Say hello to Sojo, a new black-owned business tackling fast fashion

Want to get away from fast fashion? Feed your second-hand clothing love with the app dubbed the ’Deliveroo’ of clothing alterations.

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Love the vintage look but put off because you can never find your clothing size? Or do you find you can never find the time to repair your favourite items in your wardrobe, leading them to go unworn for years? These are a couple of reasons why a new app called Sojo has launched.

One of the latest and most exciting black-owned businesses to drop, Sojo is designed to make buying and maintaining second-hand clothes easy peasy - and aims to raise a new generation of sustainably aware fashion lovers. 

How it works

Sojois slick and stylish and takes all the hassle out of repairing and altering your clothes. Here’s how it works. First off, grab your phone and download the app. Select and order what alteration or repair you need done and one of Sojo’s drivers will come and collect it at a set time slot. They will take it to a local seamster, and when the item is ready, it will be dropped back to you. It’s as simple as that.

Josephine Philips
Founder, Josephine Philips

Saying no to fast fashion

Sojo is the brainchild of entrepreneur Josephine Philips, who was motivated by her own experience of falling in love with vintage clothing after moving away from fast fashion. But, as she found out, going for pre-loved goods had its challenges.

“I mean when you think about it, what are the chances that you’ll walk into a second-hand store and find a pair of trousers you love and then those trousers will have your exact waist, hip, bum, thigh and length measurements?” she asks.

“I often bought them anyway, planning on wearing them with a belt or even rolling them up - but this isn’t the way one should be wearing clothes. Second-hand shouldn’t mean a compromise in great fitting clothes that make you feel really good.”

Feminism and exploitation

Josephine’s experience will chime with many women who will rejoice at being able to give new life to their existing wardrobe. For Josephine, Sojo stems beyond that though. She’s a real campaigner too and the service was born out of an activist spirit to see change in the fashion industry and to put a stop to exploitation of women across the world. 

“I came to the realisation that fast-fashion was a system that oppressed,” she said, “underpaid and exploited garment workers in order to function and thrive. It is no coincidence that around 80% ofgarment workers are women. Women of colour were (and still are) the ones on the receiving end of this capitalist exploitation. For me, it seemed that if I believed in gender-equality and the fair treatment of women, then I could no longer support an industry that had built its foundations and profits off the back of the unethical mistreatment of them.”

Ten months on from Josephine’s initial idea for Sojo, and 50 entrepreneur events and the completion of her physics degree later, Sojo is now raring to go! It’s currently available in a selection of London boroughs but keep checking to see if your postcode turns up. 

Sojo is available to download now.

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