By Brendan Menapace for Promo Marketing
The last few years have been all about subscription services. We sign up for services that deliver shaving equipment, cleaning supplies and pet toys on a regular basis. They’re great because we don’t have to do anything but check the mail, but the problem is they do accumulate a bit of waste. That’s why Kristy Caylor, creator of For Days, combined the convenience of subscription delivery services and the need for cutting down on waste.
In an interview with Forbes, Caylor detailed her service, which allows subscribers to choose from a selection of apparel items, namely T-shirts, and send back the ones they don’t like so others can try. Taking the green initiative further, users can send back heavily worn T-shirts when they otherwise might have donated them or thrown them away, and the company recycles the fiber into new shirts.
“Members start with a trial kit,” Caylor told Forbes. “They can try up to 10 items to find their favorites. You decide what to keep and send back the rest to set your membership. Join once and then swap forever. Whether you rip, stretch, stain or wear out your clothes, order a new item any time for $8. Put the old item into the prepaid mailer and send it back to us. All returned For Days product gets sorted, sanitized, broken down and blended into fresh new yarn. A 50/50 blend of new and recycled fibers is then used to create new For Days product.”
The idea came to her after working in the corporate apparel world and saw firsthand the amount of waste created by global textile demand, especially for T-shirts.
“After business school, I went to the Gap brands, where I launched and grew various businesses in the United States and Asia markets,” she said. “While I was living in Japan, I spent time in our factories and was deeply impacted by the magnitude of our production. We were just making so much stuff. The social and environmental repercussions were clear and I couldn’t believe how disconnected I was. I felt strongly that if I had this reaction, in time, customers would as well.”
For Days launched in May of last year, and expanded its wait list (yes, it’s that popular) in September. They’ve since had to reinstate the wait list after demand exceeded supply capabilities.
Caylor also said the choice of offering T-shirts as opposed to other garments came from the desire to appeal to as wide a market as possible and to be as inclusive as the company could.
“We decided to launch with T-shirts because they are one of the most historically iconic items of clothing,” she said. “T-shirts are inclusive of age, gender and culture.”
The company has expanded to more specialty items like fleece joggers, hoodies and polo shirts. It wants to expand even more to be able to fully outfit customers every day.
Apparel recycling is absolutely going to be a trend that catches on in the future. Green initiatives are already becoming mandatory for companies across multiple industries, but consumer tastes are shifting to a point where people want products produced ethically, sustainably and with organic materials. If they can limit waste in the process, that’s definitely an added bonus.