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Thriftika is my graduate thesis project, where I tested an alternative fashion rental business model (clothing library) using a user-centered design approach. I first identified the perceived benefits and risks of a clothing library business model using design research methods like in-depth interviews, literature review, competitive analysis, personas, and user-journey mapping, to then develop and test a clothing library prototype reflecting the findings and users’ needs.

Design Research


In the initial research stage, I decided to start developing the clothing library identity. The goal of identity design for the prototype was to present to potential participants a tangible concept, as well as to provide them with some extra memorable materials. The design problem of creating a brand for a clothing library was to inspire curiosity and trust toward a new kind of service. Therefore, the keywords for the brand became "playful, whimsical, and relatable". Here are the final elements

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The prototype was named Thriftika. It is a unique combination of experiential (thrift) and invented (-ika) names. The second part of the name—ika—is derived from the Latin word “biblioteka” which means “library” in English. The name “Thriftika” represents the experience of thrifting, since the clothing library is offering second-hand clothes, and points towards the library concept.


To communicate brand messages more clearly and playfully, the brand language needed to be defined as well. Since the clothing library targets the underused clothes that stay in users’ wardrobes, I focused on the concept of “living in the closet” and clothing as a living thing that exists in the closet and wants to get out. Clothes hang in closets until the owner decides to wear them, sometimes having to stay in a wardrobe for a long time, without going outside, so they can “feel” bored, neglected, sad, or depressed. After brainstorming the potential slogans that fit the concept, it was narrowed down to “clothes have feelings too!” The phrase was screen-printed on the reusable canvas bags that were given to participants as gifts.


In addition, the brand uses illustrations that show different items of clothing as alive and expressing their emotions with their body language.

User Testing

After the initial research stage, I began user testing. Part of my studio was converted into a pop-up store with a clothing display and a dressing "room". The user testing lasted 2 months (January & February 2021), during which I met with all the participants once every two weeks to exchange clothes and get their feedback on the service. 17 college students participated in the user-testing of the project. Below are the photos from our different meeting sessions and some additional materials designed to record the experience and gift fun swag.


The summary of my process and results of the user-testing were visualized and presented at the graduate thesis exhibition