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☁️ Custom Jeans on Demand

Climate Tech Cocktails

Photo by Jason Leung / Unsplash

Table of Contents

Host: Matt Myers
Guest: Kevin Martin | Co-Founder | unspun
Category: ☁️ Carbon Reduction | Apparel

Podcast’s Essential Bites:

[2:39] MM: “unspun is a robotics and digital apparel company building custom jeans for each consumer on demand. Their mission is to reduce global emissions by 1% through automated, localized and intentional manufacturing, building the future of robotic apparel manufacturing right here in the US. By using the iPhone face ID sensor to create a digital avatar, unspun can instantly design and then build each garment to the actual customer, delivering a completely custom product at off the rack prices, all while eliminating unsold inventory waste, a $150 billion per year loss industry wide. […] unspun, aims to rapidly transition the $1.4 trillion apparel world into one that is more intentional, inclusive and efficient by focusing on the overlap between sustainability and profitability.”

[29:38] KM: “unspun is a fully vertical fashion brand that's building the infrastructure necessary to automate and onshore apparel manufacturing.”

[30:00] KM: “The consumer facing product is […] custom jeans. It's built completely unique to you from a 3D body scan. And kind of behind the scenes, […] there's obviously the software side of […] being able to perfect your fit from that 3D scan, but more so this new platform of the robotic side. […] What does a new world of apparel manufacturing look like in a really automated way? […] Where efficiency ultimately can be a big player in the first kind of domino to fall in driving big climate positive change kind of this overlap of profitability and climate.

[31:01] KM: “Depending on what report you're looking at, or who's counting apparel, it's usually in the top 5 to […] top 2 dirtiest industries in the world based on carbon footprint and also on waste. It's a massive $1.6 -$1.7 trillion industry, where 10 to 15% of everything produced every year gets burned and destroyed without ever being sold.

[31:55] MM: “In 2018, H&M Group revealed they had $4 billion worth of unsold inventory. […] 20% of the world's wastewater comes from the fashion industry. So you're talking about a huge use of water, materials, and energy.”

[37:23] KM: “It's an industry that's just so reliant on really brittle supply chains built around access to bottom of the barrel, really cheap labor. […] And so the division of unspun is we can break this reliance on taking advantage of whatever country doesn't have human rights laws at the time, and build an industry where apparel is done in an efficient way and can be done quickly. And even more so than that, local to wherever it's being produced.”

[51:30] KM: “unspun is building an additive manufacturing process, robotic 3D weaving basically, to take yarns as an input and produce seamless garments as the output. So we're skipping the flat fabric stage, we're skipping the cut stage, we're shipping the sew stage, and just going directly from yarns to a finished garment. […] By the very nature of skipping all these steps, the process is cheaper. But also we can just move so much faster.”

[52:16] KM: “We don't even just think of this as future clothes. We think of it as the future of automated textile manufacturing. Clothes are a big chunk of textiles, but there's so many things beyond that too: composites, carbon fiber.”

[1:01:14] KM: “Today unspun sells custom built jeans for $200 […]. We think that in the next couple of years, we can get that down to around $100 for something completely custom, and built on demand, built locally in the US.”

[1:03:23] KM: “I am a firm believer that within the next five years, you'll just upload your avatar to Amazon. And you don't have to click through sizing. Because sizing is the big driver of returns and returns are the biggest driver of loss for these brands. So they're heavily incentivized to figure out how to not send you three things […] and ship them back. […] Most of the time when you return something it just gets destroyed. So there's so much incentive to think about a better way of getting over that biggest hurdle, which is does this actually fit.”

[1:05:17] KM: “Our whole thing is these will be your new favorite jeans. Let's just agree on that and then we'll take care of you. So if you lose weight, […] send us your jeans, we'll tweak them and alter them and send them back to you. If you gain weight, no worries, we'll build the new ones that fit. So we're very focused on being able to play this card, because we're not losing so much money to inventory. We can afford to do things like this and it makes it really fun. We can bring this very luxurious, white glove process to people who are oftentimes having custom products built for the first time. […] We get to build and curate these really cool relationships with customers.”

Rating: ⚡⚡⚡⚡

🎙️ Full Episode: Apple | Spotify | Google (Original Title: "unspun: Kevin Martin")
🕰️ 1 hr 18 min | 🗓️ 04/05/2022
✅ Time saved: 1 hr 16 min

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