Unfortunately, the fashion industry is one of the biggest polluters on our planet, and it can account for up to ten percent of the global greenhouse pollution. The fashion industry also produces 92 million tons of waste, and 79 trillion liters of water are used each year to make all the garments.
Sustainable fashion is a term often used, and many enthusiasts work very hard to make the fashion of the future more sustainable. Nicole Kobilansky, CEO and Co-founder of Storey the app, has answered my questions about their company and their vision of the future of fashion:
What is Storey?
"Storey is a social network for your clothes! Our mission is to digitize everyone’s wardrobes to make clothes more wearable, shareable, searchable, re-sellable, and create a more sustainable fashion economy."
"We help create a virtual database of your clothes to browse and organize your wardrobe more easily and wear your clothes more often - but also see what is in everyone else’s wardrobes and what they’re wearing so you can shop or borrow their stuff! It’s also a great place to connect with others via your love of fashion."
Nicole explains how they organize your wardrobe:
"The way we organize your wardrobe is we first look at any receipts you have for things you’ve bought online in the past - so you can give us access to your Gmail, and we will automatically search for items you have bought in the past and pull in all the images and your information about the brand price date of purchase, etc. and store it in your digital wardrobe. You might also have vintage items or things without a receipt, and we have a way to add those in with minimal effort."
The Storey is available in the US, Canada, UK, and Australia.
How did you come up with the idea?
" The idea came to me a few years ago, actually, and it took a while to get it off the ground. I got the idea by experiencing my frustrations with my wardrobe andbuying and reselling journeys."
Nicole explains how she used to spend a lot on shopping and "buying too many things on sale" yet ending up wearing the clothes only once and then paying hours trying to sell them on eBay and Poshmark.
I was spending hours on it - so I began making folders of images and information as I was shopping to save time if I wanted to re-sell."
She soon understood that this kind of documentation could be helpful to more people by automating the process and creating a digital wardrobe and, at the same time, building a marketplace around it.
What do you hope fashion looks like in the future?
"I hope that personal clothing management becomes digitized and optimized and more circular. In the future, everyone connects their wardrobes to Storey, and any time they shop, their clothing gets stored in our virtual database. This way, they can be more creative with what they wear thanks to our smart tools andre-sell with ease any time they choose."
"Eventually, we also hope developments in AR, VR, and NFTs mean that wearing your clothing in virtual worlds also takes off. Meanwhile, Storey has also become the go-to destination for second-hand shopping because we have the largest ever inventory of items that are for sale and pre-sale, so you can always find those coveted items that seem like they are 'sold out in someone's closet! Of course, there are other incredible things we can do in the future."
If you could give people advice on sustainable fashion, what would that be?
"The best way to be more sustainable with your clothing is to keep it in circulation - this means purchasing quality items, keeping them in good condition, wearing them regularly, or selling them if they are no longer suitable. And if you prefer to donate, make sure you do some research or consult our list first to ensure your clothing doesn't end up in a landfill or worse yet, being shipped off to a developing country where it may undermine local textile economies."
What are your plans for the future?
"We are hoping to grow our community of sustainably-minded fashion lovers by providing the best tools to come together to share our wardrobes and style each other - please join us!"
Are there any projects that work towards a more sustainable fashion industry that you and your team are inspired by?
"The great work always inspires us at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in ongoing research into how the circular economy can make an impact."
Companies like Storey are what makes a greener future for fashion come sooner.