, a company delivering organic baby clothes for each stage of your baby.

Fashion makes its sustainable revolution, part 2

by Anthony

We’re talking about fashion and sustainability again this week, this time we’ll talk about solutions related to the consumer side !

When we talk about sustainability, especially in the fashion industry, we don’t only talk about green gas, we also think about fair and decent conditions of work.

Fashion Revolution is an NGO that aims to bring back transparency in the forefront of the fashion industry by revealing each year its transparency report and promoting the hashtags #WhoMadeMyClothes and #What’sOnMyClothes on social networks.

Interestingly, we find fast fashion brands like H&M or Adidas along with Patagonia and The North Face on the top ten.

Have a look at the report and see how your prefered brand scores !

We’ve seen last week that solutions are rising to help brands reduce their surplus production that generate mass waste. But it would be vain to think that they will get to match the exact demand anytime soon.

Before we get there, Otrium wants to help brand digitalize their outlets offerings. Nothing revolutionary, it’s just another marketplace, but dedicated to sell excess stock. And the Dutch company just raised $120M to execute its vision.

If you want to take action by yourself, you might want to find brands that have sustainability in their DNA. Of course, these brands are popping nowadays as a new market emerges.

To name a few, Hopaal uses only recycled materials to make sweaters, Mud jeans goes a little step further by offering to recycle your own mud jean in a beautiful loop. Plus, and it’s also going to be a trend and a way to reduce clothes waste, it offers to rent its jeans so that when you don’t want to wear it anymore, you just give it back to the seller.

Talking about climate change now. If you recall the McKinsey report I talked about last week, you’ve noticed that consumers represent about a quarter of the GHG emissions and 21% of the potential change (red bars down here) :

We can see that we can significantly reduce our emissions by simply taking care of the washing and drying of our clothes ! We could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 186M tonnes a year by just fixing some little habits, and brands could help by giving better washing instructions or use more sustainable materials.

In a little more futuristic - but is it desirable ? - maybe the solution to avoid compulsory and mass buying is the rise of digital fashion ? :-)

Some designers now create digital garments that you’ll only see on augmented reality - and that you can share on social networks, and soon with NFTs - of course ! Maybe not that affordable (in case it was useful) as prices can easily go up to $10 000 !

But you will spend as few as $13 for a pair of virtual Gucci !

You want to live in a sustainable world: invest in it!

by Phil

I’m part of the people who does not expect anything good to happen from Governments or politicians. Just a certain path in life that convinced me that the best thing to do is locally, at your own level, with your skills, knowledge and overall capacity to act. Invest in people you think they’re doing the job is another way.

UpChoose PBC (Public Benefit Corporation) is a startup on a mission to activate consumers’ role in transitioning to a sustainable future. I met with Founder Ali back in 2017, explaining me by that time that “the first area of focus is clothing, and their first release is a service offering parents a curated set of healthful and eco-friendly baby clothing at each phase of their baby’s growth. When their baby outgrows a set, parents can opt to re-sell it and order the next one new or pre-loved, at a discount from another family. They keep getting beautiful and healthful clothes for their little one, while reducing clutter, avoiding unnecessary spending and helping to protect our planet at the same time.”

We’re in 2021 now, and Upchoose is still around:

  • A Consumer tech platform offering frictionless services for key life moments

  • First product is a sustainable, smart baby clothing service

  • 300% growth year-to-date, 10X growth in MRR over 5 quarters

  • 750+ customers in 180+ cities across 40 states in the U.S.

  • 17k+ qualified sign-ups

  • Selected for the Levi Strauss & Co. Collaboratory

  • Addressing a $32 billion market in the U.S. alone

Upchoose has partnered with Republic to enable everyone to invest in UpChoose and help them build a consumption model that works better for our children and our planet. They need and they want your money to keep playing.

Upchoose reminds us with this fundraising campaign that our consumption model is inefficient and wasteful:

…that e-commerce sales data shows that households are still inadvertently wasteful:

Have a look at what Upchoose value proposition is. If you’re based in the US, new parents, try their products. If it’s the first time you can participate to some kind of fundraising, put some money to their campaign.

Platform like Republic, that “gives you power to invest in the future you believe in. Invest in startups, real estate, crypto & video games” gives a chance to consumer citizens to become investor citizens. You can give just $100. Of course, I’ll let you check in details what are the returns on your investment, and it’s like playing poker. But I guess the excitement you get from this cart games can be similar be helping good causes from the ground. Voting, shopping, those are privileged powers. Let’s use another power which consists in changing more significantly the way we live before we’ve being forced or asked, in changing the way we buy and how we can be more loyal to companies that work on what we believe in.

Republic was founded by alumni from AngelList, the largest online platform for private investing. It’s not a platform dedicated to sustainability, but I will write more in the future about this intersection with Retail, investments and a better life. For God’s sake!

Bonus track