As the body positive movement continues to challenge the existing size options available for shoppers, brands are starting to innovate beyond that — specifically, considering what would happen if the idea of predetermined sizing was eliminated altogether.
Earlier this week, Levi Strauss CEO Chip Bergh appeared at CNBC’s Evolve summit in Los Angeles to share how the 166-year-old denim brand uses technology to usher in custom sizing. “Sizes will go out the window 10 years from now,” Bergh said at CNBC Evolve. “Everyone can do their own body scan on a camera.” But what does this mean exactly for customers? Ronen Luzon, the CEO of MySizeID, a retail measurement company working to democratize retail sizing, says it's as easy as a few swipes on your smartphone.
MySizeID uses your measurements to create a unique sizing ID, making it easier to know your size at a particular store. “This eliminates guessing because the size recommendation is given based on your specific body measurements,” Luzon tells Refinery29 via email. MySizeID is available internationally and works with a few mid-range retailers. “For example, we’ve signed with Isay, a Danish brand sold in more than 500 physical stores, DeMoulin, the oldest and largest manufacturer of music performance group apparel in the world, and Penti, a company has a total of 550 retail stores in more than 35 countries – and that’s only a small handful,” Luzon explains.
Rarely does one size fit the same across the board, but Luzon says Levi’s CEO is on the right track. “[Bergh’s] vision is that everyone will do their own body scan on a camera, resulting in jeans that sculpt perfectly to their body, in the fit and wash of their desire,” he said. “This will give consumers the pants that they actually want, resulting in less waste from the company and less returns for consumers.”
Levi’s has been using laser technology to produce jeans and Luzon assumes that is what the company is banking on in the future. (In 2018, Levi began to use its laser technology, Project F.L.X., which reduces the time it takes to make the denim, the physical labor, and the chemicals needed to complete the products, CBNC reports.) “It is informational, revolutionary, and it will change the supply chain over time because we can postpone the finishing of a pair of jeans closer to market,” Bergh told CNBC’s Mad Money.
Currently, MySizeID is working with Boyish Jeans to increase sustainability in the denim industry by reducing customer returns and the sheer amount of ill-fitting clothing that get discarded — major factors contributing to the pollution crisis in the fashion industry. “This has resulted in a whopping 31% of returns for the company, just two months following the inception of the partnership.”
The custom-fit trend is popping up across the industry. Nike, for example, uses similar technology to make custom fit shoes. In July, the brand launched Nike Fit, a service available on Nike’s mobile app and in stores that scans scan customers’ feet and determine the correct size. CNBC reports using the service allows the athletic brand to better manage its inventory, cut down on returns and even entice shoppers to buy more shoes, according to early beta testing of the technology. In 2013, Sephora launched Sephora + Pantone Color IQ to help customers find the perfect shade of foundation by first snapping a photo of the person at different points of their face, pinpointing the exact color IQ number. So, it’s clear the future is here — or, at least is about to be.