Otrium pioneers Data-Made Fashion to eliminate unsold inventory in fashion
Data-Made Fashion removes the guesswork from clothing creation by reproducing brands’ most popular items or using excess stock and fabrics, paving the way to a future without excess inventory.
14 JANUARY 2022
London, January 2022: Otrium, the end-of-season fashion platform, is bringing Data-Made Fashion to the industry to reduce waste from unsold inventory and excess fabric, and ensure more of the clothes created are bought, reducing waste and pollution.
At the cutting edge, the company is already collaborating with many of its brand partners, which also includes Studio-AR and Circle of Trust amongst many others, to produce Data-Made Fashion items and is seeing this pioneering part of its business expanding rapidly. Already, a Data-Made Fashion item for Otrium resulted in a best selling item for Alchemist, showing the commercial impact of the approach.
Otrium was designed to solve the fashion industry's unsold inventory challenge by giving fashion brands an online outlet channel and the digital tools to smartly connect their end-of-season collections with fashion lovers. For users, Otrium offers hundreds of designer brands in one app at up to 75% off.
Behind the scenes, Otrium goes to great lengths to ensure that it fulfills its company purpose - the company believes all clothing should be worn. That isn’t the case right now, currently, around 1 in 10 items are never sold, they remain in warehouses and eventually end up in landfills. Working towards a future when all clothing is worn, Otrium goes the extra mile to ensure its brand partners give their unsold items the best chance to find an owner. As well as Data-Made Fashion, Otrium’s technology also :
Smartly matches all inventory on its platform with its community of over 3.5 million fashion lovers. Otrium receives and polishes every item in its warehouses to ensure they are optimal before featuring on the site – which includes product photography, product descriptions, garment pressing, steaming, and new packaging when required.
Repairs and refurbishes returned items that would otherwise never be sold. With around a quarter of all industry-wide e-commerce fashion sales returned, often slightly damaged and unable to be resold as is, Otrium’s refurbishment services are able to solve this with around half of all its returns being restored and sold.
Otrium enables its brand partners to improve their ESG reporting processes and performance by helping brands to be entirely transparent about where their unsold inventory and fabrics are going – and providing them with the data to back this up.
What is Data-Made Fashion
Data-Made Fashion uses data from shoppers to create the clothes they want to wear, reducing waste from unsold inventory and creating fashion lines that don't end up unsold and so won’t ultimately find their way to landfills.
Otrium does this by using its customers' data, with their permission, in the right way. Otrium’s partners are able to create clothes customers want to wear, meaning fashion without excess (colours, sizes, lines etc.) Data-Made Fashion also enables a more efficient use of fabric, meaning less waste from excess material, a significant fashion industry polluter. As a result, Otrium helps brands create fashion that’s meant to be worn by taking the guesswork but not the creative inspiration out of clothing creation.
Otrium believes this is the future for a sustainable fashion industry and across the board fashion will shift towards a more demand-based approach to clothing creation.
About the Alchemist partnership
Otrium has partnered with Alchemist, a Dutch label founded in 2004 by Caroline Mewe, who believes fashion and ethical business practices are equally important. The label creates beautiful clothing that is ethically produced from sustainable materials.
Every year, Alchemist carefully creates two collections. These collections are assembled from designs that are easily mixed and matched with earlier collections, ensuring longevity. They make sure their collections are not only beautiful, but also durable. Also built to be worn through different seasons, the focus of the collections isn’t on following fast-moving trends but on high-quality designs that fit well.
For the partnership with Alchemist, the team worked with excess fabrics. The data insights Otrium provided showed Alchemist which styles are most popular with customers. This way, the team has been able to produce a lead item from overstock fabric. The item, the Dollma top in dark chocolate, has proven to be amongst the brand’s best-sellers, and the brand is now planning on a new Data-Made range for Spring ‘22.
