In a world so reliant on fast fashion, how do you stay in style while focusing on sustainability, budgeting, and being mindful of time? This is exactly the multifaceted problem a local IUPUI student sought to solve with her new brand.
Meet Anna Dorris, the founder and owner of Everewear, a fashion and sustainability startup that is a local, thrifted fashion styling and delivery service, comparable to a business like Stitchfix.
Anna has always relished the treasure hunt of finding amazing pieces in a more sustainable way and ran a small resale business. During quarantine, she saw that many people were showing increasing interest in shopping in a more sustainable way, but not everyone had the time nor interest to go thrifting themselves (and if you’ve ever tried to thrift online, you know this can be quite an extensive process as well.)
“I have always loved both fashion and sustainability, and I think that the future is that there doesn’t have to be a trade-off for either one.” – Anna Dorris
From there, Anna had the idea to create a service, operating like Stitchfix but for vintage and thrifted finds, that promotes circular fashion in a more user-friendly and swift way. She began drafting plans and building out the website for her idea in her college apartment.
Anna, then, met with mentors from the Kelley School of Business who believed in her plan and encouraged her to seek additional funding. She applied to several pitch competitions for startups and received support from JagStart and Elevate Business Ventures. After this validation of her idea, she knew that she could scale this into a larger business.
The basic pitch for Everewear is that an individual (maybe you?!) goes to the website, takes a style quiz, then receives a personalized style box with six items, catered to the individual’s personal taste and size.
Anna stated that Everewear is able to accommodate many different styles and personalities, because every piece of clothing they have is unique: “If I only have one of each item, I can have kind of a unique piece that might be more niche of a style, but can I just have a wider variety of styles that I can cater to.”
The box curation process takes advantage of both AI algorithms and human stylists who handle the ultimate piece selections. The individual then would receive the curated selection by mail with a full week to decide which to keep. There is a small styling fee, but the fee will go toward any purchased items from the box. Any items they do not want can easily be returned to Everwear.
This process will be familiar to anyone who has used a service like StitchFix, but Everewear does more. In addition to receiving style boxes, you can also sell clothes to Everewear. This is where the idea of sustainability through circular fashion comes into play, and the process is super simple.
All you do is request a free shipping label at everewear.com, fill up a box, tape on that label and drop the box off at the closest UPS store. From there, Anna and her team select which items they want to buy from you, and the rest can be either shipped back to you for a small fee, or donated or recycled at no cost.
The final step in the Everewar process supports several local nonprofits. Clothing that is not selected but still in good shape goes to Dress for Success Indianapolis or Coburn Place. Clothing that is not in a condition to be donated will be recycled through Simple Recycling. If you are planning on selling or donating anyway, this is a great way to support local businesses and nonprofits, while supporting circular fashion cycles!
Anna has been delighted to see the support of the local community behind her sustainable endeavors. At the launch of her site, she had an event where people could bring their clothes to sell, and meet others that were also passionate about sustainability and fashion while she was going through their clothes. She saw a lot of success in this event. She also joined the SpeakEasy, a coworking community and reported that she has made such incredible connections there and received so much advice and support.
Now, she is focusing on promotion of her business both online and locally at pop-up shops.
What started as an idea in her college apartment, has become a fully functional business. Support Everewear by signing up to receive a customized style box, selling your fashionable clothes, and following the Everewear journey on social media.