How Turtle’s “Slow and Steady” Clothing Concept Challenges Fast Fashion

June 02, 2022

TurtleApp or ‘Turtle’, a solution to improve the second-hand clothing market, is a winner of the EIT Community New European Bauhaus Ideathon Award. They are one of four winners eligible to win the Grand Jury Prize, selected by the Joint Research Center, and endowed with a prize of €10,000. The winner will be announced at the next Ideathon awards ceremony, which will take place during the New European Bauhaus Festival.

The Turtle team is made up of Damaris Büchner, Dimitrios Asproulis, Cindy Leticia Montano and Teresa Pérez Ciria. The team was formed during the Climathon EIT Climate-KIC 2021 in Zurich. The group did not know each other before the Climathon and formed organically through the team building activities and group discussions of the event. They discovered that they were all driven by making a positive impact and bringing more circularity and sustainability to the fashion world. The team went on to win the Climathon Jury Prize.

“Climathon was a unique experience for us, as we met, worked together for 24 hours to prototype our solution and started building our network to support the deployment of our project,” said Dimitrios Asproulis. “We strongly recommend everyone to attend the next Climathon in their city, as it is truly a wonderful opportunity to learn and become active in your community. We were truly impressed with how the event fosters, both offline and online, an environment of creativity and collaboration that inspires innovative, community-based solutions to global environmental challenges that affect everyone.

Turtle’s idea is the result of the group’s reflection – as young citizens – on the sustainability challenges we face today, particularly in relation to the negative environmental impact of fast fashion such as emissions, water use and material extraction due to increased production, as well as the short lifespan of clothing and the resulting pollution and textile waste. According to the Ellen McArthur Foundation, every second the equivalent of a garbage truck full of clothes is burned or buried in a landfill.

Currently, there are a number of places where you can buy second-hand clothes: physical stores, online platforms, marketplaces, pop-up markets, etc. However, these options are scattered, which makes it more difficult and time-consuming to find second-hand clothes. – handmade items only through traditional fast fashion.

“Although more than 60% of people surveyed in our study indicate that they are ready to buy more second-hand clothes, the current second-hand shopping experience is not as pleasant as that of fast fashion stores,” said Damaris Büchner. “We’ve identified that the main pain points for consumers are limited inventory, low levels of trust, and the significant amount of time and effort it takes to find what they’re looking for.”

Turtle solves these problems by connecting customers to thrift stores through a digital platform and efficiently matching demand to supply by consolidating all available second-hand apparel in one place, in one transaction. The app focuses on local options to increase community connection and reduce CO2 transportation costs.

“We want to inspire more sustainable fashion consumption, making local second-hand clothing more visible and accessible to everyone in a way that’s easy to use, smart and trustworthy,” said Cindy Leticia Montano. “Our vision is for Turtle to become synonymous with accessible, high-quality second-hand fashion, enabling a more circular and eco-friendly fashion paradigm.”

Currently, Turtle is testing its business model by attracting customers and integrating second-hand stores in the city of Zurich as part of a pilot project. It plans to launch in three more European cities by the end of 2022. Its goal is to expand its coverage by building a trusted network of second-hand stores across Europe and promoting Turtle through to an integrated marketing campaign in each city.

Longer term, the Turtle team wants to introduce other features to the platform, including meta-search functionality, recycling and repair options, as well as engaging in more social events such as swap parties and sustainable fashion shows.

Turtle is in the running for the Grand Jury Award at the upcoming EIT Community New European Bauhaus Ideathon awards ceremony.

“We are delighted that our idea has been recognized by the EIT Community New European Bauhaus Ideation Awards and that we will be part of the EIT Climate-KIC community across Europe,” said Teresa Pérez Ciria. “With the awards ceremony approaching this month, we look forward to joining the program in person, sharing our progress with potential partners and investors, and meeting and learning from the successes of others. influential teams on how we can grow further and make a more sustainable Europe together.

She continued: “Of course, the potential to win the Grand Jury Prize is also very important, as it will help us accelerate our rise and will greatly support us in our mission to make second-hand fashion more visible and accessible. than ever.. Finally, we are truly grateful for this opportunity to share our project with the world and for the support of EIT Climate-KIC to help us make the fashion ecosystem more sustainable.

More information on how to register for the EIT Community’s New European Bauhaus Idea Award Ceremony can be found here.

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