Otrium was founded with the purpose that all clothing should be worn.
One in ten items made are never sold – this is not only a huge waste of the creativity and labour that goes into their production, but a waste of investment and natural resources. Founders, Milan and Max, wanted to change this.
We’re a purpose-driven, end-of-season fashion platform, developing technology and using data to match supply and demand within the fashion industry to reduce this impact. We’re changing the way fashion is created and sold through our technology which finds a match for every item on our platform, and then through our data, informs demand-based clothing creation.
Fashion is trapped in a broken cycle of overproduction; creating stress and waste for brands, people, and natural resources. The industry is at a turning point, and thanks to technological advancements across the board, it’s the right time for us all to be pioneers of new and better solutions. Being purpose-led is at the core of everything we do. Similar to the circular model, at Otrium, we aim to close the loop of the previously linear industry model, by selling the unsellable: we polish, match, use data, and refurbish. How?
1. We polish
We receive and ‘polish’ items to regain value. From product description, photography, packaging, and pressing, we ensure that every piece is ready to be adored by a new owner. We have state-of-the-art warehouses with top-quality equipment, to bring items back to life. Often, returned garments only require tiny ‘tweaks’ to be ready for sale, but are instead left lying in storage or end up as landfill.
2. We match
We find a match – an owner for every item on our platform. And for the small portion of items that cannot be sold on our platform, we sell them to stock buyers. As a company, we are motivated by our leading philosophy, that all clothing should be worn. Because of this, we use technology and data to match supply and demand in the most efficient way possible, matching each item to a fashion lover.
3. We use data
Together with our partner brands, we use insights to create demand based fashion which removes the likelihood of excess inventory. We're taking the guesswork out of fashion production with data informed forecasting to reduce unsold inventory coming into the supply chain to start with.
4. We refurbish
Many returns in e-commerce remain unsold because they are returned with minor imperfections, some damage or are just not worth investing in repressing and repackaging, fixing up labels etc. We believe it's worth the effort, so we refurbish as many items as we can to ensure that they're sold and worn.
Change for us starts with measuring and quantifying our impact. We approach our impact in two key ways; having no negative impact as a company, and having a positive impact on the industry.
It is in our best interest to measure, monitor, map out, and change our processes where necessary. We are committed to measuring and managing our environmental impact from the perspective of our brand partnerships and the fashion industry as a whole. Our organisational boundary is set in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol – a global standardised framework to measure and manage greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Almost 40% of our global greenhouse gas emissions can be traced back to energy generation, and half of that energy is used by industrial or commercial entities. We continually measure our environmental impact in order to manage it and keep it as low as possible. We measure our Carbon Footprint (+ link to report), through three scopes: 1. Controlled GHGs (combustion from the office and vehicles) 2. Indirect emissions (electricity) and, 3. Emissions resulting from activities (packaging, warehouse, and logistics).
Due to the fact that we are a data-driven organisation, we use metrics and insights to inform our decisions. In order to track our impact, we’ve produced three reports. Each report looks into our impact, how we measure our impact, and what the future looks like:
We created these reports as a baseline to understand our impact and set goals.
Otrium is determined to drive this research forward to improve transparency in the fashion industry as a whole and to validate and quantify the impact of our business model. The first step is to find the right partners and institutions to collaborate with on this research.
What calculations will we be making?
We’ll analyse our material data and use it to build a strategy for lowering our impact. By nature, the fashion industry is diverse with an eclectic mix of styles and preferences. Because of this, it is important to have an in-depth understanding of the different materials we are working with. Secondly, we’ll carry out order process calculations, including those for the Carbon Dioxide that is expelled as a result of packaging and transportation. In addition, we will be assessing the life cycle of our fashion brands. For example, how much energy did it take for a product to be made?
We will publish our 2022 results and actively communicate our progress and findings via the Conscious page on our platform. So keep your eyes peeled!