Brarista – Democratising professional bra-fitting using Artificial Intelligence

Brarista is dedicated to democratising the bra-fitting industry, improving breast health and reducing retail returns by way of streamlining the shopping experience, and improving inclusivity, by using an Artificial Intelligence platform to do so.  

Brarista, a team of bra-fitting experts and software developers, are proud recipients of the Women in Innovation Award, and are committed to pushing the industry forward with cutting-edge technology and unique expertise. It is with great pride that Future Fashion Factory (FFF) are able to announce that Brarista have been successful in applying the results of FFF-funded research, having recently entered the Beta testing stage of their new technology. 

Bella Ngo, founder of Brarista
Image: Brarista

About Brarista’s Technology  

Ill-fitted bras have been associated with a variety of issues, including scarring, muscle pains, skin irritation, poor breast health, and self-confidence concerns. Indeed, according to a 2018 University of Portsmouth study, 80% of bra-wearers wear ill-fitting bras; 70% of these experience daily physical discomfort and poor self-confidence. Moreover, in-store bra-fitting is notoriously inaccurate, and when paired with inconsistency in fit and finishings across differing brands and styles, finding bras that are true-to-fit has become increasingly difficult.  

Sizing confusion, in-store shopping inconveniences, and general preferences for e-commerce lead to bulk-buying for home try-on, which in turn leads to mass waste in terms of product and shipping fuel. In 2018, up to 70% of bra-purchases were returned/exchanged, 90% were fit-and-size-related. Accordingly, in response to these concerns, Brarista set out to build B2B2C AI-enabled software, providing an online professional bra-fitting service to customers from a range of demographics.  

Specifically, the AI bra-fitting software works by combining traditional bra-fitting techniques, with visual technologies and bra engineering to produce an end-service that solves the problems facing the industry. Users will be able to find their true to fit bra size by way of computer-vision algorithms and will be offered product-specific sizing recommendations that are suitable across a range of brands. Once the users’ breast shapes, physical conditions (nursing, pregnancy, post-surgeries, curved spines, etc.) and fashion needs are established, Brarista’s machine learning algorithms match the users’ features onto the product data. Crucially, the Brarista software works with non-naked photos and can be calibrated on all cameras.  

Via their retail partners, Brarista enables bra-wearers to self-measure and shop for the correct bra fit across brands and styles using any digital camera. Brarista’s solution aims to solve end-consumers bra-sizing problems, and improve their well-being by reducing sizing confusion/anxiety. Ultimately, by licensing their software to retailers, B2B clients will enjoy significant reductions of fit-and-size-related returns (currently 90% of all returns) and double the customer-lifetime-value. 

Working with Future Fashion Factory 

As part of the FFF funded collaborative research, Brarista has been working with leading behavioural scientists from the University of Huddersfield (Mr Michele Buontempo, and Professor David Peebles, Professor of Cognitive Science) and London South Bank University (Dr Joseph Teal, Lecturer in Decision Science, and Professor Petko Kusev, Professor of Decision Science). Moreover, this collaborative research also involves working with FFF member Something Wicked, a luxury lingerie business, to validate and implement the usability of their bra-fitting technology using latest research.  

Specifically, this research collaboration led to some insightful findings. For example, the research revealed that participants aged 49 and under were significantly more willing to use the application than participants aged over 49. Moreover, the conducted studies also revealed that participants judged privacy concerns higher when they received reassurance that they would not be recorded and that no files (video or photograph) would be stored, than when they did not receive reassurance about their privacy (i.e., did not receive any information about being recorded). Furthermore, the studies also revealed that participants indicated more willingness to use the application when they have control over their personal information, and when the measuring process effort is low.  

The outcomes of the FFF-funded research have enabled Brarista to gain an in-depth understanding of end-users’ consumer experience and acceptance of this new technology. Using these findings, Brarista have launched their Beta testing with an unparalleled degree of consumer insight. Informed by their behavioural consumer research, Brarista will be able to launch into the market with a product that has an elevated likelihood of adoption. Moreover, to combat technology novelty and any other cybersecurity concerns, the application is expected to gain trust and maintain engagement with the end-users.  

In addition to the FFF research report,  Brarista were able to share their findings in a spoken presentation at the 63rd annual meeting of the Psychonomic Society (USA, 17-20 Nov 2022), titled ‘How Perceived Privacy Risk Determines People’s Willingness to Use Online Fashion Technologies’.  

The topics of bra-fitting and its influence on consumer behaviour, as well as how sizing perceptions determine consumers’ decisions to purchase, have been heavily under-researched. Accordingly, following this collaborative research project, FFF and Brarista, are confident that the outcomes and impact of the research will serve as a case study of successful implementation of technology in fashion and consumer experience.