Kristy Caylor is betting the future of fashion can be built on T-shirts.
But the Maiyet cofounder said her new venture, the Los Angeles-based For Days, isn’t just a T-shirt line or the basics cornerstone for a broader fashion empire, but a fresh model for commerce.
“It’s a new OS for living,” said Calyor, founder and chief executive officer of For Days.
The service, which launches online today, sends users T-shirts, not to keep, but to be worn for a time and then returned.
“You wear them, wear them out, rip them, we don’t care,” Caylor said. “You order new ones to refresh and…you send your old worn out ones back in the same bag.”
The service costs $12 a month for three shirts, $24 for six shirts, or $36 for 10 shirts. Shipping is free and the shirts are made in Los Angeles of organic cotton.
For Days is jumping into a big market. T-shirt sales tally $22 billion annually in the U.S., with the average Millennial household paying $347 annually for T-shirts, according to company, which relied on data from the U.S. Labor Department and Statista.
Caylor and crew will take the used shirts back and recycle them using a mechanical process, chipping up the material, purifying the cotton, adding water and virgin material to make the next batch of For Days shirts.
The second-generation shirts will be made of 30 percent recycled material, with a goal of getting to a 50-50 mix. (The company is also testing a similar chemical recycling process.)
“We are working on a facility build, it definitely takes a while to get that done,” Caylor said. “Our plan is to bring certain elements of production in house very soon so that we can control the manufacturing flow so we’re minimizing inventory waste. The goal is to have the whole circular process in house.”
The venture-backed brand needs a container’s worth of returned shirts to get started and could expand into other cotton looks once things get rolling.
“It’s a new model for consumption, we’re starting with fashion,” Caylor said. “I don’t really believe in sustainable or eco-fashion. It has to be sustainable through the lens of both the environmental and financial. That’s been the goal for us, to align those incentives because they work naturally together.”
The pricing — $144 a year for a revolving supply of three T-shirts — is what Caylor described as “very inclusive.”
“We intended this to reach a broader audience, it’s a mindful shopper who understands their choices are important,” she said. “What’s cool about the product is that the T-shirt is historically one of the most iconic items of clothing that really hasn’t changed. It’s a product that appeals universally.”
To get the word out, Caylor said the brand would be working with “like-minded people who have an audience” and work to create a community to energize the business.
“Communities spread the word faster than anything else and it’s this idea of joining something that’s enticing,” she said.
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