Size Does Matter!

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By Duncan McKay

How is it that in this day and age, with all of the technology available, that clothing retailers and brands have not been able to standardise their sizing so that a size Large is a Large wherever I shop?  
Aistetic, an Oxford University technology spinout founded in 2019, has come up with an innovative AI solution that provides 3D body measurement and recommendations to solve this problem. 
Aistetic’s software plugs into existing brands and retailers’ websites and apps so that people can get their measurements and sizing for that specific retailer before purchasing.
So, people can shop with confidence using this technology with any mobile phone.
In one store, I’m a medium, in another I’m a large and in another I’m an extra-large.
I know that I’m not the only one to experience this.
Surely it should be possible to buy clothing in my size in any shop. 

Body Mesh. Supplied.

But this is not the case, which is something that we have all experienced particularly when shopping online.
The consequence are that people are buying and then returning lots of clothing.
This can be as high as 50 per cent in some countries.
Returns have been the profit drag to retailers growing online businesses and an environmental drain of the polluting fashion sector which the UN estimates as contributing 10 percent of the world’s pollution.
Some people regularly buy one size up and one size down with the intention of returning the two items that don’t fit.

When is a clothing size large actually a size large?
When is a clothing size large actually a size large?

Returning items has a knock-on effect which involves registering the return, taking it to the post office, or making a trip back to the store.
This all adds up, not just in time or energy but also, importantly, in cost and in the carbon impact it has.  
To process one return costs £12.88.
This excludes any landfill and remerchandising.
The carbon footprint of a return can be as high as 4.2 kg of carbon if the garment is taken back into the store.
This is something that we often don’t think about.
We have seen recently how Chat GPT-3 has demonstrated the latest useful capabilities of AI. 
Computer vision and machine learning is now capable of delivering 98 per cent body measurement accuracy from a phone.
It’s as simple as doing a 360 degree turn in front of your phone to capture your 3D body reconstruction with all your personal measurements. 
Aistetic then matches and calibrates your size to that particular retailer and saves it for future purchases as your size profile (this is done in accordance with GDPR).

About the author: Duncan McKay is the founder and CEO of Aistetic whihc makes accurate 3D body modelling for ecommerce clothing retailers, fitness, weight loss and digital healthcare providers.

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