Powering the Circular Economy


Interactive prototype contributes to a new client win and business investment.


Stuffstr logo



Mockup of 3 iPhones with the Stuffstr service integrated into a sports apparel app

My Role

Product Design + Strategy / Research / UI Design  /  UX Design / Email Design / Content Design / Interactive Prototyping

The Team

Chief Product Officer / Business Analyst / Front End Developer
Back End Developer / E-commerce consultant

Stuffstr is a recommerce start-up that integrates with a brand’s e-commerce site. Customers sell unused garments back to the retailer, enjoy fashion and sports in a responsible, sustainable way, and maximise the lifetime value of everything they buy.


A pilot with our funding partner had significantly underperformed.

I was tasked to propose improvements to increase engagement ahead of a new client pitch.


Redesigned onboarding and physical collateral.

Identified discovery touchpoints in the prospect’s e-commerce app, leveraging their UI and UX patterns to prototype a seamless integration of our service.

Devised an email follow-up sequence to encourage service completions.

Business Impact

A new client win and business investment.

Stuffstr process Illustration

Users and Audience

User = Nitesh, Keen runner


Runs every day, whatever the weather


  • Recoup the cost of replacing worn-out gear

“I get through a LOT of running gear, but I hate just throwing it away”

User = Sarah, Environmentalist


Frugal, value conscious, likes to look good but worries about her carbon footprint


  • Extend the life of unused clothes
  • Reduce environmental impact
  • Maybe make a little bit of extra money

“I want my old stuff put to good use – I’d rather someone else had the benefit of them”

User = Zayne, Fashion lover


High disposable income, regularly updates wardrobe


  • Stay on trend
  • Make the most of money spent

“I’m a sucker for the latest trainers but I spend way too much, too often”


Icon of a megaphone, indicating communications

Review existing communications

The trial was led by editorial in the partner’s app, plus a series of emails for app users. I also looked at the design of the Stuffstr return bag and its instructions.

Research competitors

I looked at other used clothing services, marketplaces, and traditional e-commerce.

Depop, Vinted, Bagista, Vestiare, Trove, 
Asos Marketplace, Ebay, Gumtree, JD Sports, Zara, BooHoo, Religion, Nike


Icon of a leaf, indicting green businesses and environmental concerns

Understand "Green" Domain

I reviewed businesses with a strong environmental focus, non-profits and other cause-related concerns for learnings around branding and messaging, e.g. 

Treehugger, Innocent Drinks, Patagonia, Veja, Nudie Jeans, RSPCA, Just Giving, Grist, Friends of the Earth


Icon showing a phone with a magnifying glass, indicating app research

Identify discovery touchpoints

I reviewed the partner’s e-commerce app to determine potential opportunities to discover the Stuffstr trade-in proposition.

Key takeaways

  • Discovery was limited to a single editorial article in our partner’s e-commerce app
  • Due to concerns about our fulfillment capacity, further touchpoints had not been explored
  • Tone should not be too preachy, lecturing or shocking
  • Authenticity is valued
  • Design for users focused on environmental concerns
  • Other users may be more motivated by savings
  • To build trust, integrate the Stuffstr proposition within the partner app, rather than an external site
  • Execution of the Stuffstr returns bag and instructions was rudimentary,  undermining trust in our service and negatively impacting the partner’s brand
  • Untapped opportunity to schedule multiple follow-up emails to encourage engagement and increase Stuffstr bag returns


Potential Discovery Touchpoint Examples in-app


App homepage showing hero banner


App menu showing new category for Trade-in pages

Product Filter

Product listing filters showing new Trade-in category


Product listing page, showing "Trade-in" eligibility badge on items

Product Detail

Product listing page, showing Trade-in eligibility banner

Product Detail – Description

Product detail description, showing Trade-in eligibility

Prototyping app integration


I built an interactive prototype of the partner’s app in Figma, to show how a user’s trade-in journey would integrate.

Design patterns used modified versions of existing components from the product purchase journey, for familiarity and a coherent product experience.

Stuffstr homepage mockup on an iphone

Outcome and Takeaways

A new client win

For an integrated service, it’s critical to show your solution in context. High fidelity, branded interactive prototypes show how a service fits seamlessly into an existing website or app, taking on styling and UX cues from the host product. The pitch didn’t just win the client, they invested too. 

Imposter syndrome be damned

Unlike agencies where roles and processes are clearly defined, in a start-up, you’ll often wear multiple hats. Uncertainty and imposter syndrome is always around the corner, especially if you’re stepping outside your comfort zone. Do your research when you’re building a new service, sure, but don’t waste time second-guessing yourself. That’s what testing is for. It’s OK to be wrong sometimes. You need to fail fast and iterate.


UX doesn’t start or end on-screen

A user’s experience isn’t confined to the bubble around the product you’re building. Consider ALL the possible touchpoints, sometimes the problem might be happening off-screen.

Be consistent

Maintain visual consistency across all touchpoints in a user’s journey, especially when the journey crosses both analog and digital domains. Be mindful that physical collateral often has a longer shelf-life than digital. 


You’ll have an easier time if you make life easy for others

Although not the case in this example, working with third parties where you don’t have control over how your product is presented can be challenging. The bigger the partner, the longer it will take for decisions to get through their hierarchy. Push to work directly with the most senior decision-makers possible. Respect their time and make it easy for them to decide: present clearly articulated and rationalised solutions, not problems.