Three, Sixty: With Timur Negru
This is an extract from Issue 9 of SDG Alpha, my newsletter that casts an Irish lens on the world of Impact Investment, Innovation, and Sustainability. In each issue, I pose three questions on the theme of sustainability to an impact entrepreneur or innovator, to get a better understanding in sixty seconds of how they’re working to achieve the SDG targets. On this occasion, I was delighted to chat with Timur Negru, COO and co-founder at Thriftify.
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On a personal level, what impacts of the climate crisis are you most concerned about?
Over-production and Over-consumption. For me these two things are at the root of our planet’s environmental crisis. This is one of the reasons why I decided to get involved with Thriftify, and our vision is to encourage consumers to be more ethical and responsible in their online purchasing while also supporting good causes.
Which of the UN SDGs did you start Thriftify to address?
Thriftify is addressing at least two of UN SDGS:
1) Encouraging people to be more ethical in their online purchasing and switch to a more sustainable consumption pattern. One of the main things keeping me up at night is how easy and cheap nowadays is to buy a pair of jeans or a t-shirt for example. The scary part is that it’s becoming now a habit for humans to buy things that are most of the times unnecessary. The main danger with over-consumption is a reduction in our planet’s carrying capacity.
2) Take urgent action to combat climate change. As the last few years have shown, the Global community is still not doing enough to take the necessary action to try and reverse the climate crisis we currently have on our hands. Of course more and more governments are starting to put plans in place to tackle this crisis however I personally think that this is not enough and more radical ways are required. At Thriftify, we aim to give consumers a tool that will help them become more ethical when shopping online as well as highlight the importance of tapping into the second hand market has on the climate crisis.
How does your business model enable the transition to a low carbon, or more sustainable future?
Every year in Ireland charity shops receive over 150 million donations from the general public, making them the largest source of sustainable goods. Charity shop donations are so high that many sell items in bulk for recycling, a problem made worse by Covid-19, with an increase in donations and shop closures.
In the face of a climate catastrophe, Thriftify is aiming to provide a solution for a growing niche of customers who not only want to support good causes, but who want to join the fight against climate change and become sustainable in their shopping habits.
The fast fashion industry alone is responsible for 10% of all global emissions, with up to 60% of clothes being sent to landfill within one year of being purchased. As more consumers become aware of the damaging effects of the fashion industry they are moving to sustainable solutions — Thriftify is targeting this growing market which is expected to be larger than the luxury fashion segment by 2022.