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Startup of the week: 500KG CO2

This week The Startup club features 500KG CO2 - a circular economy greentech venture and an extension of STUDIO183 Berlin.

STUDIO183 Berlin started off as an experimental pop up project in 2015 and formed into a retail and promotional platform for independent designers and artists. More specifically, “500KGCO2” is an app that offers designers a platform to showcase their designs and allows users to upcycle from the comfort of their own home. “500KGCO2” aims to change the way we consume fashion.

Through funding by the Berlin Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Enterprises

(SenWiEnBe) and Fashion Council Germany (FCG) the beta version of the app was

presented in January 2023. The app was developed by i-mmersive GmbH. Until date, the startup have conducted user research; including customer interviews, focus groups and usability tests.

Their mobile phone app is currently supported by the AR technology. With the further

development, AI technology will be implemented to add a measuring tool in the app. With regards to future potential of the startup in the next stages, they are planning to add AI generator of designs that will suggest customized designs for users based on their preferences and information about them.

Their app also has an unique operation of work, where a user selects the desired template and scans their preloved garments with the app at home followed by the built-in AI measuring tool scanning their body to let the app know about their measurements. This further creates a 3D mockup of the final garment with the option to modify it and virtually try it with the help of their AI tool. It is then later confirmed by the user and collected and produced at STUDIO 183 and sent back to the user.

500KG CO2 CEO Katrina Ryback shared her experience with us.

When asked what made her become an entrepreneur, Katrina replies:

"In 2014, after quitting my office job, I started selling vintage and second hand clothing at fleamarkets in Berlin. Upon seeking further points of sale by enquiring at physical stores to rent a rail space, I decided to rent my own gallery space and share it with other vendors. During that same period I also attended a Start-Up Weekend event and in my group we pitched this shop-in-shop concept. We won the first prize that weekend and this confirmed that I would continue pursuing this experimental venture as a serious business and that led me to developing STUDIO183 Berlin."

What is the most challenging part of running your own startup?

"Unforeseen circumstances arise, therefore progress is not always as fast as anticipated. The “500KGCO2” project is at an experimental stage and I am looking for a co-founder CTO."

What is the most rewarding aspect of entrepreneurship?

"Being able to bring ideas to life; let them into the world and see how people react and interact with them."

If you are curious to learn more about 500KG CO2, here is their website:

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