A subscription-based children's clothing company whose mission is to help families be more sustainable consumers and keep clothing out of the landfill.

Terra Wear was awarded First Place in CU Boulder's New Venture Challenge, Social Impact Prize.


Clothing waste has been a growing problem for decades. The clothing and textile industry is the second largest polluter in the world, directly behind oil (2020). Through our research, we also found that children's clothing is especially overrepresented in the landfill. This is due primarily to kid's rapid growth with any items not seeing their full use before being disposed of.

How might we help consumers reduce their carbon footprint by curbing their clothing waste?


Blue Skies to Initial Idea

Our only guideline for the year-long project was that it needed to fit into the social/environmental impact category. Through research and user interviews, we decided to find a solution that would help reduce textile waste and landed on specifically tackling children's clothing.

Through user interviews, we found that potential users were interested in both donating and purchasing used clothing for their children as long as the process was convenient, affordable, and customizable.

Prototyping Our Service

To test our service, our team collected donations and matched them with families in the Denver-Boulder-Fort Collins areas. First, we reached out to groups in the area (primarily using Facebook) to see if anyone had unwanted clothing. We picked the donations up at their door, just like a postal/delivery service would. The donors expressed how easy and convenient it was for them instead of driving to a donation center or organizing passing them off to a friend.

We then organized the clothing and found families that had children with the sizes we received. The items were shipped directly or dropped off to recipients. In our follow up interviews and surveys, we heard great feedback from the clothing recipients as well.

Competitive Analysis

A competitive analysis was extremely helpful for my team to see what features users might want in a clothing service. While popular, accessible retailers like Target and Walmart would definitely be considered our competition, we also wanted to dive deeper into the sustainable retailers (ThredUp) and children's clothing stores (Upchoose and Mini-Cycle).


We began whiteboarding and sketching the user flows and screens we found necessary for MVP through our research phase. Our primary focus was building screens for users who wanted to donate their clothing and for users who wanted to subscribe.


As we worked on our wireframes and user flows, we continued to refine our ideas through more specific research, task analysis, and usability testing.


Closed-Loop Cycle

Terra Wear works on a two-part system that is made up of donors and subscribers. Users can keep their clothing indefinitely, but are encouraged to redonate their items once their children no longer need them. Donating items is completely free and the collection bag shows up directly to the user's door – just like ThredUp. This creates a closed-loop cycle and allows Terra Wear to control much of the clothing waste so it can be properly recycled.


To receive a Terra Wear box, users start by making a profile on our website. This can be updated at any time as children grow and preferences change.

Take the Style Quiz

By taking a style quiz, Terra Wear can cater to children's interest more easily. For example, if a child has specific sensory needs around closures we can exclude items that have zippers. Or if a child likes baseball, we can gear a box towards that, too!

Choose Subscription Frequency

Terra Wear offers both monthly and seasonal subscriptions in addition. to a single box purchase. These options make it easy for any family to try out the model or receive it as a gift.


We know that children grow quickly, which is why we included the online dashboard where users can make changes at any time. Users can update their children's preferences, subscriptions, sizes, and more.


Donors can request a free collection bag from the Terra Wear website. Once it's filled with donations, they send it back to us where the items are sorted and prepped for their next home.

Make Free Donations

Requesting a donation bag is easy and customizable for users as well. Users have the comfort of knowing where their donations are going if they're not put into circulation.

See the Impact

Through the personalized dashboard, users can see the impact their donations are making not only on the environment, but other users who received their donated items.


Terra Wear's business model allowed for expansion into different ares in the future. The model could always include age groups, but the other idea we discussed was other areas of parenthood – maternity clothing, gear for new parents, toys, children's books, and more.

Pricing variables, changing preferences, and additional edge cases made some of the UX design and business model fairly complex. For instance, if a family paid for an annual subscription but wanted to skip a box, how would we build this out? My team and I discussed how to handle many of these edge cases and built out some of them in our final prototype as well. There was definitely room for more exploration and refining, especially seeing how other subscription models have grown and adapted over the years (ie Hello Fresh).

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