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Why we invested: Fitted, enabling tailors to bring customized garments through online commerce

Sep 21, 2023 | Why We Invested

Wairimu Gitahi & Precious Manyara 

Custom clothing is common in many countries in Africa and Asia. But as any fashionista will tell you, finding a good tailor is a golden ticket. Thanks to Fitted, many tailors in Africa are poised to dramatically improve their abilities by streamlining and organizing their processes, thereby positioning skilled tailors to bring custom garments to the masses and create jobs.

“At the moment, most of the custom-made tailoring business happens offline to the tune of something like $30 billion in Africa alone, and globally, well over $200 billion when you look at markets like India, Indonesia, Pakistan, et cetera,” says Ibi Cookey, founder of Fitted.

Launched in 2021, Fitted provides a network of over 5,000 tailors and 20,000 customers with tools to collaborate and produce outstanding custom and ready-to-wear clothing. Created in Nigeria, this platform is accessible via the web, mobile app, or USSD. Fitted is bringing custom tailoring online by digitizing the ordering process and improving livelihoods in the process.  

For tailors and custom clothing brands, taking and storing measurements is a pain point where error and sloppiness can easily enter. Cookey highlights that taking measurements can be rife with human and technical errors. Being a tailor is probably one of the hardest jobs on earth. One might be making clothes for 20 customers for an event, and the book where all the measurements were is lost or destroyed in one way or another. Instead of telling the client, they find a way to guess the measurement,” he says. “Such situations reduce future job opportunities for tailors.”

For Fitted, the first step to creating better outcomes for tailors is empowering them with an easy and intuitive way to digitally store measurements at no cost via the web or mobile app. Measurements are complex and numerous, so keeping track of them can be challenging. Fitted’s solution helps tailors track critical data, and manage customer profiles. From the freemium product, tailors can upgrade to manage orders. 

Once onboarded to the data management solution, the tailors can also become vetted Fitted tailors. To become a vetted tailor, the tailor has to take a rigorous test of about 4.5 hours, which involves pattern cutting, communications, and machine use. Vetted tailors get preference for assigning orders and other benefits. The vetting process ensures consistency and quality in what is delivered via the platform. 

Customers using vetted tailors simply put in a request on the website, and a tailor is matched to the job. Customers can also select fabric and designs from the platform. Together, Fitted provides customers with end-to-end solutions for accessing custom-tailored garments. Customers ordering from Fitted’s online store can enjoy quality guarantees and reliable service delivery for any order produced by Fitted’s vetted tailors, with global shipping. Fitted is able to provide standardized order status communications, eliminating the opaqueness of service delivery typically encountered when interfacing with tailors and artisans. 

In addition, the application allows users to facilitate custom clothing for groups. In Nigeria, it is customary for thousands of attendees to buy customized, coordinated garments for events like weddings and funerals. To date, Fitted has processed over 500 events via its platform.

Built on web2 tech, the initial distribution infrastructure of Fitted is leveraging blockchain and AI to improve service outcomes even further by introducing a full web-3 suite to its platform in the near future. More recently, Fitted has started utilizing machine learning (ML) to generate customers’ measurements. Customers provide their height, age, and shoe size, and the system predicts their measurements with 97% accuracy. This has led to an exciting trajectory in the business because of the level of international adoption of the application for tailors looking for a more efficient way to acquire clients and run their businesses. 

The Fitted package has substantial benefits for tailors. The vetted tailors make, on average, a 3x margin than they would regularly make on their own because they have zero logistics costs and lower management effort. These tailors are also creating jobs, meaning the livelihood impact goes beyond the individual tailors who employ assistant tailors via “hidden hierarchies” within the tailoring workshop. Apart from creating jobs for the vetted tailors, Fitted is also creating jobs for the tailors who work for the vetted tailors.

 “As Catalyst Jobtech Accelerator, we decided to invest in Fitted because it would help us to learn how emerging technologies like , AI and AR could affect the future of work,” says Michelle Hassan, Program Director at Catalyst Jobtech Accelerator.

Going forward, Fitted is looking to expand from Nigeria; India is their next big market. They are already seeing organic growth via Play Store and other channels, where tailors outside Nigeria are downloading the solution. So far, the solution is in use in about 20 countries worldwide, including the UK, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Ghana.  


The Jobtech Alliance is an ecosystem-building initiative around inclusive jobtech in Africa launched in late 2021. We’re interested in digital platforms which connect people to work opportunities that build livelihoods – this includes gigmatching platforms, job matching, e-commerce marketplaces, and more. The Jobtech Alliance helps jobtech platforms to grow and create more jobs.


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