Eco fashion search engine launches in the UK

This article was originally published on thenationalstudent.com on 29th May 2019.

After finding success in the Netherlands and Germany, Project Cece, the online search engine for sustainable and ethical clothing, is coming to the UK.

Founded by three students from Amsterdam – Marcella Wijngaarden, Melissa Wijngaarden and Noor Veenhoven – the Dutch fashion and tech start-up collates sustainable fashion from over one hundred online retailers onto one website. With “Cece” acting as an abbreviation for “Conscious Clothing,” think ASOS, but with a smaller carbon footprint. 

The ethics of what we wear is slowly edging to the forefront of public consciousness thanks to the popularity of documentaries such as The True Cost and Stacy Dooley Investigates: Fashion’s Dirty Secrets. We’ve always been aware of the exploitative conditions faced by workers in sweatshops, but this increased coverage is making the uncomfortable truth harder to ignore.

As climate change becomes an ever-pressing crisis, there’s also increased awareness of the pollution produced by the fashion industry and its ill-effects on the environment. When asked if they would buy clothes from unethical brands, 55% of UK consumers say they would prefer not to – but seeking out fairer alternatives isn’t always easy. There is a wealth of fast fashion outlets at our fingertips, but where can you find sustainable, ethical clothing for every occasion?

Project Cece aims to answer this question. Co-founder Marcella Wijngaarden, a recent graduate who studied programming in the Netherlands, was frustrated that there wasn’t an easier way of finding ethical clothing online after she decided to make her wardrobe more sustainable. She thought there should be a website that brought everything together, “like an Amazon of conscious clothing… If such a website does not exist, I will build it myself!”

A year after Wijngaarden’s initial idea, Project Cece launched in the Netherlands, utilising in-house developed web tools to give consumers a complete overview of ethical clothing available to buy online. Using no-nonsense, helpful product descriptions and filters, the search engine helps customers browse easily to find clothing that fits their style, budget and values. 

After spreading to Germany, the site is now making its debut in the UK with the aim of helping British consumers make the switch from fast fashion to ethical clothing in a way that’s both easy and fun. Heartened by the increased support of ethical fashion in the UK, the women behind Project Cece are hoping their site will help make British wardrobes a little kinder and a little greener.

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