How ThredUp is Using AI to Create a More Circular Fashion Future

All over the world, the climate crisis is top of mind. Last week, millions of activists and concerned citizens took to the streets for a global climate strike, urging leaders to take meaningful action towards curbing catastrophic climate change. 

So what does this have to do with the fashion industry, you may be asking? Well, a lot actually. It’s widely known that fashion and apparel manufacturing are the second-largest polluters in the world next to oil and gas. From the chemicals it takes to transform raw materials into textiles to the amount of water required to produce a single t-shirt, fashion’s dirty secret is no longer a secret.

Above: From ThredUp’s website

Today we’re continuing our pre-coverage of WEAR—that’s the World Ethical Apparel Roundtable Conference coming up October 7th to 8th in Toronto. Hosted by non-profit Fashion Takes Action, WEAR aims to bring together sustainability experts, thought-leaders, and decision-makers in apparel to uncover how the industry can improve practices to move fashion towards a more conscious and circular future.

Last week, we spoke with Stephanie Benedetto from Queen of Raw to find out how her startup is turning pollution into profit by creating a global marketplace for deadstock and overstock fabrics;  Today, we’re going to be hearing from Chris Homer of ThredUp. ThredUp is the largest online consignment and thrift store on a mission to spark a resale revolution. Their online marketplace includes more than 35,000 brands from Gap to Gucci all at up to 90% off retail prices.

What makes ThredUp unique is its focus on data. The company uses algorithums for predicting fashion trends, personalizing recommendations, and understanding purchasing patterns. Tune in to hear ThredUp’s Co-Founder and Chief Technology Chris Homer share how the California company is bringing Silicon Valley innovation to the second-hand market.

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Amanda Cosco
Amanda is a freelance journalist and consultant focused on the intersection of fashion and technology and the founder of Electric Runway.

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