VIGGA: A circular and sustainable service design business model

Children grow, clothes does not. That is the thought behind VIGGA, who offers sustainable high-quality children’s clothes on subscription. 

CASE: For our children’s future. That is the argument from VIGGA, which has developed a business model based on a circular and sustainable service design. VIGGA received the Danish Design Award 2017 in the category Outstanding Service.

VIGGA’s customers set up a subscription and then receive a packet with organic designer maternity or children’s clothes that they can combine to match the season and their personal needs and preferences. Once the belly or the child outgrows the clothes, VIGGA replaces it with new clothes that fit. All the clothes are returned, laundered, given a quality check-up and made ready for the next family. By sharing quality clothes, the VIGGA families can reduce their environmental footprint by up to 80% while also reducing the time and hassle associated with buying clothes.

A onesie requires 3,000 litres water to produce, corresponding to 1 person’s water consumption for an entire month, and leads to the emission of 7 kg CO2, the same amount that a car would emit on a drive from Odense to Fredericia. Changing fashion trends encourage a more rapid replacement of clothes, a mechanism that also applies to parents who like to give their babies and toddlers nice stuff to wear.

‘Globally, only 20% of all clothes are reused.’ – VIGGA

VIGGA is a service design that breaks with the traditional production terms for clothing, challenging the ‘fast fashion’ industry, a term that describes a common business model in fashion: bringing new fashion trends to market as quickly and as cost-efficiently as possible. The ‘fast fashion’ phenomenon affects consumer habits negatively by encouraging us to buy new clothes when the trends change rather than passing our clothes on to others who might benefit from them.

The clothing industry is the most polluting industry. Clothes production leads to vast amounts of CO2 being emitted, huge amounts of waste water and thousands of chemicals being washed into our rivers and seas and damaging our environment.

‘It is quite common to see as many as 8,000 different chemicals go into making an ordinary T-shirt.’ – VIGGA

VIGGA has turned this issue into a business model, designing a service system that challenges our throwaway mentality by offering a convenient and attractive alternative to young families. A brand-new business model that offers a subscription service for families expecting a child or raising a baby who regularly needs new baby clothes.

Normally, a piece of clothing is used by one or two children. VIGGA circulates the clothes to as many as ten families, while individual pieces are reused up to 150 times.

VIGGA aims to disrupt the ‘fast fashion’ industry and encourage more people to share resources. VIGGA is an exemplary illustration of how a design strategy driven by user involvement can generate value on a broad level for individuals, society and the economy. VIGGA’s service challenges an existing market and demonstrates how user needs can form the basis of an outstanding business model that meets a societal challenge.

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