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Fomeno App: Simplify second-hand shopping


SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) — With 2023 just days away, many of us are compiling a list of New Year’s resolutions. If one of yours wants to include more sustainable practices in your life, three women from the University of South Dakota might have just what you need.

Going from store to store to find the perfect outfit can be exhausting, especially when going to thrift stores or vintage stores. Doing it online is even more of a hunt. That’s why three friends from USD created something easier.

“Fomeno is an app where you can save money from a bunch of different used, vintage and upcycle online stores. So we’re bringing a bunch of different inventory into one place so it’s easy to find what you’re looking for. you’re looking for,” said Payton Ryz, co-founder of Fomeno.

Brigit Blote, Payton Ryz and Ashlynn Atwood — co-founders of Fomeno. Photo courtesy of Payton Ryz

Created by Brigit Blote, Payton Ryz and Ashlynn Atwood, Fomeno lets you scroll through clothing inspirations or search for something specific. Once you find it, just click. From there, you’ll get item recommendations from over 50 different partner online thrift stores. Click one more time and you are exactly where you need to be to make a purchase.

“We’re just trying to really simplify this process online and help connect people to make the fashion industry more circular because fast fashion is extremely damaging to our environment,” Ryz said.

Fast fashion is the term for inexpensive clothing produced quickly by mass market retailers in response to the latest trends. Minimizing fast fashion is at the heart of Fomeno’s mission.

“A lot of people don’t even realize that a basic cotton t-shirt uses the same amount of water that a person drinks in three years. So it’s like an insane amount of resources needed to produce new clothes,” Ryz said. “Also, these garments are made in factories across the country that we don’t necessarily see on a day-to-day basis. They work in difficult conditions, being paid less than a living wage. So kind of stop this cycle of this mass production of bought clothes and maybe somebody will wear them a few times and they’ll be low quality so they’ll throw them away. Or they just end up in thrift stores.

Photo courtesy of Payton Ryz

To begin their mission, the three friends applied for the Hult Prize, a competition that collects ideas from college students after challenging them to solve a pressing social issue, like sustainability.

“At the end of it all, we ended up being one of eleven people they picked to win a hundred grand. So that was really cool, so amazing, it really kicked it all off,” Ryz said. .

From there, they expand their team and hire Annie Lien as a style curator.

“It was so much fun because I met people around the world with so many different styles, personalities and interests and fair perspectives on life. It was so exciting,” Lien said.

Last November, they finally launched the Fomeno app.

“It was almost three years into the competition,” Ryz said. “It was a long journey but I think that’s the life of a startup. You keep grinding and eventually, it clicks. We are truly grateful to have a new development and technology team on board.

“If you choose to shop second-hand, like that little choice in your daily life, it makes a huge difference,” Lien said. “So even the smallest change in your consumption habits can have a huge impact on the world and the people in it.”

Hear Payton Ryz how Fomeno got his unique name:

Four young female entrepreneurs who are leaving a greener footprint on this Earth.

“We like to portray ourselves as a company that does good, because that’s our goal,” Lien said. “We want to help the planet and we want to help the people of the planet because we would like to preserve it for our children to have and their children to have. Fighting the fast fashion industry is one of our big goals.

“So we always want to keep that mission at heart,” Ryz said.

The Fomeno app is now available for download on Apple devices.



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