By linking customers to local seamstresses, the Sojo app means that people can modify, repair or recycle their clothing with just a few clicks.
Like so many other innovations, it was a personal necessity that led to the creation of the Sojo app. Founder Josephine Philips (lead image, above), a 23-year-old graduate, wanted some of her clothes repaired and tailored, but her sewing skills weren’t up to scratch.
“I found that going to a seamstress was too much time and effort, which meant I could never do it,” she said. “Sojo was created to solve this.”
Users enter their zip code, choose a local seamstress and the service they need, and wait for a bicycle courier to pick up their garments. The clothes will be returned within five days, ready to wear. Sojo currently only operates in zones one and two in and around London, with expansion plans: Brighton and Bristol are next.
About two years ago, Philips made a conscious decision to try to avoid fast fashion. Before realizing her often unethical supply chains and their environmental impact, Philips admits she was an “avid” consumer.
“But once I realized that the purchases of these big brands did not align with my feminist values, their commercial success was built on the exploitation of the majority of working women of the garment of color, there was no going back “.
Looking for other ways to satisfy her sartorial creativity, Philips turned to second-hand clothes: “I was a student, so they were a perfect combination of sustainable and affordable. But whether in charity shops, thrift stores or in [buying and selling website] Depop, I was constantly finding clothes that I loved that were not my size. I realized that the solution was to alter them. “
A model in an altered outfit. Image: Sojo
It is the first career foray for Philips, whose previous experience consisted of a waitress and an internship at Depop. Launching during a pandemic has been challenging: Sojo has had to run a limited service during the shutdown. But the application It has already attracted some positive reviews.
One says, “I’ve had a pair of pinstriped pants for the last year and never wore them because the waist was too big. I couldn’t recommend Sojo more: it’s like buying a new garment ”.
Philips is confident that the app will appeal, especially to Gen Z and millennial generations.
“From food to taxis, we are used to everything we have at our fingertips,” he said. “Given this, and the fact that most of us don’t know how to sew, Sojo is the perfect connector. It links talented seamstresses who have a craft that has developed over decades and a younger generation that is full of potential due to their interest in sustainability. “
Lead image: Josephine Philips, founder of Sojo. Credit: Sojo