Is new “Deliveroo for clothing” app NIFT fuelling a “wear it once” culture?

Posted by Abby Oldroyd in Comment

3 months ago

Earlier this month, a new marketplace app launched in London which offers a Deliveroo-style on-demand service that connects fashion brands and retailers with customers. NIFT (Need It For Tonight) was founded by sister duo Simone and Roxanne Oloman, and provides residents in East, North and Central London with access to high street brands in under 90 minutes.

Key takeaways

  • NIFT has been dubbed a Deliveroo-style app and offers customers retail deliveries in 90 minutes.
  • Sustainability is still a top priority for the majority of UK consumers, according to a 2022 report from American Express.
  • However, NIFT is taking advantage of the fast fashion convenience gap. It allows customers to reap the benefits of quick delivery and, although it offers more eco-conscious brands, it risks fuelling the anti-sustainability “wear it once” culture.

The app lets customers place their order by choosing from various brands – which currently includes Wild Swans, Rejina Pyo, BEEN London, West Carolina Boutique, Cult Mia and Blue Nude – and is then managed by the retailer, who can accept orders in real time. Once approved, the order is collected by a rider and delivered directly to the customer.

The app was designed with sustainability in mind, by working with conscious luxury brands and making use of push bikes and electric vehicles, as well as committing to planting a tree for every delivery made in partnership with Ecologi. But how sustainable can a 90-minute fashion delivery service be? While it could revolutionise the concept of convenience, is it the antithesis of a growing need and want for sustainability within the fashion industry?

Despite the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, sustainability is still a priority for the majority of UK consumers, according to a 2022 report from American Express. The survey revealed that 65% of UK shoppers consider the environmental impact of purchased items, while 41% say they would rather shop locally than online, in a bid to reduce their carbon footprint related to deliveries.

Filling the gap for convenient fast fashion?

NIFT could be well set to take advantage of the current fast fashion convenience gap, allowing customers to reap the benefits of quick delivery while still enjoying more eco-conscious brands (that typically don’t offer this service) and eliminating the fear of missed or delayed packages. However, the impact of shipping, albeit a short distance, is still worth considering. It has been estimated that shipping accounts for more than 2.5% of the world’s total CO2 emissions, and NIFT’s Deliveroo-style concept could fuel a hunger for quick and easy access.

Arguably, last minute, spontaneous purchases encourage waste and one-time wears. The “wear it once” culture is most likely encouraged by social media and a desire to share different looks. While the resale market continues to grow, thanks to apps such as Depop, eBay and Vinted allowing consumers to give unworn items a new lease of life, NIFT will most likely boost “occasion purchases”, which is ultimately unsustainable.

As the founders are keen to add 50 more brands during the summer of 2023, CORQ anticipates NIFT will provide ease for a lot of Londoners but potentially fuel waste and disrupt a growing eco-conscious trend when it comes to buying clothes.

By Abby Oldroyd, CORQ news and features writer. Picture credit: NIFT via Instagram