January 25, 2021 Dave Desmarais

The Digital Measuring Tool Bringing Automation To Circular Fashion

The EPA estimates in 2018, 8% of all municipal solid waste sent to landfills was textiles. That equates to about 12 million tons of apparel discarded in the US alone. Over the decades, changing buying habits and the introduction of fast fashion have increased the rate at which we dispose of our clothes. Though consumers are starting to take notice of the negative impact the fashion industry has on the planet and now it seems habits are changing again, this time for the better. If you’re in business reselling vintage or secondhand clothing, you’re always interested in ways to do more with less. Tailored has created a digital measuring tool helping resellers do just that.

Don’t Stress, Your Current Process Is Common

ThredUP clothing resaleFrom local resale stores to global giants such as ThredUP and The RealReal, the process teams take to list product for sale online is mostly the same. That being said, differences do appear within each phase and how much effort is applied. For example, all clothing resellers go through a process to measure the clothing they sell (if you’re not you should be). The measurement data must also be input onto their website. ThredUP team members are trained to get through the measure and data entry step in under 20 seconds per garment. My guess is you’re not that fast.

From what we’ve seen, ThredUP has the fastest garment measuring step in the business (check back for our case study here). They do a great job continuously refining their workflow and improving their model. Though when you’re a public company, have raised millions of dollars and take in millions of items each year you can do that.

Where the process for many resale businesses differs, and can be improved, is the step of inputting data onto the web. If you’re a small to medium sized reseller you probably list for sale on your own site plus a few others. Perhaps you’re using a listing software. Or maybe you hire an offshore team to finalize your listings for you. Either way, improving efficiency is paramount for maximizing resources. A digital measuring tool will help you do this like the big guys.

How Circular Fashion Businesses Are Improving With Digital Measuring

Tailored is regularly sought out by companies in the fashion resale space. From individual sellers to global companies, their goal is always the same – improve speed during the garment intake and listing process. It makes sense to say the more apparel listed online means more sales. Yet increasing the amount of staff to grow listings is not possible because for most resale businesses margins are low. This leaves you to search for ways to do more with your status quo.

One photo eliminates 5 minutes of effort

Whether you sell clothing as a side hustle, operate a small local thrift store or run a million dollar resale business, you must measure the clothing you sell. Measuring clothing is a necessary evil throughout the apparel industry. It’s especially important in resale because it helps your product sell. Consumers need to know how much a garment has changed shape and dimension in its life. Additionally, depending on what era the garment is from, tag sizes are likely completely different. Check out how garment sizing has changed over the last 60 years here.

Digitally measure overall length of dressFrom what we see, average listing times per garment range from 3 minutes to over 10. Capture allows your teams to reduce time spent per garment by as much as 80%. By measuring the entire garment with the snap of a photo, teams spend seconds with a garment instead of minutes.

Better information for your customers to use

In addition to providing measurements and a good description, you’re photographing the product you sell. Without the ability to try clothing on, consumers need all the information they can get. Being diligent about this process is top of mind for resellers, especially the global leaders. Automation is making it’s way into this process as well and for Capture it is an additional piece of information for your customers without additional effort.

We’ve told you that by taking one photo of a garment you can receive its measurements. In addition,  you’ll also receive an image similar to the one on the right. This image is unique to the Capture system as it shows exactly where the garment has been measured. It also shows what the measurements are. Resellers use these images in addition to the lifestyle shots to give consumers a better idea of size and fit. Shoppers can even use the image to make a fit comparison to something they already own.

How Easy Is It To Use

It’s time to throw away the physical measuring tape and grab your mobile device. Capture is the only digital measuring tool that’s easily accessed via the browser on an Android or iOS device. The device must contain a camera as well. Generally speaking, Capture performs its duties well on any device newer than 2016.

As shown in the picture above, taking a photo requires the garment be placed on a flat surface. As with any new technology one can expect a slight learning curve. That being said, Capture contains a user friendly interface that’s also intuitive, making it difficult for users to take a bad picture. Placing the garment properly and taking a quality photo will result in accuracy levels more consistent than a human. We regularly see accuracy to 1/8 inch of a human performing the same measuring tasks.

As we continue to deploy Capture across the globe, we find teams ramp up in 30 days or less and begin to see 30-40% increases in numbers of listing per day.

A Clothes Measuring Tool That Can Be Used Around The Globe

There are plenty of human resources available around the world to help resellers be more efficient. We often speak with retailers who list between 1-10k garments per month that perform most of the pre-listing actions at HQ, but will hire an offshore team to perform the measuring and final listing process. Since Capture is web based digital measuring tool, it can be deployed to any place that has WiFi.

For more information on pricing and how Capture can help your resale business, reach out to us here. A member of our team will reach back out by end of the business day.