“Kids grow, clothes don’t grow”
Some retail concepts appear as instant very good ideas. This is the story of Vigga, a disruptive Danish retail start-up that won Ebeltoft’s Group Retail Innovation Award at the NRF Big Show 2016.
Global Retail News: Can you present the Vigga company?
Vigga Svensson: Vigga is a subscription service that enables parents to lease organic clothes for children through a cooperative and circular model, saving time, money and resources by sharing clothes with other parents. We design all Vigga clothes ourselves, for child aged from zero to 2 years. Vigga launched in Denmark one year ago, in January 2015. Our concept has no compromise on price, design, quality and convenience. Our clothes are manufactured in India and the Baltic, for those using organic wool.
How many subscribers do you have?
Vigga Svensson: This information is confidential, but I can tell you that Vigga is working well. In 12 months, we have circulated around 23,000 items of clothing. We will reach break-even by Autumn 2016 after 21 months of business in Denmark. We already see a similar potential in the European Union and the U.S.A. We now employ five full time staff.
How does the Vigga’s business model work?
Vigga Svensson: Subscriber signing up on Vigga.com for a US$50 monthly fee will always have clothes of the right size for their baby in very high organic quality. Parents select the size and design they want (18 pieces of clothes on average per collection) and we send goods to the nearest convenient store for collection (like at 7/11 stores). On average, parents exchange for larger sizes every 3 months because their child has grown, so we send a new and bigger set and they return the old collection to us. After rigorous quality inspection, clothes are washed and sent back into the cycle. We can circulate used clothes for 7 different children before they fail our quality standards. After one year, we expected to replace up to 30% of our stock, but items are so robust we replenished only 4%.
Why did you create this disruptive “recycle” clothing model?
Vigga Svensson: Before launching Vigga, I spent a decade developing a brand of children’s clothing called Katvig. We have cleaned the supply chain by implementing organic and recycled fibres, banning chemicals and taking guarantees of fair trade for workers at the factory end. But suddenly, we realised that even if our brand was very “green”, the way people used it was still very unsustainable. Wouldn’t it be fine to consume clothes in a truly sustainable way!