Garmz – a potential game changer for the fashion industry
Today I am going to shamelessly promote an Austrian startup that I believe has the potential to change the ways of the fashion industry, and more specifically, the role that the designer has in the process – provided enough designers learn about Garmz. com. Hence this promotion.
Garmz seek to achieve no less but „to give the fashion industry a new spin“ by relaying the decision on what gets and what doesn’t get produced from the industry to the consumers, i.e. to those who will eventually buy (and WEAR) the pieces. How? Think fashion industry + crowdsourcing + mass customization = Garmz!
First of all, you do not have to be an acclaimed designer to pitch your designs – you may simply upload sketches of your designs to the Garmz website.
Secondly, anyone who uses the site can participate in the decision making: by voting for the designs which you like and would like to see produced.
Thirdly, the most popular designs are realized as prototypes by professionals, put on the website for pre-ordering, later produced in Europe (and I take this means sweatshop free) in a small series and then sold on the webshop. Designers are rewarded with more than just a badge or public recognition: They actually get a cut from the revenue.
Garmz have just recently been selected as one of the ten winners in the fourth round of Seedcamp, earning them € 50,000 in investment (for which they are obliged to take on board Seedcamp investors as minority stakeholders; see this Guardian blogpost to learn more about Seedcamp Europe 2010), so there is some air for them to breathe. For now. But, to make it a true success story, they need fashion designers from all walks of life, enough users to visit the site and get themselves involved in the decision making process, and – at one point – buyers.
Right now, the first prototypes are already being sewn (e.g. this ninja pullover by Paul Brown), those who favourited them will be notified once they hit the webshop for pre-ordering. Like the idea? Then go and spread the word about Garmz.com!
Learn more about how it works or read their blog.
– – –
Lest I forget: The upcoming weekend (Saturday, September 25) is FashionCamp weekend in Vienna – be there, not only because this is going to be a chance to meet the Garmz folks.
– – –
Disclaimer: Notwithstanding the shameless aim of this blogpost I have not been approached by the Garmz team to write this blogpost, I just wanted to put a little more copy in English about Garmz on the web, so that others can learn about it too.