Shopping App ETTA Strives to Be the Mall of the Metaverse

Its app uses 3D imaging tech to unlock personalized consumer shopping portals.
Written by Ashley Bowden
September 16, 2022Updated: September 16, 2022
Allie Burger, ETTA's founder and CEO. | Photo: Tony Lee

Sure the latest initiatives from the Teslas, Apples and Googles of the industry tend to dominate the tech news space — and with good reason. Still, the tech titans aren’t the only ones bringing innovation to the sector.

In an effort to highlight up-and-coming startups, Built In has launched The Future 5 across 11 major U.S. tech hubs. Each quarter, we will feature five tech startups, nonprofits or entrepreneurs in each of these hubs who just might be working on the next big thing. Read our round-up of LA’s rising startups from last quarter here.

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While online shopping may be the norm these days, numerous ways exist to optimize the space. On average, 20.8 percent of online retail purchases were returned in 2021, according to the National Retail Federation. While these returns are a hassle for consumers and businesses, the carbon consequences of back-and-forth shipping also significantly impact the environment.

ETTA — short for Earthlings Taking to Action — is an LA startup looking out for both people and the planet. Its solution works to make online clothes shopping more efficient for consumers, and in turn, optimizes the e-commerce space for retailers and the earth we all share.

“We are the future of fashion. We focus on the ‘phygital’ fashion space,” Allie Burger, ETTA’s founder and CEO, told Built In. “Our mission is to infinitely align the physical and digital selves, especially in this world where … the bulk of today’s consumers are still living in [Web 2.0].”

Most recently in her career, Burger worked as a business designer at IT company Accenture. She spent her time helping Fortune 500 companies build products using emerging technologies. Due to her busy schedule, Burger found it difficult to make time to shop for clothes where she could try on several in-store options and purchase only what fit her the best. The situation inspired her to design a solution that would help shoppers know their size before buying clothes online.

“My weight has fluctuated my whole life … and there are times when I felt beautiful and there are times when I haven’t just purely based on what industry standards tell us — or market to us — that beauty should look like or feel like,” Burger said. “And so what’s been amazing through this opportunity is that I’ve really had the ability to step into the driver’s seat and say, ‘How can we better empower folks to show up in the world to do what really matters?’”        

Working to help fashion and environmentalism work hand-in-hand, ETTA has partnered with various ableness and inclusivity groups, fashion houses and environmental advocacy organizations to build out its solution. 

We believe that everybody deserves to feel beautiful, and that process should be seamless.”

When a user spins in a circle in front of the camera on their phone, ETTA’s mobile app uses computer vision to scan their body and gather that individual’s measurements from 3D image data. This single sign-on capability unlocks a personalized shopping portal, and users can update their scan at any point. From here, ETTA employs machine learning and artificial intelligence to display curated apparel from its network of premium and luxury brand partners.

“We actually curate the internet of apparel for you … so you know your size before you buy and you can return less and feel fabulous faster,” Burger said. “We believe that everybody deserves to feel beautiful, and that process should be seamless.”

This application of data saves time for consumers, money for businesses and resources for the planet. As it’s getting started within the fashion industry blending digital data with the consumer experience, ETTA wants to eventually create the mall of the metaverse. Down the line, the company aspires to become the world’s largest repository of anonymized human body shape data, Burger said.

ETTA is launching its consumer-facing solution in spring. In the next 18 months, the company plans to launch its business-to-business SaaS platform that will serve brands, retailers, designers and manufacturers. The company plans to help these businesses find ways to reduce shipping and returns as well as create sought-after products that are sized appropriately for people across the globe.

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