Ladderworks is a publishing platform of diverse picture books and online curriculum with the mission to empower over a million kids to become social entrepreneurs. Our current series features interviews by our interplanetary journalist Spiffy with inspiring Social Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders, and Changemakers who are advancing the UN SDGs.
Hey, gang! Spiffy here, back with the scoop on the changemaking leaders of Planet Earth. As the only interplanetary journalist stationed on this blue planet, I’m thrilled to present this galactic exclusive with Allie J. Burger, the founder and CEO of ETTA. Let’s see what she’s been up to.
Spiffy: Thanks for joining me, Allie! Tell me, what challenge are you addressing through your organization?
Allie: Glad to be with you, Spiffy! ETTA stands for Earthlings Taking to Action. We are significantly reducing the carbon impact and waste of the fashion industry through AI and omni-reality technologies. Did you know that 10% of carbon emissions come from the fashion industry?
Spiffy: Oh, really? That’s a big portion!
Allie: Yes, fashion is the third most polluting industry in the world. In addition, our shift to online shopping has significantly increased the carbon footprint of the shopping process. In fact, 80% of products on average go straight to landfills without ever being worn.
Spiffy: What motivates you to tackle this challenge?
Allie: I got really tired of using my brain for the "bad guys" as a business designer for Fortune 500 companies. I am extremely passionate about environmentalism and wanted to work for an organization that was both financially fruitful and good for people and the planet. So, I left the corporate world and created one. As a woman in tech, I’m aware that less than 3% of VC funding worldwide goes to female entrepreneurs, and that number is even smaller in the innovative tech world. My biggest goal is to increase visibility, access and opportunity for girls and women all over the world through technology and sport.
Spiffy: That’s wonderful! How would you describe the impact of your work?
Allie: ETTA significantly decreases the end-to-end environmental impact of the fashion industry, which benefits us all. Through our AI shopping ecosystem, consumers know their size before they buy, which decreases over 50% of returns today. In addition, our analytics platform utilizes the world's largest repository of human body shape data over time to enable designers, merchandisers, brands, and retailers to more accurately size and design garments based on their target and future customer bases. In one year, ETTA has the power to reduce 10 million+ tons of CO2—that is the equivalent to the energy used to power 1.2 million homes per year or drive 25 billion miles by car.
Spiffy: Congrats on that success! Thanks for speaking with me today, Allie—it’s been an honor!
Allie J. Burger is a phygital visionary, futurist, and founder and CEO of ETTA, a mission-driven technology company transforming the future of fashion for partners, people, and the planet. Previously, she served as a world-class business designer, researcher, and journalist, and has developed products and services utilizing emerging technologies for Fortune 500 C-Suite executives and their teams across every major industry and business sector. (Nominated by Sumia Shaikh of Visible Hands. First published on the Ladderworks website on March 29, 2023.)
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect those of Ladderworks LLC.
© 2023 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by George Romar. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Launchpad: Creative Entrepreneurship Workshops for K-3 Kids and their caregivers here.