How Clothes Loop Solved the Fast Fashion Problem in Circular Fashion, Keeping Megatons of Waste from Entering Landfills
Clothes Loop is an Australian, online conscious-fashion store specializing in womenswear. Their platform connects boutique designer labels and brands to discerning clothing buyers, while facilitating a clothes-swapping community to make good clothing available, more affordable and simpler to share, providing a unique solution to the fast-fashion problem.
Encouraging brands that list with them to follow good design practices, they work with designers who produce ethically, sustainably and preferably independently, while promoting a culture of swapping among their customers.
The Fashion Industry Is the Second Largest Polluter in the World and Fast Fashion Is Right at the Front
For context, the fashion industry is considered a bigger polluter than the airline and maritime industry combined! Fast-fashion brands such as GAP, Zara and H&M are primarily responsible, with their model of replicating and mass-producing high-end fashion labels and catwalk trends for relatively cheap, encouraging customers to purchase these latest trends from their retail outlets while popular. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with this, the problem with fast fashion is that due to their low cost and ethos of ‘buy quick, dump quicker’, shoppers tend to do away with the pieces as soon as a trend dies. These clothes then end up in landfills, adding to the impact they’ve already left.
Consider, 10% of global CO2 emissions come from the fast fashion industry each year, according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. And it generates 92 tons of waste every single year! The environmental impact of fast fashion extends well beyond carbon emissions and landfill waste, however, with the unsafe and exploitative labor conditions and practices having far-reaching consequences on individual lives, families, and even whole communities.
Clothes Loop knew their clothes swapping system could help solve at least a few parts of this problem. Landfill dumping would be reduced through increased swapping of clothes, in turn giving access to everyday shoppers to high-quality, boutique fashion label designs at a decent price, ensuring they don’t resort to buying from fast-fashion labels and thereby promoting ethical, sustainable purchases. But how could they facilitate such a system and community online? That’s when they first approached Beta Launch.
Deep Dive into the Swapping Process and User Personas to Absorb Practical Application Method
We had to understand very early what their customers wanted. So, we went to the standard Beta Launch approach of crafting user personas, which helps us across everything from targeted UI and UX, and identifying appropriate tone, to discovering customer pain points and needs. We developed personas for the customers, the listing boutique fashion design labels, and all others, and went about creating user flows (as shown above) to visualize the various steps both boutique fashion designers and shoppers had to take in order to complete a specific action in their interaction with the platform.
The user flows together with the user personas allowed us to develop individual customer journeys for all Clothes Loop users, designing their specific experiences accurately based on their needs, personality traits, and so on. The approach also gave Clothes Loop and our team members a clear view of all possible user interactions with the proposed platform, right throughout the design process.
A Clickthrough Prototype to Visualize Journey, Experience & Function
This approach shaped our solution for our client Clothes Loop, a clickthrough prototype to show what the website UI and UX will look like closely. It allowed them to test the idea among actual users before moving onto building the website proper. The user flow visualized how the platform would have to facilitate both sides of the process for the customer as well as the Clothes Loop team, as a clothing item would be registered onto the system and tracked so it could be traded in the community. The clickthrough prototype displayed each stage of this process, from gathering of design details of each clothing item, design approval and assigning of SKU (stock keeping unit) within the system, and attaching of tags to track, onto registering the garment.
Testing Among Users
Beta Launch’s prototype allowed for testing of the facilitation process, customer journey and experience aspects of the custom solution, showing Clothes Loop what the site will look like and what it will do. In short, a perfect research and validation tool! Everything from registering a customer’s garments on the Clothes Loop store to managing styles were clearly visible, allowing for feedback on practicality, experience, functionality, and other aspects to test before building the actual website.
Content for the part after the design system/typography image
The design system used in crafting the clickthrough prototype including primary colours, button and field types, typography, etc., were selected with close consideration of conscious-fashion buyers and the community Clothes Loop wanted to nurture online. Each design system element had to match their preferences and personality traits which shaped their individual customer journeys and the overall clothes swapping experience.
Designed Perfect for the Clothes Swapping Model
Here we take a look at a few different screens from the actual clickthrough prototype, which closely resemble the different parts of the actual website to be built. The design screens display a clean experience throughout as sought by Clothes Loop.
Suited for the conscious-fashion audience from the listing designer labels to the shoppers, the design closely matched the client’s ethos of clothing quality, access, sustainability and ethicality.
Content for the part after the design screens image:
As Clothes Loop works on getting their online clothes swapping platform implemented, they drew on the feedback received through testing of the clickthrough prototype Beta Launch built for them by going deep into the individual customer journeys and the corresponding experience.
Stay tuned for further updates from us about our continuous work with Clothes Loop as we iron out each experience and function to ensure their clothes swapping community can continue growing while impacting society and the environment positively.