Says Milan Daniels, co-CEO & co-founder of Otrium
“Creating Data-Made Fashion items with Otrium means that instead of being optimistic based on a gut feel, brands can be realistic, informed by the data. At Otrium we’re committed to creating long term positive impact and value with Data-Made Fashion that paves the way to a future without excess inventory altogether. “
Alchemist founder, Caroline Mewe, says;
“With Otrium, we combined leftover fabric from some popular items and their data insights to create one of our best-selling styles – our top Dollma top. Because our supplier already had the pattern and fabric in stock, they were able to quickly make the fabric into a beautiful item, which has sold incredibly well. We’re now planning on combining Otrium’s data with our designs and beautiful fabrics to expand our Data-Made Fashion range later in Spring 2022.”
- Partnership will give Otrium’s three million members greater visibility of brands going the extra mile when it comes to sustainability.- Shoppers can now select a filter showing only conscious brands and products, rated using Good On You data - Partnership comes as Otrium announces new Good On You accredited brands onto its marketplace including Adidas by Stella McCartney, Alchemist and Closed joining longer standing partner brands including Karl Lagerfeld, Alex Chung, Adidas and BelstaffOtrium, the premier fashion outlet marketplace today announces a partnership with Good On You, fashion’s #1 source for brand sustainability ratings. The partnership represents a significant step forward for the industry in making sustainable fashion more accessible. Otrium’s three million members around the world can now instantly see what brands go the extra mile on sustainability directly on the search results pages. Otrium members can now select a filter on the website or app that shows only ‘Conscious’ brands and products. This ‘Conscious’ label is based on Good On You’s rigorous ratings methodology, which evaluates each brand’s track record on the environment, labour and animal welfare. On Otrium, brands are asked to consent to show their rating. Good On You independently rates brands on behalf of consumers. The focus on transparency is why ratings are based solely on publicly available information including industry-leading standards, certifications and brands’ own reporting. To date, Good On You has rated more than 3,000 brands including mainstream fashion houses, smaller designers and ethical labels. Otrium co-founder and CEO, Milan Daniels, said: “We’re committed to finding ways to help our members shop more consciously, giving our fashion-lovers the best possible online retail experience while making sure every item of clothing produced is worn. Our partnership with Good On You will help to improve visibility for our millions of members so they can easily choose brands that go the extra mile to be more sustainable.It’s essential that we collaborate with external experts like the Good On You team. We are in the business of helping fashion brands waste less with a purpose-led vision of a circular future for the fashion industry. There are enormous challenges ahead as the world pushes towards a more sustainable future and we’re playing an important role by working with brands to help them reduce waste in fashion.” Sandra Capponi, co-founder of Good On You, said:"Fashion urgently needs to make progress on sustainability issues, and consumers have significant power to push the industry forward. We believe everyone has a right to know how brands impact the issues that you care about. That’s why it was natural for us to partner with an innovative platform like Otrium. We already share so many values around making sustainable fashion more accessible and combating waste.Thanks to this partnership Otrium is helping more customers than ever discover leading conscious brands—and that can make a real difference. Collectively, when we're all choosing to support the brands doing good for people and the planet, then the industry will have no choice but to respond. That’s how we help create a sustainable future for fashion.”Otrium’s fashion marketplace was designed to help solve the enormous multi-billion dollar industry challenge of unsold inventory. Currently, approximately 12% of clothing produced, or more than $200 billion, stays unsold sitting in warehouses.Using proprietary technology, Otrium works with fashion brands to help find a buyer for every item of clothing produced to reduce the clothing waste. It offers brands an easy way to set up an online outlet store, leveraging its in-depth analytics to ensure brands maximize their revenues and ensuring customers get the best fashion brands at exceptional prices, all with premium service.Significant momentum behind OtriumThe news of the partnership with Good On You comes as Otrium announces new brand partners to its marketplace of over 300 brands including Theory, All Saints, Joseph & Temperley, which have been added to longer standing partner brands including Karl Lagerfeld, Alex Chung Adidas and Belstaff. On top of this the marketplace is seeing revenues more than double in 2021 and is launching in the US at the end of this month.Otrium has 3 million registered members and over 300 fashion stores now on its app. It serves over 20 markets across Europe and the US from 3 logistics hubs located in the Netherlands, UK and the United States.For further information, please contact [email protected]
