Clothing reseller wants consumers to know their environmental impact

thredup's fashionFashion Footprint Calculator that estimates the carbon impact of an individual’s wardrobe. Questions range from how many items of clothing a person buys in a year and whether they buy mostly online or in-store, to whether they air dry or machine dry their clothes and how often they make clothing repairs.

While the quiz certainly encourages secondhand clothing purchases as the most impactful action a consumer can take to lower their footprint, ThredUp’s vp of integrated marketing Erin Wallace hopes it will have a broader impact.

Sustainability includes the ‘world around your wardrobe’

According to a survey of American women commissioned by ThredUp, two-thirds of respondents said they didn’t know how to be a more sustainable clothing consumer, despite wanting to be. Those results were “super surprising for all of us,” Wallace said, and led the resale-as-a-service brand to develop the calculator to help consumers “quantify the impact of their behaviors.”

It’s not just about what you buy, Wallace explained, it’s also about “your world around your wardrobe”—how you take care of and dispose of clothing.

At the end of a short quiz, the calculator shows the estimated amount of carbon produced each year by their fashion habits, and equates it to a number of flights from Los Angeles to New York. It also tells the user how their habits measure up to the average consumer.

The user is then prompted to browse different tips for lowering their footprint by shifting their fashion habits to more sustainable options. For example: Have a special occasion coming up? Why not rent rather than buy?

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