In this fast-paced world, the sharing economy is getting more and more popular nowadays. People started to create an eco-friendly society to reduce environmental impact. Clothes Telling is an organization that builds a platform for the public to exchange their second-hand clothes without any additional charge. To them, every piece of clothing has its own story. Their mission is to continue their stories by finding them new owners and spread love.
【Second Hand, Second Chance】
What moment has inspired you to create ‘Clothes Telling’? The founder
Ivy Hung said, “The economic inequality issue has existed over the past decade. In this modern society, shopping is a hobby. With the constant discounts and sales, the amount of clothing we bought has increased dramatically.” She wanted to change the environment and society, which is the main reason she started her company.
How does sharing closet work? The founder explained, “People write down the stories of their clothes and hang them up to exchange with others. You not only receive new clothes, you also extended the life of your clothes. Co-Founder Maggie Chang pointed out how secondhand clothing traders are very common in European markets. They also saw the growing trend in the clothing resale market from 2014 to 2023 worldwide. With Clothes Telling, they. want to offer a different approach to the public. For example, you can either turn your unwanted clothes into virtual tokens or purchase virtual tokens in cash.
It is not easy to start a business. The path to success is paved with reality. They’ve encountered many problems when they tried to establish their own business model. For instance, the relatively small-sized target audience in Taiwan, a high proportion of variable cost, and other legal problems. It also took them a long time to transform their business from not profitable to profitable. Instead of worrying about the problem, they decided to ask professionals in the industry for help. Finally, ‘Clothes Telling’ has developed a unique business model that allows them to receive 20% revenue share from users who purchase their tokens.
【More value, Less burden】
Since COVID-19 poses a threat to the global economy, it has changed shopping behaviors significantly. Ivy Hung said, “The new features we developed will launch in the near future. It is convenient and will allow users to keep social distancing while exchanging their clothes via our app.” They designed applications with various functions. For example, implementing intelligent classification, utilizing databases to analyze consumer preference, and setting up clear information about used clothes. Moreover, Clothes Telling partnered with other social enterprises for the use of virtual tokensuch as ‘Greenvines’ and ‘agooday’.
What about their long-term goal? Ivy Hung said that they might focus more on outfits variations and kids’ garments soon. Due to their innovative solution for unwanted clothes, they not only solve the problem of disposing unwanted clothes to landfills, they also created a new space for sharing closets.
【Reality versus Dream】
It’s impossible to know everything about running your business. The truth is that reality is always cruel because your business will always challenge you, and people often put you down. People doubted their business model in various aspects. However, Ivy Hung said that they are always open to advice so they can improve their business. Age is nothing but a number; they have learned many valuable lessons about running a business. A senior once ask them, “If you could spend 20 million to buy a house or a dream, what would you choose?” They chose dream. They never regret building Clothes Telling. They want to make a little difference in the society by changing people’s behavior so everyone can live more sustainably and help save the planet.
【Join Social Innovation Lab, Turn your dream into reality】
For those who are interested in the sharing closet economy, you can find more information via their Facebook page. They share information regarding second-hand markets and introduce other social enterprises. Clothes Telling was selected as one of the startup organizations to station at ‘Social Innovation Lab’ because of their innovative solutions for environment challenges. What are the common factors to these startups that entered the Social Innovation Lab? Both startups emphasize social impact, problem solving, and are working towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
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Posted on IEIT: https://startup.sme.gov.tw/NewsContent/312