The closet full of nothing to wear: According to a Greenpeace study, around 40% of clothes in Germany are rarely or completely unworn in closets; a McKinsey study revealed that in the UK, each item of clothing is worn an average of four times.
Ex-banker Bianca Rangecroft started to tackle these first world problems last year when starting Whering, an app that allows users to digitize their entire wardrobe. It aims to create a streamlined and accessible online styling tool that helps to lead to an “ethical wardrobe and an end to the ‘buy-use-dispose’ model.’” Or simply said, it provides a digital overview of what you have hanging in your closet so that you can reuse it instead of buying more useless stuff.
“There have been many iterations of the iPhone, and yet our wardrobes are still stuck in the 1930s–our mission is to make way for a new generation of closets. For me the system was broken; the vicious cycle of not being able to see what you own, impulse buying and the lack of inspiration in the styling process meant only one thing, we had to take it digital and harness the power of machine learning to hyper-personalize our fashion experience,” Rangecroft says.
Bianca Rangecroft, founder, Whering
After downloading the app on iOS or Android, users can take pictures of their wardrobe and upload them in bulk. Whering’s technology will then automatically remove the background of the picture and tag the items creating images. If this seems like a daunting task, for a one-off fee (starting from £50), the user can book one of Whering’s assistants to visit and take care of this with their ‘White Glove Service.’
The app uses an intricate style matrix and personality test to try to create the best styling environment for each customer. The user can then use these images to create outfits themselves or use the ‘Dress Me’ function in the app, and Whering’s algorithm will suggest outfit ideas.
Whering offers a free and a paid subscription model: ‘Whering Essentials’ is for free and allows users to upload unlimited pictures, create outfits, use the ‘Dress Me’ and wishlist function, access to the newsfeed function and create up to four collections (groups of outfits).
‘Whering VIP’ is a subscription service (£4.99 per month or £50 per year) that offers users all of the essential functions plus premium features including a calendar integration which allows users to plan ahead and set outfits for certain days as well as log previous outfits, adding a photo/selfie to an outfit card, access to personalized mood boards, the ability to use the storage toggle to hide seasonal items that the user doesn’t want to see in their closet at the moment and finally to create unlimited collections.
In future updates for its app, the London-based start-up plans to integrate partners to further tackle the fashion industry’s waste issues and prevent the 350,000 tons of clothing that ends up in landfills each year in the UK (according to WRAP): Users will find recommendations of where to mend, repurpose or donate their items, or, as they are already digitized, sell or rent items through third-party API integrations.