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Many companies are making waves in the second-hand space. British unicorn Depop sold to Etsy in a $1.6bn deal in battle to win over the hearts of Gen Z. As reported in this month’s investing insights, Vestiaire raised $216 million last year and we’re seeing many bootstrapped sustainable brands win VC funding. According to a joint BCG and Ellen MacArthur report, circular business models will make up 23% of the fashion industry, and will be worth $700 billion by 2030.
This is exciting to see and no doubt has an impact on the environment. But we can do more – now. Waste is still an issue and it’s not just around clothing. The UK was named the fourth largest textile waste producer in Europe, throwing out 1.6m tonnes of furniture and bulk waste. The average person throws away 400 kg of waste each year, or you can estimate it at 7 times your body weight.
Ok, so what does this mean for society?
We won’t lecture you about landfills and greenhouse gases because by now you probably already know. But by accepting quick disposals and replacements of items, we’re saying ok to fast-fashion, fast-furniture, fast-end-of-the-world.
It takes a lot of energy to produce new items. Recycling helps us preserve that energy. Just producing new aluminium from old products uses 95% less energy than making it brand new. The more we recycle, the less demand companies have to increase their production, which reduces pollution and overall wastage.
There’s a local social benefit that we often miss as well. Only 2% of UK social houses are available to rent furnished, 29% for privately rented homes. Whether you rent privately or through a local council, furniture is costly. It’s felt even more by the 46% of people in social housing classified as living in poverty.
If only there was a solution to produce zero-waste and keep costs to a minimum.
Oh, there is. And it’s called Ferris. A zero-waste app which prides itself on giving and getting for free. Ferris’ 100,000 users give away designer clothes, sofas, and even caravans… again, for free. No catch.
Philip Galloway and Nick Castle noticed that whilst there are great UK unicorns in the second-hand space, there’s no billion-pound free-commerce brand and they want to build the first.
Ferris allows users to simply upload an image and short description of what they want to give away, then just wait for someone to message and arrange collection details. Every item exchanged avoids ending up in a landfill. According to Ferris, giving away a sofa is the equivalent to 45 litres of petrol consumed. It’s their aim to save 3.3 million km worth of car journey emissions by 2024.
You’re probably thinking, “Well, how do they make money if it’s a business?”
Ferris plans on diversifying their revenue streams through a number of channels such as affiliates, subscriptions, waste premium add ons and most importantly advertising. With already a large community and database, they are able to put sustainable and green businesses in front of an active and relevant audience.
Galloway and Castle have spent over 20 years in senior positions for Fortune 500 businesses (including Sky, BT and Mail Newspapers). Now they’re pouring all they know into building the next sustainable unicorn.
With an initial funding target of £70,000, Ferris have exceeded their goal by 196%. Want to be among the 200+ investors making zero-waste accessible and fun? Check out their pitch here.