Finding clothes that are the right fit can be a laborious, psychologically challenging experience. RedThread, a custom clothing startup founded by former GoPro VP of Direct to Consumer, E-commerce and Digital Meghan Litchfield, aims to do away with sizes and instead focus on actual fit.
“What we’re doing is we’re kind of challenging the apparel industry and everything that it does, from how women shop, to how clothing is designed, to how it’s manufactured, and ultimately, to how women feel about themselves and perceive their bodies,” Litchfield told TechCrunch.
Currently, RedThread makes and sells four items: ankle and wide legs pant for $148 each, a snap jacket for $168 and a tee-shirt for $78. Down the road, RedThread plans to expand its apparel offerings, but the goal will always be to offer everyday basics for working women. RedThread designs its clothes to ensure they’re easily tailorable.
“We’re able to [custom fit] more quickly than if you just brought in a random pair of pants and tried to get it tailored,” Litchfield said.
Using its patent-pending tailoring algorithms, manufacturing process and designs, RedThread delivers clothes direct to consumers within one week of purchase. All RedThread requires from you is a short fit quiz — where you answer questions about your fit challenges — and four photos (three from different angles and one of an empty room). To capture the photos, RedThread texts you a link after purchase to scan your body. For each angle, RedThread tells you exactly how to stand.
From there, its 3D mobile body scanning technology pulls 15 specific measurements from the model and inputs them into RedThread’s algorithms to calculate the best fit for you. Today, the process is about 80 percent math and 20 percent human, Litchfield said.
“But the more the algorithm learns about how to do this, the more the technology can drive the decisions,” she said. “We envision a world where we’re at 95 percent math, five percent human.”
As you can see, I went through the body scanning process and it was pretty straight-forward. If this actually works (which I’ll report back on), that’d be pretty magical. But here’s the thing: these clothes really aren’t my style. I’d much rather RedThread license its technology (assuming it works well) to brands from which I already buy clothes.
Down the road, RedThread would be open to partnering with other clothing brands, Litchfield said. But the priority for the company is to “build an apparel brand that women love,” Litchfield said. “And I don’t think there’s one out there right now. Because the industry is toxic and creates these standard sizes and doesn’t make women feel great about themselves. So, therefore, we want to own the whole experience.”