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Having joined digital fashion outlet, Otrium as president and chief operating officer in 2021, Washington will now take the helm as the global CEO, overseeing all aspects of the company’s worldwide operations, including product development, engineering, sales, marketing, logistics, expansion, legal, finance, and human resources.

Her leadership will focus on charting a path to profitability in Europe and driving growth in the US, building on Otrium’s remarkable progress in the region, where US members grew at a rate of 500% in 2022.

Commenting on her new role, Washington expressed her enthusiasm for leading a company that empowers consumers of all socioeconomic backgrounds with access to top premium fashion brands at affordable prices and its larger mission of ensuring that all produced clothing finds its way to being worn, making sustainable fashion a reality.

Washington added: “As one of the few African-American female CEOs in tech leading a global fashion marketplace, I’m especially proud that we are building the next phase of Otrium with an executive leadership team that is 40% women, of which 100% are women of colour.”

With a keen focus on sustainability, Klijnstra, co-founder of Otrium, has assumed the position of chief sustainability & growth officer. In this role, Klijnstra will be spearheading the company’s marketing strategy and sustainability goals, embedding the mission of reducing textile waste into all aspects of Otrium’s operations.

Addressing the pressing issue of textile waste, which amounts to an estimated 92 million tonnes globally each year, Klijnstra envisions a future where every garment produced is worn, and wasteful practices are eliminated.

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“As Otrium’s business grows, we will continue to help decrease the number of garments ending up in landfills. I want to keep personally driving this type of change forward for Otrium and for the industry,” added Klijnstra.

Otrium’s approach to addressing the environmental and economic challenges of excess inventory involves partnering with fashion brands to create digital outlet channels. By doing so, the company enables brands to efficiently manage their excess inventory while providing customers with a seamless e-commerce experience, from photography to order fulfilment and shipping, and aftercare services.

Co-founder Milan Daniels will continue to play a role in scaling and nurturing Otrium’s global brand partnerships, which include internationally recognised names such as Tommy Hilfiger, Donna Karan New York, Filippa K, and Scotch & Soda.

With Klijnstra’s focus on sustainability and growth and Washington’s exceptional leadership, Daniels believes the executive team is now better equipped than ever to drive Otrium towards its goal of transforming the fashion industry and reducing its environmental impact.

Otrium partnered with climate tech start-up Vaayu on a “first-of-its-kind” investigation into the carbon emissions and waste-saving potential of off-price business models.