If you ask anyone whether they want to buy sustainable fashion – or sustainable products for that matter – the answer will most likely be “Yes!”. However, how does this look like in practice? Personally, we find ourselves talking about sustainability a lot and then end up buying from a range of brands (that might or might not be sustainable) just because they are available in the moment, because it is easy and convenient. While sustainable options out there are becoming more available, it sometimes is still challenging to find brands and products that are to our taste and sustainable. While in Amsterdam we visited companies that try solve that and make buying sustainably online easier.
Project Cece, a venture we met in Amsterdam, was created exactly to solve the problem of lacking availability. We met with Noor Veenhoven one of the founders of Proejct Cece. The project was started after the realisation that it was super challenging to find sustainable brands at the convenience we have been getting used to provided by the likes of Amazon & co.
Today Project Cece is the largest online search engine in Europe that lists fair and sustainable fashion. They make it really easy to find the sustainable clothing by aggregating all the options out there for you. Their approach is easily scalable since the most part of it is automated in-house by code written by one of the co-founders (Marcella Wijngaarden). That’s probably also why they themselves see their venture more as a tech rather than a pure fashion company.
We also met with the collection one, a sustainability focussed shop (coincidentally also listed on Project Cece). We met Lisa Schotman, the founder in her office. Her shop is special because she creates a base inventory of sustainable and fair brands with handpicked vintage pieces. Lisa picks the vintage items in Amsterdam’s vintage warehouses. For the consumer this becomes super appealing since it is very convenient and the vintage pieces give their style a unique touch (since they are only single-items). Currently she is selling through an online shop supported by pop-up-stores. Going forward her plan is to eventually have her own store.
It is so great to see all these sustainable online shopping options doing well. Yet, all these online options have the same challenge. Given their set-up (either little scale or limited resources) it is hard for them to give a definite sign-off on whether all the products sold are 100% sustainable. In the end they have to trust the brands to comply with the standards they promote. What is more, even if brands promote sustainability, everyone thinks about different things when talking sustainability.
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Featured-Photo by Emily Morter