French at-home clothes alteration and upcycling service provider Tilli raises €1.2 million
French start-up Tilli, which was set up in 2017 and provides an at-home clothes alteration, repair and upcycling service to private customers and to fashion labels, recently carried out a second funding round worth €1.2 million. Among the investors, the General Manager of Webedia, Cédric Ciré, and previous investors in Tilli. The funds will be used to speed up the deployment of Tilli’s services to fashion labels, to which Tilli is offering the opportunity of giving a new lease of life to unsold inventory.
Tilli’s customers are able to book a home visit by one of Tilli’s 40 independent tailors and seamstresses, called “Tillistes", based across France in Paris, Lyon, Marseilles, Bordeaux and Aix-en-Provence. However, founders Beryl de Labouchère, Benjamin Michel and Antoinette Fine aren't content with a simple web-based operation catering to private customers. Their strategy is to work with fashion labels too, and they have already won over Balzac, The Kooples, Parisian department store BHV and Asphalte.
Tilli is recommending to its clients that they feature on their website a simple tool for booking at-home appointments. By offering an alteration and repair service, Tilli also aims to help labels reduce their return rate, while at the same time making sure the clothes in their collections fit their customers’ morphologies. Tilli also provides an upcycling opportunity for labels, which can encourage their customers to give a new lease of life to their products. Tilli’s tailors and seamstresses can revamp items from past collections, modifying and updating their lines.
“The fashion industry throws away tons and tons of clothes every year,” said Beryl de Labouchère. “The new funding round allows us to offer labels a simple solution to provide both an alteration and repair service at their customers’ homes, and to refresh their unsold or defective clothes. We are the first company interested in digitalising the work of seamstresses and tailors and in putting it back at the heart of French households - while making our partners part of the effort towards greater sustainability.”
Tilli’s approach taps the consumer’s growing penchant for making fashion consumption more responsible. According to a survey by the French Fashion Institute, of the 44% of French people who consumed less apparel in 2018, no less than 60% stated that it was a deliberate choice. In the same year, 624,000 tons of clothes and footwear were put up for sale in France, and only 239,000 were recycled. Of these discarded items, 56% were re-utilised on the second-hand market, according to textile waste collection and recycling organisation EcoTLC.
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