Nada Shepherd of ReSuit Talks About Her Quest to Make Fashion Much More Sustainable

By Peter Page Peter Page has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on March 21, 2023

Nada Shepherd, a longtime fashion insider, founded ReSuit with her husband, David Shepherd, to connect a community of fashion enthusiasts who share a passion for sustainability. ReSuit is a fit-based, peer-to-peer clothing-sharing app that allows users to buy, rent, or sell anything in their closet.

ReSuit is designed to counter the many injustices in the fashion industry, from the sweatshop working conditions in far-flung clothing factories to the immense waste caused by artificially cheap “fast fashion,” to the social pressures on women to never wear the same outfit twice.

We asked Nada Shepherd about her mission to reinvent how people consume apparel, how ReSuit makes fashion accessible to everyone everywhere, and the importance she places on respecting the planet and the people who make the clothes.

Grit Daily: What are you trying to accomplish by launching the ReSuit app?

Nada Shepherd: I was a fashion insider for decades. I saw fashion and the business of fashion shift in ways which I found troublesome. I think it’s well understood now that fashion is a major environmental hazard from excessive water usage to waste and everything in-between. However, there are other less than obvious aspects of the industry that I found concerning such as the speed in which novelty was required, the notion that clothing was disposable in the first place and conversely the pressure that is placed on consumers, primarily females, to continuously spend resources (that in many cases is much less than their male counterparts) on always looking a certain way.

We are looking to fundamentally change the way we as consumers interact with clothing. We want to shift the entire fashion pipeline to one that is more sustainable, and at its core, manufactures less and not more. We want consumers to be able to play with their expression through clothing without sacrificing their ability to save for their futures. We want to offer novelty to society without stressing the planet or our wallets.

Grit Daily: What services does ReSuit provide for your customers?

Nada Shepherd: ReSuit is a peer-to-peer marketplace that allows users to rent, sell and purchase the contents of their closet. For many of us our occasion wear or higher priced point items are rarely worn. We allow users to keep their fancy handbag or LBD (little black dress) and make a little cash on the side when it’s not in use by allowing them to also rent their items to other users. Additionally, we enable users to resell or purchase clothing and accessories, something that at this point I think is well understood.

Nada Shepherd
Nada Shepherd

Grit Daily: What features are offered to its customers?

Nada Shepherd: As previously mentioned ReSuit enables consumer to list an item for resell and/or rental. In addition, our algorithm offers an alternate path to finding the users best fit bypassing the need to search by size, if the consumer prefers. We also offer the user the option to search by geography or occasion as well as category such as accessories or pants. Our self-policing platform facilitates user and item ratings and offers the option to decline a request. We also have an added security feature which we call the digital handshake. A transaction is not processed until the digital handshake is complete and both sides have confirmed the item(s) are as listed and have been received.

Grit Daily: What sets you apart from your competitors?

Nada Shepherd: I believe our major differentiators have been previously mentioned, but I think it’s the features and behind the scenes projects that are in the pipeline that will really set us apart once they materialize in time.

Grit Daily: What is fashion re-commerce, and how does it work?

Nada Shepherd: Although recommerce is a relatively new word the concept is not. Wikipedia explains recommerce or reverse commerce is “the selling of previously owned, new, or used products…. through physical or online distribution channels…”

I see recommerce as a word which has a nuanced and deeper meaning to also encapsulate consumer zeitgeist of our time around consumer behaviour and interaction with clothing.

We are familiar with the notion of thrifting or vintage shopping to either save money/afford a purchase or to find something unique or reminiscent of an era. Typically, the notion conjures images of spending hours at Goodwill or the local vintage shop. Given where we are today with tech, and our general comfort with shared or pre-loved ownership, I think recommerce speaks to a deeper and more profound intention behind purchasing/renting something that was once owned by someone else. I think it speaks to greater community and overall awareness around the impact of our purchasing choices.

Grit Daily: What’s next for the brand? 

Nada Shepherd: There is a lot happening behind the scenes and I tend to “hold my cards close to my chest” as experience has taught me novelty is anything but a linear path. That said I can share that we are working on features to better the customer experience and will be adding new markets and services.

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By Peter Page Peter Page has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team

Journalist verified by Muck Rack verified

Peter Page is an Editor-at-Large at Grit Daily. He is available to record live, old-school style interviews via Zoom, and run them at Grit Daily and Apple News, or BlockTelegraph for a fee.Formerly at Entrepreneur.com, he began his journalism career as a newspaper reporter long before print journalism had even heard of the internet, much less realized it would demolish the industry. The years he worked as a police reporter are a big influence on his world view to this day. Page has some degree of expertise in environmental policy, the energy economy, ecosystem dynamics, the anthropology of urban gangs, the workings of civil and criminal courts, politics, the machinations of government, and the art of crystallizing thought in writing.

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