Fintech platform Twig allows people to exchange fashion goods and other items for credits that can be used to shop. Now, it’s encouraging Gen-Z customers to purchase more digital items, as opposed to physical goods, through the platform. At the same time, it wants to bring more of the demo into the web3 space.
Twig is a certified B Corp and a member of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. And it’s a useful platform as people navigate the transition from web2 to web3. As a “bank of things,” it enables the exchange of fashion and electronics for credit that can be used on partnering online platforms. That credit can be used on anything — think: a digital garment, an educational course, a charitable donation or a meal.
Under a new partnership with The Dematerialised, Twig Pay funds can be used to buy NFTs.
It’s not the newest concept. A Hot Second, the concept store set up by The Dematerialised founder Karinna Grant in 2019, introduced the idea of facilitating the exchange of physical items for digital clothing and experiences in AR.
“This was predating NFT’s, so people were just beginning to try AR versions of clothing and AR filters. The project received quite positive feedback at the time. This partnership with Twig is almost a continuation of that notion: You can [exchange] fashion items and other things for credit to buy other goods or digital items,” said Adriana Goldenberg, The Dematerialised’s head of growth and metaverse partnerships.
The Dematerialised joined brands including Sergio Rossi in partnering with Twig on its new payment option on Monday, with the hope of inspiring change in consumer habits.
“With mainstream adoption, digital fashion has big potential to absorb a big portion of the fast-fashion market. We want to advise users to satisfy their desires for something cool and new by buying something [other than] fast fashion. They could get a piece of digital fashion or an experience that will not only be beautiful and exciting, but it will also make you a part of a community,” said Marjorie Hernandez, co-founder of The Dematerialised. Digital fashions purchased on the Dematerialised are also NFT’s, allowing consumers to become part of web3 communities.
Overall engagement with digital fashion is still relatively low, in part because physical fashion now doubles as online content. Fast fashion items are easily accessible and just as easily disposable after being captured in an Instagram post. With brands like Shein promoting mass hauls at rock bottom prices to a large Gen-Z demographic, demand for constant newness is at an all-time high.
According to Ben Demiri, chief brand and partnerships officer at Twig, the platform plans to add more categories of assets that can be exchanged for cash value. On top of fashion and electronics, that may include cryptocurrencies and NFTs. Users can upload an item to the Twig app to get an immediate valuation, based on over 1.2 billion data points. It takes into account the last time such an item was sold, the price it fetched, and the overall demand in the secondary market, among other factors. The value is then added to a digital wallet.
When users access Twig Pay through any online merchant where it is integrated, they can sign in and access their digital catalog, selecting items they want to trade in and contribute to a purchase. They can then top that off with more cash, if needed.
As for physical fashion items exchanged through the Twig platform, they must first be sent in and get processed through Twig’s warehousing, where Twig validates their authenticity and conformity to the customer’s listing. It then lists the items in major leading marketplaces. If there is no demand, Twig then works with over 800 professional upcyclers who are often able to create a new item of higher value than the original. If there is no demand there, Twig looks to recycling and downcycling options, including garment-to-fiber specialists. The last resort is working with donation partners including Trade, which finds alternate uses for the garments. Twig scored the highest assessment score among U.K. digital banking services on the B-Corp assessment.