4 Apps to help you make the most of your closet
Author: Jil Carrara
Cher’s wardrobe in the 1995 film ‘Clueless’ was every teenage girl’s dream. With a quick scroll she was able to put together an outfit from a computer in front of her rotating wardrobe in a matter of seconds. Now, 25 years later, digitised wardrobes have become a reality for a lot of women with the help of handy apps that help you catalogue your wardrobe and inspire you to re-wear through mood boards or advice from personal stylists.
In the UK, clothing lasts for an average of 3.3 years before it is discarded or passed on and adults only wear 44% of the clothing they own. It begs the question, could these apps help combat overconsumption and make re-wearing the norm, or dare I say it, exciting?
With around 350,000 tonnes of clothes, with an estimated value of £140 million, going to landfill every year in the UK alone, a garment’s lifecycle is one of the most important elements to a sustainable wardrobe. The most planet-friendly fashion is the one you already own, but this isn’t always easy to remember when plugged into the world’s nervous system 24/7 via social media. Trends change on a weekly basis and if you are on any social media platform you are sold impulse buys on a daily basis. Ads, influencer posts or trends that spread like wildfire, make you feel you *absolutely need* that item. Afterall, it smartly plays on a very human desire to fit in and belong.
Shopping from your own wardrobe can oftentimes feel less than exciting, but for plenty of people this is a default state. However, studies have shown that during the past ten years, the number of items of clothing purchased per consumer has more than doubled (Global Fashion Agenda and Boston Consulting Group 2017).
Then there is the dopamine rush we get from buying something without really thinking about it or for just an occasion. But what if, with the help of technology, we could feel the same way but be more sustainable? What wardrobe digitising apps aim to do is give you that same rush by making what you own feel exciting and new.
The Whering app helps you plan outfits from your existing clothes by creating a digital inventory of your wardrobe. Once signed in you snap a picture of your items and the app instantly places it on a white background, automatically adding descriptions to it. Once uploaded you can start creating different outfit options in moodboard form, which truly makes the process feel like a fun fashion game. Founder and CEO Bianca Rangecroft says they are “looking to drastically reduce the carbon and water footprint of consumers by focusing on optimising the two parts of the value chain that they control: purchasing and utilisation.” With the ability to track your wears, Whering encourages outfit repeating but also helps you understand what can be sold or donated. Bianca believes that “democratising access to personal styling [is] the biggest tool against overconsumption”, which is why the app enables you to get personalised styling advice. With a daily outfit calendar, weather integration and access to sustainable shopping should you need to fill any gaps (through second-hand, small ethical brands or rental), this app empowers you “to differentiate between trying to buy for trends vs putting outfits together that actually work in the long term”.
SAVE YOUR WARDROBE
By applying technology at every step of the post-purchase and aftercare journey of an item, Save Your Wardrobe takes care of all your garments needs. Co-founder and CEO Hasna Kourda believes that “through the process of sorting and organising to upload clothing there is a reconnection to physical items and judgments are made to their value”. Not only can you create outfits and categorise them by event, date or style to mitigate impulse or occasion shopping, but you also have access to what Hasna calls “an ecosystem of aftercare options” and shopping tracking. The app connects you to small businesses such as sustainable cleaning, repairs, alteration and donation platforms, to be able to extend the garments lifecycle even further. The app also features a unique proprietary email parsing technology that instantly collects every purchase made online and shows in your wardrobe without you having to manually upload it. “Making clothing visible in one app is foundational in gaining an understanding of what is currently owned,” Hasna shares. It makes you ask yourself questions like ‘do I really need another pair of black jeans, when I can make this many outfits with the pair I already own? Spoiler alert, the answer is usually no.
As a long-time fan of building a capsule wardrobe, Own Kind’s app is on a mission to help you restyle your core pieces in many different ways by giving you access to their network of personal stylists.
If the prospect of photographing every item in your wardrobe seems a bit daunting, founder Ruaraidh Grubb has a solution. Own Kind is the “only platform that allows you to upload outfit selfies and social posts (both of which are already in your camera roll) as well as just product shots, so you don’t have to go and take a new photo of every item uploaded.” Their AI image editing helps you inventory so you can build looks and create up to 60 different outfits with just 12 items. You can create moodboards adding your own outfit pictures or any outfits that inspire you and re-create them with items in your wardrobe. Feeling stuck in a style rut? Schedule an in-app personal styling session and discuss how you can spice up some looks or how you could style a piece you’ve been lusting over for weeks to see if it could fit with your existing wardrobe.
The Storey App is the perfect tool for anyone that loves to get inspired by other people’s wardrobes on social media and on the streets. The social feed allows you to browse the community’s wardrobes and get inspired as well as buy any pre-loved items from members directly on the app, “it’s one way for sure to a more sustainable and circular economy for fashion,” co-founder Tak shares.
The average number of times a garment is worn before it ceases to be used has decreased by 36% compared to 15 years ago, while clothing production has doubled. The app tackles a major symptom of modern-day consumerism: having too much stuff and wanting more. Co-founder Nicole explains “our wardrobes are often cluttered and hard to browse, so people feel like they have nothing to wear,” a problem we all know too well, that often leads us to buying even more. With features that highlight which of your rarely worn items have the highest estimated resale price and the ability to create and save travel packing lists and outfit collages, you can take control of your wardrobe and shop and sell mindfully.