You cannot be interested in fashion without constantly being bombarded with the fact that fashion is the second largest polluting industry behind oil. As consumers, we have a responsibility to be conscious of this fact and buy products that don’t exacerbate this global issue. It’s not my intention to start this piece off with depressing and urgent news. Rather, it’s a call to action that — if you keep reading — I’ll offer a solution to that will ease your conscience and have you looking stylish in curated sustainable fashion.
This feature is dedicated to Anna Dorris of Everewear – pronounced “everywhere.” Dorris is currently a senior at IUPUI studying to earn a Bachelors in finance with an economics minor. It was in 2020 when she was stuck in her home quarantining and alone with her thoughts that Dorris had her epiphany. She was going to set out and make secondhand shopping as easy as possible. Imagine Stitchfix — but sustainable.
“I really started thinking about the future of secondhand, the future of the circular economy and what was missing, and I think the biggest one was like we still see fast fashion brands growing immensely and super fast. And even though we know sustainability is good and that we should maybe buy secondhand for the sustainability benefits…but it’s just like a sea of single items. And so that really puts the labor on the consumer to go through one by one, finding the items that they like.”
Like a true problem solver, Dorris is offering as much ease as possible to make the second hand shopping experience available to everyone.
You don’t even have to leave your house for quality second hand clothing anymore. Everything is done online. All you need to do is create your style profile for free, pay $20 (plus shipping), and have a custom curated package delivered to your front door. You’re able to donate your own clothing to Everewear as well. They’ll give you cash or a credit toward your next order.
It was amazing to learn about just how far she has come in her business journey in these two short years; starting out with Google forms to learn about the customer’s style, to now having an AI program assist in making Everewear a truly personalized experience — a technology that sets them apart from the rest of the secondhand market. As her client base grew, Dorris brought on two interns to keep up with demand so she could focus on growing the business and figuring out how to keep making Everewear as efficient and effective as possible.
As motivated as Dorris is by creating an eco-conscious shopping experience, she also uses her resources to help non-profit organizations in her community. With career clothes, for example, if something doesn’t quite hit the mark for her customers, she will donate those professional clothes to Dress for Success in Indy. She also donates other fashion items to Coburn Place — a women’s shelter. It just doesn’t seem like there is an area in Dorris’s business model that contributes to waste, and more fashion companies and brands need to take note.
As for the future of Everewear — unsurprisingly — Dorris knows her next steps. She hopes to eventually have a recycling program to even further eliminate fashion-related waste.
“I accept about 50% of things when people sell with me…and there’s a lot of reasons why I don’t accept something. It might be because the style is no longer in style and I’ll have a hard time selling. It could be damaged and the condition of it is just not great, you know. There’s a bunch of different decisions I make. And so in order to keep those things from going to landfill — because that’s most likely where they would be destined to go… So, to be able to have a recycling program that allows for fiber to fiber recycling… the sweater you’re wearing if you’ve got a massive stain on it, and you’re not able to resell it, it can be broken down into raw materials, and be made into a new sweater or a new item.”
Dorris also plans to turn Everewear into a brand that offers its own clothing through an upcycling program. She hopes to be able to take dated fashions, tweak the designs, and turn those old clothes into something more modern and stylish, giving those clothes a whole new life.
I have no doubt that Dorris will bring these ideas into full fruition. It was inspiring and motivating to see someone so young not only know so much about business in fashion, but implement that knowledge into something that is truly filling the gaps and offering a much needed service to the world at large.
If you would like to keep up to date with and learn more about Everewear, you can do so here: