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February 22, 2024 37 mins
Host Victoria Guido interviews Dustin Butcher, CEO and Co-Founder of MADE TECH, a company revolutionizing the performance apparel industry through custom and made-to-measure automation technology. Dustin shares his journey from working in the outdoor industry and running a creative agency to founding MADE TECH. The company's mission is to provide performance apparel that perfectly fits the wearer's body, addressing a common issue where standard sizes fail to accommodate individual body shapes and sizes, particularly in sports where fit and movement are crucial. Dustin discusses the inspiration behind MADE TECH, which stemmed from personal experiences with ill-fitting outdoor apparel during activities like ski touring. He highlights the company's focus on inclusivity, allowing for 100% size inclusivity and addressing the needs of a broad spectrum of body shapes and sizes. This initiative caters to individuals who traditionally struggle to find performance gear that fits and opens the door for brands to offer more inclusive product lines. Dustin's background in the outdoor industry and encounters with the limitations of standard sizing in apparel led to the development of a technology-driven solution that customizes clothing to the individual's measurements, enhancing performance and comfort. The conversation also touches on the industry's broader implications of custom and made-to-measure apparel, including sustainability and waste reduction. Dustin elaborates on MADE TECH's business model, which initially targeted direct-to-consumer sales but has pivoted towards partnering with established brands to offer custom-fit options. This strategic shift aims to leverage brand trust and reach a wider audience, promoting inclusivity and personalization in the performance apparel market. MADE TECH ( Follow MADE TECH on LinkedIn ( Follow Dustin Butcher on LinkedIn ( Follow thoughtbot on X ( or LinkedIn ( Become a Sponsor ( of Giant Robots! Transcript:  VICTORIA: This is the Giant Robots Smashing Into Other Giant Robots Podcast, where we explore the design, development, and business of great products. I'm your host, Victoria Guido. And with me today is Dustin Butcher, CEO and Co-Founder of MADE TECH, powering the future of performance apparel with custom and made-to-measure automation. Dustin, thank you for joining me. DUSTIN: Oh, thank you so much for having me, and I'm excited to be here. VICTORIA: Wonderful. Yeah. So, why don't you just introduce yourself a little bit more and tell me about your background? DUSTIN: Yeah, of course. So, as you mentioned, I'm one of the co-founders of MADE. We have built technology that enables the automation of custom and made-to-measure performance apparel. So, similar to how you could, like, you know, go online and design a custom suit or something like that and get it made to fit your body, we do that for performance apparel so that the product that really matters if it fits you properly and that sort of thing, and, you know, so that might be outdoor apparel, motocross, yoga. Whatever sport it is that you're into that, you need your apparel to move with you; that's what we fuel. And so, we're working with a bunch of different brands in that space to do that. My background, I came from the outdoor industry; always been in the outdoor industry since I was able to hold a job, originally just at ski resorts and stuff as a lifty and as a waiter, and all those types of classic, you know, teenage jobs. And then I worked in-house at a bunch of outdoor companies, Voilé, a little backcountry ski company here in Salt Lake, and then Black Diamond, and Gregory Packs, and Petzl, and kind of worked around the industry a bit. And then for the last 12 years, I ran a creative agency, specifically in the outdoor industry, working with a lot of those same brands and other brands in kind of communicating their value to the outdoor customer. And so, and then we kind of rolled into MADE, had this idea, connected with my co-founders, and really built it from there. VICTORIA: I love hearing about people building careers in the outdoor industry, something really close to me personally. I also got my first few jobs from rock climbing and having competed as a young adult and then walking up to businesses and saying, "Hey, you have a climbing wall. Like, you should hire me, and I'll run your climbing wall." And they're like, "Okay." [laughs] So, it just, like, brings you so much confidence and such a great community to be a part of. And so, you're talking about creating clothes that move with you. Can you tell me a time when you were doing something, some kind of performance sport activity, and you were like, "Wow, whatever I'm wearing does not fit me. This is really affecting my pe
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