Otrium & Vaayu quantify the environmental impact of fashion outlet businesses

Outlet fashion platform Otrium measures avoided carbon emissions and waste with carbon-calculating software Vaayu
Feb 9
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Amsterdam, 21 June, 2023 - Today, Otrium, a purpose-driven fashion outlet platform, publishes a comprehensive analysis ofthe avoided carbon emissions and waste of modern off-price business models with the support of Vaayu, the climate tech start-up. Vaayu used its proprietary AI and machine learning technology, alongside its team ofin-house Life Cycle Assessment experts,to gather insights from over 45 fashion brands (both available on and off Otrium) and data from almost five million fashion products live on Otrium to calculate carbon at a granular science-based level. 

The research explores the broader role that modern outlet business models like Otrium can play in contributing to a more circularfashion industry by providing an alternative to waste streams for unsold stock. Itrepresents a new contribution to understanding the end-of-life phase offashion products as one ofthe largest data sets on unsold stock practices. In 2022, based on these calculations, Otrium prevented 6,496 tonnes of carbon emissions (CO₂e) and 104 tonnes of waste by providing fashion brands with a profitable solution to clear unsold inventory, compared to an alternative scenario in which off-price businesses like Otrium do not exist. That’s the equivalent of 2,219 round-trip flights between Amsterdam to NYC1for one passenger orthrowing away 130,524 pairs of jeans2

Otrium partners with over 400 fashion brands like Filippa K, Mara Hoffman, Everlane, Outerknown and CLOSED to reach new consumers for every item of clothing produced and extend the life oftheir collections. Now, with the help of Vaayu, Otrium has access to live carbon tracking at a product and brand level, enabling the business to monitor across transactions and use this data to drive real-time decision-making around impact. 

Envisioning a future where all clothing produced is worn and no new clothing ends up in landfills, Otrium aims to empower its brand partners to take a more demand-focused approach to production and innovative ways to reach new consumers. Through data-sharing and customer insights, Otrium encourages more accurate forecasting. To supportits five million members globally in making informed choices outside trend and seasonal models, Otrium is working with sustainable and ethical brand rating organisation, Good On You, which benchmarks the brands on Otrium based on their social and environmental impact. Otrium also revalues damaged items like returns, repairs them and feeds them back into the cycle. 

Says Co-Founder, Max Klijnstra, “In 2015, we founded Otrium to play a partin reshaping how fashion is produced and ultimately sold. Our business model is a first step in solving the growing challenge of unsold inventory. As a next step,the results from our Otrium 2022 Impact Report will inform and strengthen our sustainability strategy and climate targets. We will also use itto transparently communicate our progress with our community, brand partners and the fashion industry. At Otrium, we will be working steadily towards improving our impact one step at a time.” 

Says Marlot Kiveron, Head of Sustainability at Otrium, “Our ultimate goal is to have a net positive impact. This means giving back more than we take through our business model, and operations. Creating impactis constant. The goal of this reportis to measure our progress and to stay accountable by sharing this externally. Understanding the impact of both our business model as well as our operations in real-time, helps us to accelerate positive change.” 

Says Namrata Sandhu, Co-Founder and CEO of Vaayu, “We’re at an inflection point when it comes to the climate and new research shows that we’re currently not on track to keep global warming below 1.5C. Retailers have long been transitioning reactively; thinking about systems change and circularity, and wanting to truly understand and lowertheir impact.But Vaayu actually enables them to work proactively, by harnessing our generative AI and machine learning technology to calculate emissions in real-time, and then lowering them using these science-backed insights. Our work with Otrium is the first ofits kind to investigate the carbon emission and waste saving potential of off-price business models.” 

To explore Otrium’s interactive 2022 Impact Report please click here.

1 Defra 2022

2 Vaayu database, Akter et al 2022 

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