Product: Trench App
A marketplace for women’s clothing exchange powered by a unique virtual currency
Tags: Sharing Economy, Marketplace, Women, Clothing, Virtual Currency
Stage: Web pilot to iOS app
Funding: Seed round from angel investor
Location: Tel Aviv, Israel
I think I was always into developing, growing, leading things, bringing new stuff to the world. Since I was a kid I knew that was what I loved. But as for actually starting my own thing… at the beginning, I tested it to see if it would work and it grew and grew and suddenly I realised this is what I am. It wasn’t a big decision, it was very natural.
The most beautiful thing the sharing community has brought to the world is not just enabling people to be more economical and efficient — it brings people closer, makes them trust each other again. In crowded cities, especially in the U.S., people are friendly and actually curious about others. But it’s not as easy to meet new people as in Israel. In the U.S. one of the reasons why the sharing community is so successful is because it’s introducing people to each other. Take an Uber, start a conversation and suddenly you have something in common with someone new.
Women have been swapping since clothing was invented, giving to friends, taking from friends, but there’s been no smart way to do it apart from one-on-one. Trench started with the idea of enabling a women to use all of her closet, to not be afraid to buy stuff because she’s always going to be able to do something with it afterwards. The concept is refreshing and upgrading without spending another dime. Women can be the solution for each other.
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend
Trench is a marketplace for women’s clothing swaps, but we figured out how to bring the advantages of money without any of the disadvantages. We’ve created a virtual fashion currency called Diamonds. It’s the best way for women to put a value on their stuff — from H&M clothes to Prada — and every girl decides for herself how many Diamonds a garment is worth. Because of the getting and giving of Diamonds, a “swap” can be in one direction, it doesn’t have to go both ways. Trench is geolocation-based. You can see stuff from closets right around you, you can shop in any other closet, and then can decide to meet the seller somewhere and hand over the garment. Return rates are very low because if you don’t like an item, you can just resell it.
Good with numbers
I never would have dreamed when I was studying Economics or working at the Bank of Israel that I would apply it in this way. There has to be a central bank to manage any currency — even a virtual one — and that’s where I ultimately see the monetization element of the business. We want to come to the U.S. because it has the biggest need for the solution we provide. The second hand market in the U.S. is worth $15-18 billion but the unused clothing market is around $50 billion. This is what we’re coming to be part of.