SilkRoll is the brain child of Janet Wu and Erin Wold who were quite bothered by the incredibly limited closet space that women usually had. Their surveys suggested that only 25% of the clothing owned by women was worn by them more than once, and it stays in their closets for months and years on end, just taking up space. So the two designed SilkRoll, which is a platform where women can exchange their clothes for other, high-quality clothes.
Wold and Wu said that every piece of clothing they received was carefully checked and scrutinized before being put up on SilkRoll. If a customer’s item made it to SilkRoll, they would receive a certain number of coins, which they can then use to exchange those clothes with others in the space. Customers can also buy bundles of coins which they can combine with their earnings to get nicer clothing items. They started their website through crowdfunding and then made their appearance on Shark Tank.
On Shark Tank, the women appeared asking for $250,000 for 3% of their company. The Sharks were very unhappy with their extremely high valuation and the complex revenue model that they had adopted. After finding out that Wu and Wold’s total revenue to date was only $35,000, they were decidedly unimpressed, and none of them offered the ladies a deal on Shark Tank.
However, their appearance on Shark Tank did give the women a fair bit of traction, and their website is still functioning today. They have recently updated their revenue model and are now also accepting cash for the items on their website.
Our Review Of SilkRoll
The Sharks were thoroughly unimpressed by the business model of SilkRoll, but they were considering them strictly from a business perspective. We decided to give the website a chance to truly see if they are worth it and if what they are doing truly has some meaning.
First of all, we would like to say that recycling clothing is a great cause. This is especially true in this age of fast-fashion brands where the clothing wears off quickly and easily and needs to be discarded after a few uses. In these circumstances, buying better-quality clothes and being able to trade them was a great idea in terms of sustainability, and SilkRoll deserves some applause for it.
Other than that, the trading process is also quite straightforward. You have to fill out a form and you receive a prepaid trading kit that you can use to send over any clothes that you wish to put up on the site, and the clothes are then thoroughly examined before making it there.
We also really liked the catalog that SilkRoll has to offer. They have a number of designer outfits and a good selection of clothing that you can get at a very affordable price. You can pick out whatever you want and even pay for it by cash now, for a fraction of its original value.
However, the membership fee is not really worth it since it is likely that you will not be using the platform quite that often, which makes the fee just extra money out of your pocket every single month. It is difficult to cancel the subscription as well.
Other than that, the revenue model is complex and not in favor of the trader since you don’t know what the true value of the clothing you are given is. So the valuation is hidden from the customer, and it might drive some people away from this platform.
Lastly, SilkRoll also does not accept any fast fashion brands. While this makes their catalog trustworthy with only high-end clothing, it does still leave the matter of many clothes remaining unrecycled intact. Fast fashion brands will still end up in landfills if there is no good platform to exchange them.
Pros Of SilkRoll
There are many pros to using, SilkRoll, and here are some of them:
- Great catalog
- Easy trading model
- Easy to give away clothes
- Recycling clothes is a great cause
Cons Of SilkRoll
There are a few cons of the SilkRoll platform as well, and here are some of them:
- Accept very little clothing
- True valuation of clothing is hidden from customers
- Membership fee is not worth it
Who Is SilkRoll For?
SilkRoll is the perfect platform for anyone who likes to dress up well and does not want to spend a fortune on buying clothes each time. You can have a brand-new wardrobe with clothes that are only a fraction of their original price with the help of SilkRoll, which makes it the perfect site for Fashionistas. Other than that, if you have a lot of unworn or barely worn clothes in your closet that is collecting dust and will be of no use to you, possibly ever, SilkRoll is the perfect platform for you.
Lastly, SilkRoll is a great website for people who want to contribute to the cause of sustainable fashion. Recycling clothes is a great way to practice sustainability, and thrifting clothes can support this cause to a great extent. So if you are trying to practice sustainable fashion, SilkRoll is for you.
Are There Any Alternatives?
Yes, there are a few alternatives to SilkRoll that offer similar services of being able to trade old clothes for other clothes. One example is ThredUp, a website with a similar model which is easy to use. Other websites include Stone And Cloth, Shop Zavi, Everly Clothing, and Conscious Chatter.
SilkRoll has been in business since its appearance on Shark Tank and has managed to turn into a profitable venture, despite getting no financial support from the Sharks. They are still trying to perfect their revenue model to make it more appealing to their customer base, and so far, they have managed to do so. Its catalogue is full of thousands of great finds, and the brand is doing its part in offering sustainability for all Fashionistas out there.