Digitalising sustainable clothing consumption
We wear clothing every day, but how do we understand and manage the impact of our clothing choices? This project in collaboration with University of Glasgow and app Save Your Wardrobe (SYW) examines the role of digitalisation in changing how consumers respond to, manage and maintain more sustainable approaches to clothing.
Rethinking the business model: Moving away from the fast-fashion trend that is causing an environmental crisis, SYW encourages consumers to think consciously about their wardrobes and provides services including donation, repair and dry cleaning all within its app.
Embracing digital technology: The SYW app means users can see at a glance what they have in their wardrobe. Data is used to keep track of a user’s wardrobe as well as giving personal clothing recommendations based on weather, calendars and lifestyle.
HOW THEY DID IT
Findings from the University of Glasgow’s project with Save Your Wardrobe concluded that:
Overconsumption by consumers is a principle challenge to sustainability and shifting consumer behaviour is challenging. The environmental and societal issues associated with the production, consumption and disposal of our clothes is complex and often consumers are disillusioned and ill prepared to broach the challenges encountered. This makes it important to develop ways that make sustainable approaches to clothing accessible and easy to understand. Save Your Wardrobe (SYW) use AI (Artificial Intelligence) and IoT (Internet of Things) to provide users with insights that enable them to reconnect with their clothing, use what they have more effectively, buy less and buy better.
The SYW app serves as a tool to reflect upon, encourage and facilitate new behaviours that are more sustainable. University of Glasgow’s (UofG) research revealed that engagement with the app raised awareness and supported behavioural change. Being able to see what it is their wardrobes provided participants in the study with a visibility as to the amount of clothing they owned, as well as helping them to understand their patterns of clothing usage and allowing them to take back control of their clothing consumption. This included rediscovering items, using clothing more effectively through the ability to plan, identify and organise clothing for wear, laundry and repair. The digital overview of the wardrobe also allowed participants to be more strategic about buying new clothing as well as looking after their existing clothing and passing on what they no longer needed. The SYW app supports this via an ecosystem of services offering opportunities for resale, donation, maintenance and repair to extend clothing longevity. UofG found that SYW resulted in a positive opportunity to appreciate clothing, resulting in a deeper connection with existing clothing.