We’re looking forward to welcoming Jen Wagner and Gary Lake (Co-Founders) from LAYBL at our next meetup event on Wednesday 11th October as part of our contribution to Bristol Tech Festival.
Sustainable clothing and garment tracing with digital IDs
LAYBL provide traceability, intelligence and circularity for products – from store to end of life – using unique Digital IDs.
In this talk, they’ll cover how:
- Their Digital IDs track from store to end of life, revealing a garment’s lifetime and analysis into what happens to our clothes after we get rid of them
- They help clothing brands take a first step towards a Digital Passport for their products (an EU requirement by 2030)
- They make the process of being sustainable and responsible with your clothes frictionless
Jen is co-founder and CEO of LAYBL. She’s spent most of her working life in the tech world, specifically working within ecommerce for fashion and household brands. Launching a tech product that reimagines a more sustainable and circular economy was never going to be easy, but she loves the challenge and the opportunity it brings to work with brands, companies and consumers that champion a more sustainable future.
Gary is co-founder and CTO of LAYBL. He works exclusively in ‘tech for good’ after realising that his career had begun to be defined by a culture of consumption without accountability. For Gary, LAYBL is a way to combine his expertise in UI/UX, ecommerce, data and platform integrations, with something that could help all of us be more accountable for the things we buy.
Jen very kindly agreed to answer some questions for us;
Can you tell us more about LAYBL and its aims?
Our big mission is to keep clothes out of landfill, and at the same time fill the gap in data, knowledge and understanding around what happens to our clothes after we buy them.
We want to empower clothing brands by providing them with the data to back up the decisions they make around product design and longevity, materials, manufacturing, after care, etc. And at the same time, we want to change consumer behaviour towards consumption and purchasing, making it so simple and easy to be more responsible and sustainable with the purchases we make.
We champion progress not perfection, it’s all about making small steps forward.
How did you come up with the idea?
Funnily enough, it all started with the clothing label. An idea I had about developing a truly sustainable clothing brand sent me down a rabbit hole researching everything to be a more ‘planet-positive’ brand, from materials and textiles to manufacturers and the labels on clothes. That’s when the lightbulb moment hit – why do we even have labels anymore in this day and age? I knew we could do something that would not just eradicate the need for the label, but also support a strong sustainability mission without it requiring much effort on the part of the brand or consumer. And here we are.
What are your hopes for LAYBL and how can we help?
Millions of tonnes of clothes are made, worn & thrown away each year, with less than 1% being recycled. We need a more circular approach to fashion where transparency and traceability is top of the agenda.
We want LAYBL to be a household name, so our goal is twofold:
- To have as many brands as possible – across the globe – using the LAYBL platform as a means to track their products so they gain a deeper understanding that what they produce contributes to a resilient and thriving fashion industry that supports a regenerative environment.
- To encourage consumers of clothes (aka ALL OF US) to buy well, mend and extend their clothes using the LAYBL app.
What would you like to see change within the fashion/clothing industry with regards to sustainability?
The entire fashion industry needs to be reinvented. There is already a shift happening towards more circular business models but it’s slow because entire revenue models and performance indicators need to change, especially for those brands that have been around for years.
We need to focus on longer-term cycles of clothing – slow fashion, less ‘trend-led’. Fast fashion (short-term) produces incredible volumes of product and waste, and the low-cost model means there is very little thought around purchasing and disposing. And that needs to change.
Are there any other practical ways in which consumers can make more sustainable fashion choices?
There are loads of ways consumers can make more sustainable fashion choices. We’re not saying don’t buy anything, but to be more mindful about what you’re buying. Some easy wins:
- Reduce impulse buys – this works for any purchase, btw. The trick is save what you’re coveting and then walk away. If you haven’t stopped thinking about it after 3-4 days, and you know it’ll be something you’ll wear a lot, go for it. If you’re still unsure (or forgotten about it), you don’t really need it.
- Wear what you already own – the average person has 148 items in their wardrobe and wears less than 50% of it. So take a look at what you already have and see if you can style it in another way. And if you don’t think you can, why not sell it / take it to charity or get involved in the many helpful charity initiatives out there and get rid of some of those items you aren’t utilising.
- Second-hand shopping is also a great way to add to your wardrobe, and it’s much kinder on your wallet, something we all need in this current economic climate! Sites like Vinted, Depop and eBay are great to grab a bargain.
- Repair or have alterations done on your favourite items, give them a new lease on life.
- Buy well, mend if needed and extend the life of your clothes as long as you can.
Thanks Jen for the chat!
Please do join us either online or in-person at the Engine Shed (6-8pm on Wednesday 11th October) – RSVP here