Ripso is improving clothing ownership.
As Americans, we each throw away 55 items of clothing every year. This "disposable apparel" culture has an enormous negative impact on people and the environment. And if we're tossing out perfectly good clothing, what went wrong in the first place?
The reality is that the mainstream fashion industry encourages high rates of consumption versus quality of ownership. So here we are. But what if there was a new alternative?
Ripso believes that customizing and enhancing existing clothing is a huge opportunity for clothing owners.
We want to resurrect your favorite pair of old jeans and add to their story by connecting you with a creative, independent clothing designer who can help you re-imagine a fresh design or cut. With an easy shipping process and custom app, you'll look at your closet in a whole new way.
1. Browse embroidery, prints, patches, or even tailoring and repairs, and purchase an enhancement that you'd like for your own clothes.
2. Receive a pre-labeled package from Ripso, place your clothes inside and ship to your Ripso Designer.
3. Your Designer works their magic and returns your updated item back to you. Voila!
You can read more about this on our Ripso landing page.
Examples of Designs
Below are basic examples of the designs we plan to feature. As a Ripso user, you're meant to take simple ideas like these and run with them as far as you and your Designer want. The only boundary is imagination.
Why are we doing this?
We launched Ripso as a creative response to the devastating human impacts of clothing production. Even foregoing one new item for a Ripso enhancement makes a meaningful impact.
- 26 billion pounds of clothing and accessories go to landfills each year.
- Fiber production uses 145 million tons of coal and 1.5 trillion gallons of water per year.
- The WHO estimates that 90% of leather tanning workers die before the age of 50 (primarily caused by exposure to heavy metals).
Global Cotton Production
- 1,320 gallons of water are required to produce just one pound of cotton apparel.
- Worldwide cotton production utilizes 2.4% of agricultural land but is responsible for 25% of all insecticide use.
- Workers come into contact with chemicals during cotton processing. Most of these workers have no physical protection, no health insurance, no collective bargaining rights and no recourse for the inevitable illnesses that arise.
The Work Thus Far
Our team spent the last six months working on customer discovery, exploring the relationship between people and apparel. We leaned on Big Room Studios, a stellar Portland-based web development team that spearheaded both this process and our technical user experience planning. We're confident that we'll be able to hit the ground running with our beta app buildout, with the right features, the day the campaign concludes.
We've also been busy building our network of Designers, who hail from small towns and big cities all across the US. We've developed a certification process for onboarding new Designers and currently have a strong base of amazingly talented independent artists readying for go-live.
Finally, we're working hard to set up our back-end logistics to make the process of shipping your cherished clothing simple and delightful.
The Ripso App
To see our early wireframes, click here. This is the foundation for what we'll be building with your Kickstarter support. You can "log in" by navigating to the menu in the upper right and clicking on the Facebook or Google sign-ins (no email or password required).
We are launching a completely personalized premium service. We're not competing with H&M - Ripso is on the other end of the spectrum, a true "designer experience". We expect most customizations to be within the range of $80-120 when designer compensation, materials, shipping and back-end technology support are all accounted for. This compares very favorably versus traditional designer clothing, generally starting at $300. That said, we're staying laser-focused on keeping operations as efficient as possible to maintain our price target.
Are you a Designer?
If you currently sew or design and are interested in joining as a Ripso Designer, we've got a simple three-step certification process and can get you onboard in time for launch. You can choose how much you get paid, when and where you work, and expand your existing audience. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Thank you for your support!
Risks and challenges
What we're trying to do is hard and there are a few challenges we're directly focused on:
1. Growing our network of designers.
We've been manually reaching out to individual designers and certifying them for participation on the app, and this takes time; the Kickstarter campaign will be essential for expanding our exposure to ensure that we'll have a plethora of both designs and designers from which to choose when we launch.
2. Launching our app on time.
In order to move quickly and with agility, we've leveraged third-party experts to help guide the early phases, including Portland Design Company (branding), Wallace James Clothing Company (apparel industry consulting), Penumbra Recordings (audio recording), FXD (video production) and Big Room Studios (market research, web development), among others. Resourcing this way minimizes our development risk as teams can quickly scale up or down depending on our project needs. Big Room Studios has been the force behind successful Kickstarter campaigns in the past.
3. Setting up our logistics chain.
When you order a design on our app, we send a special customized Ripso package that you can simply drop your clothing into and ship directly to your designer. There are many small details involved with this process, and we want to be as efficient as possible at each step. We're working closely with UPS and a local packaging partner to make sure this stays on track and adds to the unique Ripso story and experience.
- (30 days)