School News: An App to Reduce Fashion Waste

Summer 2022

This article appeared as “Fashion Makeover” in the Summer 2022 issue of Independent School.
According to a May 2018 CBC News article, 90% of donated clothes end up in landfills, and most people wear garments only a handful of times before they toss them in a donation bin. Compounding this problem, charities often receive clothes they can’t sell or give away. To help combat some of these issues and cut down on the amount of clothing that charities have no use for, a group of 11th and 12th grade students at Rothesay Netherwood School (Canada) created Indono, an app that allows charities to request items needed depending on the time of year. It also allows users to find a charity near them that needs the items they wish to donate.
The students—Emily Kay, Jenna Kong, Laura Thompson, and Angela Xu—conceived and created the app in January 2021 when they participated in Technovation, which fosters entrepreneurship in young women and encourages them to learn to code apps that address real-world problems. Through the 12-week program, the students connected with mentors who helped them brainstorm ideas, develop a business plan, and work through coding glitches. They learned about feasibility research, how to secure funding, and how to create an effective marketing strategy.
The team met with their mentors over Zoom every couple of weeks and worked independently and as a group. They were semifinalists in the Technovation World Summit awards and shared their ideas before a panel of international judges in August 2021. The team is currently considering making the app available on the App Store.
“We’re all part of the school’s environmental committee, so sustainability is something we all are very interested in,” Kay says. “We wanted our app to focus on something that’s very important to all of us.”

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