The fashion industry is a significant contributor to global environmental and social issues. According to the World Economic Forum, the fashion industry produces 10 per cent of all of humanity’s carbon emissions and is the second-largest consumer of the world’s water supply.
However, the industry continues to grow due to the rise of fast fashion, which relies on cheap manufacturing, frequent consumption, and short-lived garment use.
Another report from EPRS (European Parliamentary Research Service) states the number of clothes bought in the EU per person has increased by 40 per cent in just a few decades. This is driven by a fall in prices and the increased speed with which fashion is delivered to consumers.
The harmful substances released in the production process, the scarcity of raw materials, fast fashion brands that are constantly growing, the poor working conditions, and the enormous ecological footprint worried Lieke Pijpers and Thalita van Ogtrop.
According to the duo, 70 per cent of a wardrobe remains unworn and 33 per cent of women wear clothing less than five times. This inspired the founders to create a positive change in the fashion industry by developing a peer-to-peer marketplace.
Thus, The Next Closet was born.
Based out of Amsterdam, The Next Closet has raised €3M in growth capital from 4impact, the Borski Fund, and other existing investors, including PDENH.
Pauline Wink from 4impact, says, “The Next Closet is a frontrunner in promoting luxury resale. With their local approach and automated platform, the company is outstandingly positioned to change our purchasing habits and contribute to the circular economy.”
The capital will allow The Next Closet to attract more talent, strengthen its position and accelerate growth.
Co-founder Lieke Pijpers says, “Our customers value us because of our sustainable and local approach. With this investment, we can create the tools that will help people make even more sustainable choices.”
Marketplace for second-hand designer clothes
Founded in 2013, The Next Closet is an online peer-to-peer marketplace in the Netherlands for second-hand designer clothes and accessories. Through this platform, anyone can sell their forgotten masterpieces and shop in someone else’s unique closets.
Thalita, who is now the CEO, says, “If we could all share our closets, we would never have to buy something new again. This way, we can end the huge accumulation of clothing that the fashion industry produces every year.”
The Dutch company connects closets of women – including Carice van Houten, Thekla Reuten, and Linda Tol – and vintage boutiques across the Benelux.
The female-founded platform has recently strengthened its management team by onboarding Peter Koning, previously at OLX, as the COO. The company also appointed Suzanne Kats, former Sr. Director of Global Brand Strategy at Tommy Hilfiger, as its CCO.