Fashion Industry Waste? Game On, Says Yoxi

Yoxi’s Trim the Waste Of Fashion competition aims to play an active role in changing the fashion industry.

Yoxi is a creative competition and a social game that challenges team players to tackle social issues with a sense of style and playfulness. Their first competition asked people to rethink fast food and produce a 90-second video to express their opinion about the challenge. This time around, the challenge is something equally important – the fashion industry and the winner stand a chance at winning $40,000.

Yoxi says: “In the nearly $1 trillion clothing industry, waste abounds from the estimated 15-20% of fabric trashed on the cutting room floor, unsustainable material sourcing, massive carbon emissions when transporting products from manufacturing centers, gallons upon gallons of wasted and polluted water during washing and dyeing, as well as wildly excessive packaging, tagging, and storage. Fashion choices matter to everybody, not just models, magazine and style mavens.”

Watch the Yoxi video that looks at the manufacturing of one pair of jeans.

Yoxi founder, Sharon Chang, says the idea of play and competition to solve social problems like waste from the fashion industry is somewhat of a cultural shift – moving the “do good” space from guilt-driven to fun-driven.

“We know that games have existed for as long as human societies have existed, and we all love to play, whether it’s a collaborative or competitive game. The idea of play brings people together and makes problem-solving more engaging and rewarding,” she says. “We also want to add a bit more glamor to the social innovation space. Style and substance are equally important.”

Influenced by a Kickstarter format, people vote for their favorite Yoxi team creating the most innovative fashion waste tools, which forwards teams to future rounds. “Promoters” can even pledge monetary donations should the team they are backing win.

Chang says one of the most interesting lessons from their last competition was how diverse the teams were in regards to geographic location, backgrounds, perspectives, and demographics. The big question is, do we have the time to play like this, or is it easier for people just to write a check for a cause and be done with it? Chang says that while funding is a key component in delivering solutions to pressing social issues, we have to recognize that the problems we face today are far too daunting to be resolved by conventional practices.

“I think the real issue here is which is more effective in the long run. Playing a social game or engaging in a competitive activity is more likely to stimulate more creativity. Writing a check is a passive behavior,” she says. “By writing a check, we are relying on other people to solve the problem. I believe people are inclined to participate beyond writing a check if we make the process easy and fun. We need to believe in the power of curiosity, play, and collaboration. Sometimes, the best way to achieve meaningful collaboration is through competition. The framework behind the most brilliant game design supports that argument, and we are trying to figure out how to harness that power for social good.”
To enter “Trim The Waste of Fashion,” assemble a three-person team, make a video about your idea and register before July 1, 2011.


Amy DuFault

Amy DuFault is a conscious lifestyle writer, consultant and fashion instigator. She resides in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.