RedThread wants to be the first women’s apparel brand to eliminate sizes with patent-pending technology that enables the company to deliver custom garments in less than a week.
“We’re finally solving the fit problem and we’ve found a way to do it at scale. Sizes are different across brands. They have psychological power over women and our image of ourselves,” said RedThread founder Meghan Litchfield, adding that traditional sizing standards ignore the unique shapes of womens’ bodies.
“[Sizing] is what’s wrong with clothes,” Litchfield said. “It’s not us. I interviewed and measured 100 women. When I looked at all the data, no two women were the same. Sizes universally fail all women.”
Litchfield was motivated to launch RedThread after the birth of her second child. “I realized my clothes weren’t fitting very well,” she said. Frustrated that she couldn’t find apparel that fit her post-pregnancy shape, she took matters into her own hands. “There’s either designer clothes that don’t fit us or mom clothes or tight activewear,” she said about the available options.
Litchfield has no formal fashion training other than a stint at the Gap, where she worked on branding, e-commerce and marketing.
“I knew very quickly that I’d need a great partner who could design apparel and bring this to life,” she said. “I partnered with the S Group. They’ve been in the industry for 40 years and have a team of 25 people.”
“We’re transforming the apparel industry and how it works. What we’re doing is tailoring,” Litchfield said. “That allows the fast turnaround. We’ve taken modern technology and merged it with tailoring.” Creating an entire garment from scratch “isn’t necessary,” she said. “We’ve built the garment so it can easily be tailored. That’s how we scale it.”
RedThread uses mobile technology, a data algorithm and supply chain along with tailoring to cut, sew and produce custom-tailored clothing. The manufacturing process involves 3-D mobile body scanning, which takes consumers’ measurements digitally from a smart phone; a fit quiz that reveals clients’ fit challenges, and a fit analyst, who designs specs for each customer based on her measurements and preferences. In addition, RedThread’s design process builds in tailoring from the start. Highly skilled tailors working in San Francisco, who cut and sew each garment, are also critical, Litchfield said.
The brand launched with four items and will follow up with more, Litchfield said. An ankle pant, ($148), with a tapered silhouette and leg-lengthening pinstripe seams is available in fitted or roomier styles and three lengths. Hip, waist, thigh and calf measurements can be customized; a wide leg pant’s ($148) hip, waist and thigh measurements, along with hem length can be customized; a subtly textured Snap Jacket ($168) with fleece interior, which can be worn as a blazer, drapey cardigan and sweatshirt, offers tailoring of the shoulder, chest, waist and hips and sleeves can be altered to exact arm length. A T-shirt ($78) comes in three sleeve lengths and two torso lengths. Chest, waist and hips can be adjusted.
“We heard women wanted wardrobe essentials that are stylish and comfy,” Litchfield said. “I personally traveled the country to deliver every order because I wanted to see how it fit.”