I'm a big fan of second-hand. I've been a second-hand shopper for most of my life, and I can say that 90% of the stuff that I own is second-hand. There are so many advantages to buying second-hand, and I’m not even talking about it being cheaper (the suggestions from the Faircado plugin are usually between 50 and 90% cheaper than new products). I'm talking about buying something with 90% less CO2 because you'll save on all the resources, energy, and water that are needed to produce new material. You also prevent all the objects that people don't need anymore from going to a landfill. Currently, it is estimated that every second, more than 9,000 smartphones and a rubbish truck full of clothes are emptied into landfills. To reduce that, well, buy less, obviously, throw away less, but also buy better and buy second-hand.
What inspired me and Ali Nezamolmaleki, my co-founder, to start Faircado was that we were really bothered by how inconvenient and time-consuming the process of buying secondhand and finding a specific secondhand item was. We constantly saw people who maybe had the willingness to buy better, more sustainably, and circularly, being pushed towards Amazon, Ikea, and fast fashion simply because of the lack of a more convenient alternative. So, by aggregating all of the secondhand market – which is quite scattered all around – we make buying secondhand as easy as buying new.
A month ago, I was in Helsinki at Slush, which is one of the biggest, most prestigious competitions for startups in the world, for which 1200 startups apply. And I happened to have won 1 million euros there, from five of the best VCs in the world! It was an amazing experience. I mean, I can hardly describe the feeling of being on stage there, pitching Faircado, and then receiving all this enthusiasm, love, and support from tens of thousands of people. It was amazing. And since then, we got a lot of offers from investors and interest from consumers. It's really incredible to see how this snowball is growing and the impact it has on how we can really envision a future where secondhand becomes the first choice of every consumer.
My latest fashion obsession is… a very minimalistic wardrobe! Actually, in the last year, I worked with a professional to drastically reduce the amount of clothes I had and focus on far fewer, but much better items. That makes my life so much easier, just having everything in a capsule wardrobe that works together. There's less stress, way less stuff in general, and I can even breathe better (laughs). I'm still in the process of mastering it, but I would highly encourage everyone to start really buying intentionally and items that last.
I love the community at betahaus. It's been a really nice year for us here. One of the most successful stories might be that we met one of our biggest investors here at betahaus! He has been a great support ever since. And yes, that's really the power of community. We have some users here as well, along with fellow entrepreneurs, so we can exchange a lot. It's really nice.
We've been working really hard on the development of our technology in the last month, and we are getting to a place where now I can say – wow, this tool is magical! So let’s say you’re looking for a book, on Amazon, Goodreads, Google, or anywhere on the internet, we'll find you a second-hand option for much cheaper in a blink. We're also working on image recognition for fashion. You will be able to find a product from any image on the internet; our tool reads it, and we suggest second-hand options for it. So basically, it's about offering a brand-new second-hand shopping experience that is really here to stay and to compete with the current, very unsustainable e-commerce market.
One of the books that impacted me most last year was " Essentialism - The Disciplined Pursuit of Less" by Greg McKeown. And I would really highly recommend it to everyone. It's a book about how to get rid of 90% of the superficial stuff in your life and focus on the 10% that is essential to you, shifting your focus there. And that means learning to say no. It means learning to really be intentional with where you put your time, energy, and attention. That has dramatically influenced me last year.
Just: try out Faircado, and give us your feedback! We are constantly looking to improve, and would love to hear your ideas on how to make Faircado even better!
You heard her! Go support Faircado and get your second-hand items using their plugin. If you like to read these stories, make sure to follow us on whichever social platform of your preference, whether it's LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube or Twitter. We are always sharing interesting stories from the betahaus community. See you next time!
Melissa Sant'Anna - Social Media Manager at betahaus.