Have you ever heard about Clotho? I bet not. It’s an early stage startup founded by Caroline and Vivien aiming to collect your unwanted clothes. Wait, no, it’s not like a charity as you’re receiving back vouchers to spend online, on the Clotho online shop. I think the idea is pretty awesome, isn’t it?
I think sustainability is extremely important to consider right now, and as you know Moorbi, a startup on sustainable design I was working a couple of years ago had the same goal.
Swapping and sharing are two concepts I’m in love with, so..waiting to join the revolution, I took some time to ask them some questions!
How did you get the idea?
We had the idea for Clotho whilst we were on a celebratory girls holiday in Marrakech after completing our final exams. As we were getting ready for dinner one evening, Vivien couldn’t decide what to wear. She tried on a dress that I had with but that I’d never ever worn before because I wasn’t sure it suited me – and instantly loved it. It looked fantastic on her so I said she could keep it. It made me happy to see it go to a good home rather than continuing to sit in the back of my wardrobe.
Vivien loved the dress so much she wore it all summer.
We thought that there must be many other people with clothes hidden away in wardrobes like this – and so the idea for Clotho was born.
When did you start working on it?
In October 2014 we set up an online clothing exchange that allows young women to swap unwanted clothing with each other. We found ourselves running around London with iPads to sign up strangers for a pilot. We were overwhelmed by the positive reception to Clotho, and soon began collecting clothes from customers, travelling around the city on the tube with bags of dresses in tow. The pilot culminated on the day of our graduation ceremony in late October, when we launched the Clotho online shop.
How does the platform work?
There are 3 simple steps to taking part…
1. GIVE CLOTHES
Too many clothes? Too busy to sell them yourself?
Too nice to just throw away? We collect your preloved items from any London address at a time convenient for you.
2. RECEIVE CREDIT
In return, you get credit to spend in our shop. This is equal to the estimated original retail value of the items you give, thereby allowing you to retain the value of your clothes.
3. GET CLOTHES
Use your credit to get 85% off all items in the exchange. (You pay just 15% to cover our service costs.) The exchange refreshes with new items every Sunday at 9pm
Do you think that second-hand clothes and a collaborative/sustainable economy can work within the fashion industry?
Yes! Fashion is a way to express the best version of yourself and I absolutely believe that it is possible to do this with second-hand items.
Which is your biggest threat?
I don’t really think about our biggest threat :S
The way I see it is that there are just an infinite number of opportunities that we could potentially make happen. I hope that we can pull the right resources together in the a way that turns these opportunities into a business that people love.
Where do you see the project in a couple of years
I see Clotho as the go-to place online for fast-fashion and sustainable fashion for the young woman.