As a global company, we don’t want to limit ourselves to just one office or location. Read on to hear about our move to a digital HQ.Otrium was dreamt up as a digital-first company and we’ll always be that way. That’s why we’ve launched our HQ in the cloud.. It gives our employees, the O-team, the freedom and flexibility to carry out their work however suits them best. It also reaffirms our global, inclusive mindset.Beliefs
We hold four important beliefs that were the foundations of creating a HQ in the cloud. Firstly, we have a high-performance culture – we trust our teams to always deliver the best work. We understand that output is more important than the hours put in or the location the work was carried out in.Secondly, we already do everything in the cloud – our meetings, documents, daily communications (next to our communication in real life or in our hubs). It’s all online so it makes sense to cement this with an HQ in the cloud.Thirdly, we see all our hubs around the globe as equally important. All Otrium employees should receive the same employee experience. Last but not least, we see our hubs as social places where we can collaborate, concentrate and create. And we don’t want this process to stop just because our teams are in different cities or timezones. And everyone gets to choose the work model that’s best for them – and can change their work model twice a year to reflect their lives and changing circumstances as required.Working models
The Otrium work models include: remote first, hub first and a hybrid version of the two (50/50). With remote first, employees are 90% remote and will mostly work from another location other than our hub (so not necessarily working from home). With hub first, you’ll work from a hub for 80% of your time. We ask our O-team to keep working remotely for 20% of their time, to stimulate our digital way of working, productivity and to decrease commuting. The third model is our hybrid model, meaning you work 50% remote and 50% in one of our hubs.Freedom and flexibility
Finally, along with our HQ in the cloud, Otrium gives our team the freedom and flexibility to work remotely for eight calendar weeks per calendar year from another country than where registered on the employee’s contract. This could include working from another Otrium hub or location of choice.When dealing with different time zones, we make sure we document as much as possible. We use Notion as our source for company-wide info, our employee handbook, team pages and for all meeting notes, slides and recordings. Whether it’s 8am in Amsterdam or midnight in Auckland, all our information will always be there – in the cloud.Milan adds: “The future of work is flexibility. We’re building a truly global and diverse team. To do that we’ve created a model that adapts to people’s lives, instead of a one-size-fits-all model, which doesn’t reflect the way people want to work now. We’re giving our people the choice – in when, how and where they work. With our HQ in the cloud, we’ve developed a truly flexible working model that works for everyone, wherever they are in the world and whatever their personal circumstances. Our HQ in the cloud is the future of flexible working.”
In 2013, Netherlands-natives and recent grads Milan Daniels and Max Klijnstra launched a somewhat successful sweater brand in Amsterdam. The two were selling thousands of sweaters in over 20 countries, and doing 4-6 collections per year. What they eventually noticed, however, was that their warehouse was filled with a vast amount of items from previous collections, even after they’d already done their sale.Daniels and Klijnstra decided to look into solutions for these end-of-season clothes, so they talked to stock buyers, e-commerce sites that offered flash sales, physical outlet centers, and large outlet malls.They eventually learned that every brand had the problem of unsold inventory, that stock buyers and flash sales took very high margins, and that it was difficult for many brands to break the barrier to market entry at physical outlets.
So, in 2015 they launched undefined, an online marketplace for end-of-season clothes that allows brands to sell their unsold inventory at cheaper prices.In late May of 2020, Otrium announced that it had raised €24 million in Series B funding, in a round led by Eight Roads Ventures, with existing investors Index Ventures and Hans Veldhuizen participating.“We are trying to change the perception that clothing that is usually 3 months or 6 months at full price and after it’s seen as worthless” Milan Daniels, cofounder and co-CEO says. “We wanted to build a platform where these items get a chance at being bought at a price that is cheaper but still values all the resources that went to the product.”