Nigeria’s Tailoring Industry Employs Machine Learning for Enhanced Efficiency
Fitted is a Nigerian startup that was founded in 2021 by Ibi Cookey. The company has created a digital platform that uses machine learning to tackle inefficiencies in the custom tailoring industry. The company’s goal is to provide tailors and fashion brands with the tools they need to improve their businesses and deliver high-quality outfits to customers in a timely manner.
Fitted’s platform is centered around its proprietary AI tool, which automates the process of generating and storing customer measurements. This tool can significantly reduce measurement time by up to 90%. Tailors can efficiently process and track orders, accept payments from customers worldwide, connect with suppliers, and engage directly with their customers using this cloud-based solution.
“Basically, we equip tailors and fashion brands with everything they need to grow their business,” said Cookey.
The custom clothing industry, catering to around four billion people worldwide, has been facing issues of inefficiency and unreliability for a long time. The lack of tools for managing orders and accurate measurements, coupled with manual operational processes, has resulted in tailors wasting time and resources. This has led to ill-fitting clothes and delayed deliveries for customers.
Furthermore, tailors and retailers have mostly been left out of formal financial systems and have relied heavily on offline and informal transactions. The absence of clear insight into business performance and essential data has impeded progress and restricted the availability of financial services, such as bank loans.
Fitted aims to cater to the unique requirements of fashion brands in emerging markets and historically marginalized individuals across the globe, acknowledging the difficulties they face. The platform is striving towards inclusivity in the fashion industry by consolidating measurements and establishing accurate standard sizing for individuals with diverse body shapes and ethnic styles.
Fitted has received recognition for its efforts, having been chosen to participate in the Catalyst Jobtech Accelerator organized by Mercy Corps and BFA Global. Additionally, the startup has secured funding from multiple investors. Since its launch, the company has witnessed a significant increase in customer engagement, with over 20,000 measurements collected and thousands of outfits produced every month.
Fitted is currently operating its fulfillment operations exclusively in Nigeria. However, the company has plans to expand its services to other countries in Africa and Asia in the future. This expansion will enable Fitted to facilitate cross-border payment flows between global developed and emerging markets.
The company earns revenue by imposing a commission on every transaction that takes place on its platform. Although Fitted encountered some initial challenges such as navigating the operating environment in Nigeria and managing outfit production logistics, these obstacles have provided valuable insights into the African fashion industry. As a result, Fitted has gained a competitive advantage.
Fitted has managed to overcome various challenges and is making significant progress in the African fashion industry by working together, being resilient, and staying committed to their mission of digitizing and revolutionizing the market.