University alumni teams up with shops to transform upcycling through AI  - The Coventry Observer

University alumni teams up with shops to transform upcycling through AI 

UNIVERSITY of Warwick alumni is teaming up with Selfridges and Depop to transform second hand fashion through AI.

Four people who met while studying the University have started a business called – TRUSS – which has won £1.2million grant to use AI algorithms to revolutionise how people and businesses buy and sell pre-loved clothes.

Data shows new t-shirts use 20,000 litres of water to make – so each item of second hand clothing bought is more environmentally friendly and sustainable.

The algorithm will search the internet to automate the sale of second-hand clothes – with sellers on the sites receiving suggested pricing, and product recommendation.

Woody Lello, CEO of TRUSS and Warwick Global Sustainable Development alumni said: “The second-hand fashion market presents immense opportunities, but also significant challenges.

“Every item holds a story but unlocking its value is a laborious process marked by online research and manual data entry.




“Our mission is to empower resale businesses with instant access to rich, actionable data.

“We’re looking forward to a future where buying and selling second hand clothes is just as easy and convenient as buying from new.”


Selfridges is aiming for 45 per cent of transactions to be circular by 2030.

Ella Gould, head of sustainability and innovation at Selfridges said: “We’re excited to be working with TRUSS as part of the Innovate UK AI Grant on this research project as we collectively work to find solutions that will create meaningful, long-term change for the fashion industry.”

 

Alice Jacques, director of machine learning at Depop said: “At Depop, we believe that ‘everything you want already exists’.

“We want to encourage more people to choose second-hand instead of new – and with tens of millions of circular items on our marketplace, you’re sure to find a secondhand item you love, whatever your style.”

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