Transparency in the Fashion Industry
For my Final Bachelor Project I wanted to design something that could change the current fashion industry. The fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries of the world (Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2017; McKinsey & Company, 2020). Unfortunately, this fact is being covered by all the green-washing done by the brands and stores. This keeps the customer from knowing the truth. My design goal: creating a tool which enables easy and understandable transparency which has a positive effect on the decision making process of the customers but is also valuable for the brands.
Fashion consumers are increasingly more conscious about the background of the clothes they buy. Information about the supply chain and sustainability of the product is, however, not easily available.
TiFi enables consumers to easily explore this information. By scanning a garment’s label, a page will be shown. Here, the ethics, resource usage, waste production, and care of the item are visualized. This is done by icons which change depending on their respective scores. Additionally, the used materials and production stages give insights in the supply chain. This data has all been verified by a third party. Furthermore, the learning space provides more details on materials and innovation, and more. Given all this information, the customer can make a fair and well informed choice.
By making this information public using TiFi, brands create the desired transparency. In return, client decisions help manufacturers shape their sustainability and marketing strategies.
I finally had the possibility to design in a direction I desired. For the same reason I was excited about doing a whole project on my own, though it was also a little bit frightening.
During my FBP I learned to trust on my own skills. I realized that the Business aspect of design had my interest and was important for achieving my goals. I learned to use several business models and user study methods to iterate and validate my ideas. The models were known from other courses, but during my FBP I was able to use them the way we learned to in a kind of real-life situation. I also learned to connect business to data. With new coding languages I was able to create a database automatically, something new for me. Coding has never been one of my best skills and I was scared that my ideas were too difficult for me. Though, by putting myself on the spot and asking help were needed I am extremely surprised and happy with the results. I am glad with the result, and the ability of the design to comply to all the stakeholders. The last user study was very interesting, because I was testing whether TiFi had a behavioral change effect. For the six tested participants this was the case, though it is interesting to research this more.
During this project I have also been talking to several experts in the fashion industry, who all thought I was working on an interesting project and gave me valuable feedback upon new iteration possibilities.
My project taught me that I am able to create and realize a profitable idea on my own.