How microservices are making fashion returns more environmentally friendly: The Green Deal (part 2)
The fashion industry is not necessarily in good standing when it comes to the topic of CO2 balance. For some time now, the media has been reporting on the scrapping of brand new returned goods – a disaster if you know the environmental impact of clothing production.
One person who wants to change this is Filip Elverhøy, co-founder of the platform The Green Deal. We asked him a few questions about the idea behind the website and how it came about. The Green Deal is currently being implemented on the basis of commercetools.
How did The Green Deal come about and what makes it special?
The Green Deal is our answer to sustainability in mail-order fashion. We want to revolutionize the retail sector with a focus on return and efficiency. The idea was born partly in the warehouse and partly at the kitchen table in our home city, Oslo. There’s probably something in the air here: Oslo has chosen a special motto and calls itself, “City for everyone, putting people first”. In 2019, the city was also awarded the title “European Green Capital 2019“.
What is the mission of The Green Deal, and what makes you so enthused about it?
We four founders have all worked for large companies and have been able to master exciting professional challenges. But it’s definitely a unique feeling to wake up and go to work for your “baby” with the goal of making the world a better place. It feels good!
How did you come up with the idea of reselling returned items?
The original idea came from the Co-Founder Vegard Kristiansen, who worked for a large logistics company. The idea was born when he saw returns from customers outside Norway piling up in his warehouse. I brought my expertise in re-commerce, Edmond Yang developed the brand, and Vegard Kristiansen the logistics. Kjell Fjeldheim is responsible for finance and accounting. Together, we form a strong team with broad expertise for this task. Then the concept was born and refined.
When did you start working with commercetools and how did the relationship come about?
What requirements did you have for your commerce platform?
We were looking for a highly flexible and scalable platform that could handle different front-ends and different scenarios – both for the sale of returned goods and as a future marketplace for used products. It also needed to be able to manage many partners and business models. Our pilot is live in Norway but we already look at ourselves as a European solution.
What was your biggest challenge in the selection process?
As a startup, we needed a flexible, innovative solution at a fair price that could be expanded at any time.
What were the main criteria in choosing your solution partner? Which functions or solutions from commercetools convinced The Green Deal?
In commercetools, we found a modern platform with a cloud-native architecture. It is easy to expand and scale. The entire MACH approach fits the architecture of the project.
Which microservices from commercetools are you currently using for The Green Deal?
To start with, we have four different headless front-ends: for our partners, their customers, warehouse management and our webshop. All are based on React (nxt.js). The integration with commercetools is mainly done via GraphQL. All trading functions are based on your microservices, including product presentation, ordering process, discounts, customer database, channels, pricing, etc. It is the ideal all-round solution for us.
Read the first part of this Blog series to know how The Green Deal and its partnership with commercetools started.