How Tailored makes shopping
secondhand easy and accurate
by John Lyon
As someone who goes thrift shopping, my favorite part about used clothing is that everything is unique. As someone who manages an online marketplace, however, one of my least favorite parts about used clothing is that everything is unique. When we started Thrift Collective, we had to design a marketplace with some tricky questions in mind:
- How do you organize clothing if there is only one of everything?
- How do you make sure products are displayed consistently?
- How can you standardize sizing if everything is different?
This sizing question was especially tricky.
Every garment has a history. Items on our site are from different eras, made of all different materials, have been cared for in different ways, come from different brands, and have different sizing conventions. This may come as a shock, but tag sizes are not standardized. There is no international weights and measures advisory board who convenes in Brussels every year to differentiate between “L” and “XL.” Instead of an items’ history being what makes it so special – we are often stopped short in our tracks by wondering if it is even going to fit our bodies. We needed to somehow standardize the sizing experience on our marketplace, and that is when we turned to Tailored.
Tailored is a fashion technology company that is using artificial intelligence (AI) to help bring accuracy and consistency to the world of apparel resale. Their patented “Capture” technology allows users to receive a complete set of measurements and data by just snapping a quick photo, and their hands-on support has helped Thrift Collective integrate their data seamlessly into our process. We are always trying to make online thrift shopping easier, and now with the help of Tailored – we are also able to make online thrift shopping accurate.
"...Tailored is helping bring businesses online at a time when having a digital option has never been more important."
In addition to helping us improve our product experience for customers, Tailored’s technology has powerful implications for sustainability within the fashion industry at large. Retail returns from online purchases are often discarded by brands—and the double shipping of products back and forth between vendor and customer is a wasteful game of trial and error. By helping shoppers understand what works best for their body, data provided by Tailored can help drive down return rates and increase customer confidence.
Tailored has also designed a technology bundle that is equipped to handle the specific challenges of clothing resale. It is not uncommon to see some form of sizing guide on a retail brand’s website – but secondhand clothing has struggled to have the same consistency. By designing technology that is easy to use, Tailored is helping bring businesses online at a time when having a digital option has never been more important.
Thrift Collective’s marketplace is designed to make thrifting online easy, and a huge part of that process is making sure we can show customers the clothes that will fit them. With the help of Tailored, we can bring consistency and accuracy to online thrifting—and make it easier than ever to shop for sustainable fashion.