Atelier Riforma is an innovative social startup with the mission of reducing the negative environmental and social impact of the fashion industry through the circular economy. The two founders (Elena Ferrero and Sara Secondo) started in 2019 with a social project dedicated to refashioning of discarded clothes and in recent years have given a technological breakthrough to the startup, with Re4Circular project.

The function of Re4Circular is to maximize the residual value of each end-of-life garment as a resource, postponing as much as possible the moment when it will turn into a waste. How? Facilitating the players in the fashion industry  to use these clothes as a resource,  implementing circular practices such as reuse, sartorial upcycling or the recycling of textile fibers.

Re4Circular is a digital platform aimed at matching the B2B supply and demand for used or leftover clothing efficiently and transparently.

They have created an automatic cataloging and digitization technology for clothes that they supply to used clothing collection/selection entities, as well as to fashion brands that want to manage their deadstock or take-back services in a sustainable way. Through this tool they can record and transmit all the information about their garments to the circular companies/professionals that can give a second life to these clothes (the process is made easier and faster for them thanks to an Artificial Intelligence algorithm, trained to automatically recognize this information just from a photograph of the garment and its label).

Linked to this tech there is a digital marketplace, which allows them to sell the clothes thus cataloged directly to circular fashion companies/professionals, so that each garment can be valorized as a resource and directed towards the circular process most suited to its characteristics and conditions. But it is not the usual offline and non-trasparent trade of used clothes, it is a wholesale transparent and precision commerce.

Re4Circular is a digital marketplace on which every circular business can use several search filters to find the most suitable clothes for their business: e.g. used garments in perfect condition for second-hand shops, clothes with specific colours, fabrics and patterns for upcyclers, 100% single fiber clothes divided by colors for recycling companies, and so on. Once the search has been carried out, the user will see which entities have the material they are looking for and can view the images of all the clothes available item by item, with information on their characteristics. In this way, they can easily select and purchase online the material they need.

Re4Circular is an innovative technology, for which Atelier Riforma has filed a patent application.

But it is not meant to be used by the startup internally, but to be supplied to any entity in the sector that needs it, anywhere.

This allows the startup to make a positive impact on a large scale and potentially to reform the entire sector from a circular perspective.

Re4Circular landed on the market in mid-March 2023 – after years of work in design, fundraising and development – and in a few days a few hundred garments were directed for reuse … in short, the circular ecosystem started to come to life and hopefully it continues to grow more and more!

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