Clothing has been and will continue to be one of the most basic needs of every human being. Clothing not only covers a need but also helps people express themselves and their individuality, but for the most part it has been thanks to fashion designers that the textile industry has been changing the concept of what is in our out of fashion.
Many actions that people carry out leave a carbon footprint that in some way harms the environment and as a consequence us. This is the case of clothing mass production, especially considering there constant need to come up with several different collections in a given year, to pieces discarded by big companies to make way for incoming trends and the accumulation of clothes by consumers, that end up in the landfill.
This outlook is what inspired Rossanna Ceccato to create Redress, the first scalable digital clothing exchange platform in the United States. Her project has been widely accepted and recognized names such as TEDx, Founders Institute and the WIN lab from the Babson College.
The excess or accumulation of clothes and their subsequent disposal in a landfill is also unfortunate given that ninety-five percent of these clothes could be recycled, upcycled, exchanged or even donated to organizations that are responsible for the care of the needy.
Rossanna Ceccato is a Venezuelan entrepreneur with more than fifteen years of experience in the fashion world and with several retail and wholesale ventures in countries such as Colombia, United States, and her native Venezuela.
“Redress strives to give a second chance to the nine billion garments that today hang in U.S. closets. Redress has an environmentally responsible circular fashion business model that allows its users to reduce their carbon footprint by swapping their barely used clothing pieces with us.
Many people often struggle finding sustainable and smart alternatives to diversify their wardrobes, and it has been confirmed by studies and surveys that the Instagram generation often doesn’t want to be seen wearing the same clothes more than once.
Today the second-hand clothing industry has welcomed the more than seventy-four million people, one third of them through digital platforms, and the numbers are only getting bigger, twenty percent increase just during the COVID pandemic.
“I realized that the existing digital platforms, have important shortcomings, resell sites do not give a fair deal to their users allowing then only to recoup a fraction of the original cost of their pieces, rent platforms do not allow you to monetize what you already have in your closet and in peer to peer swap sites it takes months for people to exchange clothes, worse many are not in the conditions they are displayed or offered.” Rossanna explains, and adds, “I also noticed it is difficult to avoid scams on one to one swap platforms.”
Rossanna took all of this in mind while she obtained an entrepreneurship certification from the Wharton School of Business at UPenn, and started to study the industry in search for solutions to tackle its deficiencies while addressing the environmental issues caused by clothing accumulation and ever-growing growing landfills.
“When I was accepted to the Founders Institute accelerator program, I decided to turn Redress into the next fashion unicorn, studying an average of eighty hours a week for four months. At the end, out of more than twenty-five startups, Redress finished in third place, being the only female and Latina founder.” Rossanna shares.
Recently, Rossanna was invited by Babson College WIN lab to join their reputed women founder exponential scaling program to continue her dream of changing the world“one dress at a time.”
Today, Redress is the first scalable clothing exchange site in the United States designed to renew people’s wardrobe by using their clothes as currency.
“Redress allows for immediate exchanges thanks to an inventory nourished by the pieces of our own users. In Redress, all clothing items are verified by a team that ensures eligibility and quality standards so the Redress community obtains certified pieces of similar value to what they are delivering.” Rossanna says.
Redress allows its users to save up to ninety percent in clothing compared to buying new garments. More importantly, for every million pieces exchanged with Redress its users will reduce eleven thousand tons of carbon dioxide and save more than eighty million dollars.
Learn more about Rossanna and Redress here.