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Friday, August 27, 2021
There’s nothing more fashionable than a great deal. By combining sustainable fashion with integrated digital solutions, Detroit Denim and WHIM have created a fruitful and successful relationship, sparking economic growth in the region.
For the last 11 years, Detroit Denim founders Eric and Brenna Lane have been hard at work to create a business that not only provides customizable and long-lasting jeans, but one that is also sustainable and protects the planet and people it employs. It was this passion and focus on sustainability that first brought Detroit Denim and WHIM together.
WHIM is a full-service technology partner and innovation lab for businesses looking to make large-scale transformations in the virtual and online space. WHIM’s service falls under the Industry 4.0 space—defined as the convergence of digital and physical technology—and the team is passionate about making technology and data accessible to small businesses who might not have access otherwise.
Four years ago, in partnership with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Pure Michigan Business Connect team, WHIM launched the Detroit Fashion and Tech Hackathon—a 36-hour weekend innovation challenge that brings together diverse teams with the goal of creating new tech solutions. Detroit Denim served as the case study for the first hackathon event, during which a group of teams worked to solve the problem of taking the 4-6 week wait for customers and turning it from a liability to a business opportunity.
After connecting at sustainability events in the state and using the innovative ideas introduced during the Detroit Fashion and Tech Hackathon, WHIM partnered with Detroit Denim to revamp their online ordering system and automate the buying process to enhance customer experience. This new automated process allowed Detroit Denim to pivot from made-to-stock to made-to-order, which is on-demand, personalized and cuts back on waste.
“I would never have imagined 11 years ago there would be such a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem in Michigan,” says Brenna. “The MEDC and Pure Michigan Business Connect have always been supportive of the notion that tech and fashion can be an industry here in Detroit and Michigan.”
Every day Pure Michigan Business Connect is working to link Michigan suppliers and buyers. To learn more, please visit www.michiganbusiness.org/pmbc.
To contact a business development specialist, click here or call 1.888.522.0103.