A vision of a world built with integrity.

A vision of a world built with integrity.

#39 THE MORE THE MERRIER - exploring the biggest challenges and opportunities for fashion’s rental revolution with the founders of Loanhood, Nuw and Onloan

January 28, 2021

In order to turn an idea into a business, there are several exercises that entrepreneurs need to undertake to assess if their idea has the chance of success. A key element is to solidify the product-market fit by conducting competitor analysis.

Imagine if you found there’s currently little competition for your amazing business idea. Then seemingly overnight more and more ‘rivals’ came onto the market all deemed to be fashion’s answer to our sustainability issues.

Well, that’s precisely what happened in 2020 with fashion’s rental revolution. We pinned our hopes on rental as something that could fundamentally change fashion’s relationship with ownership. Of course, there were rental businesses who had previously launched and closed due to the fact that consumers weren’t quite ready to rent a few years ago. 2020 was the year that rental was beginning to take hold not only in our existing communities but in traditional retailers such as Selfridges with the Hurr pop-up and Liberty with My Wardrobe.

Sadly, last year our hope of seeing fashion rental become mainstream was crushed by the pandemic. After all, we need somewhere to wear our new rented outfits, but what has not changed is the potential of rental. Post-pandemic, we will have lots of places to go and people to see, and we will want to reflect how we now feel as we emerge into the world. This is where rental has a real opportunity to flourish. It can offer new without being costly and give us fun, short-term wardrobe options without leaving us feeling guilty about contributing to social or environmental issues.

Something that we feel is necessary to further action towards a more sustainable fashion industry is to collectively and openly discuss ideas, challenges and solutions. We feel a key part of our role at Black Neon Digital is to create a space that cultivates ideas, relationships and movements.

It’s quite rare that founders of direct rival businesses embrace being so open with one another, yet is the very thing we need to see more of within fashion. On a purely practical level, if you know what your competitors are doing you can make sure your business offers something different.

For our latest podcast, we invited the founders of three incredible rental businesses to come together and discuss where the rental market is heading and also what their business’s role is within the change. After all fashion rental is all about sharing, so let’s share our struggles and hopes too.

Join our founder Jodi Muter-Hamilton, Jade McSorely Co-founder Loanhood, Aisling Byrne Founder Nuw and Tamsin Chislett Co-founder Onloan to explore the biggest challenges and opportunities for fashion’s rental revolution.