Private investors from the fashion industry and leaders of sustainable development are backing “Clothes to Donate”, with 1.5 million pln in the pre-seed round.
The growing popularity of the platform ubraniadooddania.pl, thanks to which millions of Poles can get rid of clothes stuck in wardrobes and give it a new life, prompted the founders to further revolutionize the second-hand clothing market in Poland. The company wants to enable fashion brands to enter the second-hand market and argues that it can be profitable.
The idea of creating a circular second-hand clothing market in Poland, which fits in with global trends, was supported by as many as 8 private investors, including leaders in the fashion industry, incl. Zofia Dzik – investor in socially important projects, founder of the Humanites Institute and an independent member of Supervisory Boards in many companies, including CCC, Tomasz Ciąpała – founder and CEO of the Lancerto clothing brand, as well as Grzegorz Pilch – a long-term member of the management boards of e.g. VRG groups – brands Vistula, Wólczanka. The group of investors also included, among others Bartosz Ciołkowski (MasterCard), Krzysztof Czuba (Aion Bank) and Łukasz Chojnowski (UnitedIdeas). The funds raised in the amount of PLN 1.5 million will allow, among others, develop cooperation with brands, increase clothing collections, and build the first network of circular second-hand boutiques in Poland.
“The development potential of Clothes to Give is defined, among others global trends in the circular economy and sustainable consumption of clothing, and the dynamically growing fashion for second hand, amplified by the ideas of zero waste and sustainable fashion, which shot up during the pandemic and the related crisis. ” – emphasizes Tomasz Ciąpała, one of the investors.
According to the Central Statistical Office of Poland (GUS), the second-hand clothing market in Poland is worth nearly PLN 6 billion a year, and over 10 million adult Poles wear clothes shops. At the same time, the website www.bumbleaddania.pl already has more active users than before the pandemic. Only this year, Poles have re-circulated through the UDO an average of 1.5 tons of clothes a day.
The startup wants to introduce a circular model of operation and enable fashion brands to earn on what they have previously treated as waste. Our own sorting plant will be used for this
and the proprietary CLEAR Sorting process, which enables the selection of used clothing according to any category – brand, purpose or age group. The company also wants to collect returns or complaints from stores and re-circulate it after repairing and refreshing it.
“We will not make the fast fashion industry produce less, but we will help it see the value of second hand and clean up after itself. Thanks to us, every clothing brand can profit from the re-sale of previously produced clothes or shoes, and at the same time act more responsibly ”- emphasizes Zosia Zochniak, the originator and co-founder of Ubrania do Oddania.
Patagonia, an American giant of outdoor clothing, has recently decided to upcycling and sell second-hand clothes. The shift from e-commerce to re-commerce made the company the # 1 brand in the US for trust in 2021.
Ubrania do Oddania are not slowing down despite the pandemic. The startup is intensively developing its own brand of upcycling clothing “Love Second Chance”, a sorting plant in the proprietary CLEAR Sorting model and a fundraising platform for online clothing collections. The company also wants to revolutionize e-commerce by introducing “Fair boxes”, thanks to which e-shop customers can pack unnecessary clothing into cartons after online shopping and return it to circulation via UDO.