We meet Anthony Burns, Chief Operating Officer of ACS in Scotland. ACS started out as a formal-wear hire business, and is now an internationally recognised and award-winning circular fashion enterprise with clothes rental offerings for woman, men, children and babies. It is now working with a wide range of fashion brands, acting as their Circular Service Provider. We find out how the business has evolved, its progress towards B- Corp status, and about some of its innovations in packaging and garment cleaning. We also hear what ACS is doing to be a good neighbour in its local community.
Catherine Weetman talks to Tamsin Chislett, cofounder of fashion subscription startup Onloan, which has grown strongly this year despite lockdown.
Onloan is a bit different to other UK fashion rental options because it partners directly with top contemporary fashion brands, and it focuses on ‘elevated daywear’ rather than occasion wear. Onloan is also different because it does all its garment care and logistics in-house. Onloan offers its customers a way to enjoy all the newness and variety of fast fashion, but without the waste, and with much better clothes.
We find out why fashion subscription works so well for the customer and the brands, why Onloan’s customer base doesn’t fit typical demographics, and how Tamsin convinced those first few brands to come on board.
Chris Diplock is the Founder and CEO of The Thingery, the parent organization of neighbourhood Thingery branches, and a leader in Vancouver’s collaborative economy. You could describe the Thingery as a ‘library in a box’ – the box being a shipping container! The containers are solar-powered and so can be sited in disused spaces near the communities that will use them. Technology allows people to access the container and then use the built-in systems to easily log what they are borrowing or returning. That means it is less reliant on volunteers, and can be open 24/7 if needed. Chris wants to make it easy for any community, worldwide, to set up their own Library of Things. We hear about the concept, the funding model, and the practicalities.
Geoff van Sonsbeeck is the Co-Founder and CEO behind the direct to consumer womenswear brands BAUKJEN and ISABELLA OLIVER, and has been at the forefront of the slow, sustainable fashion movement for over 15 years.
We talk about how the two brands are building on their durable and timeless design ethos and evolving a range of circular practices. These include takeback schemes, resale, and rental. Baukjen is also switching to more sustainable fabrics – even moving away from organic cotton.
We also discuss how consumer attitudes are changing, including the growing interest in fashion rental.
In this episode, we focus on the ‘how’ of making your business circular, looking at the different ways people were getting to grips with the problem they wanted to solve. We also get an update on the new subscription model for ApparelXchange, and get some ‘bonus’ circular economy examples from David Greenfield (aka Dr Resources of the Circular Economy Club London).
How do we find a linear problem that needs a circular economy solution? Bec Evans, author of How to Have a Happy Hustle: the complete guide to making your ideas happen” suggests starting with what’s bugging you, and become ‘avid problem collectors’. We look at how our guests in the last series hunted down their linear problems and got clear on what the customer needed – the ‘job to be done’ in ‘Lean’ terms.
Renting clothing and fashion is going mainstream. We look at why it is better for people and planet, and how Eve Kekeh, founder of Bundlee, built a successful babywear rental subscription business by helping parents choose high-quality, sustainable options and get more value for money. We unpack the linear economy mindset of ‘sell more’, explaining why it’s a race to the bottom…
We talk to Eve Kekeh, the founder of Bundlee, the UK’s first baby clothing rental subscription. Eve started Bundlee to give parents a sustainable alternative to buying clothes that will be outgrown very quickly. With Bundlee, parents can rent their baby’s wardrobe and swap clothes for the next size up whenever they like. Outgrown clothes are professionally cleaned before being sent to the next family. We find out how Eve researched to problems associated with babywear, uncover some surprising obstacles she had to overcome, and hear about some of the advantages of the rental and subscription business model – for the business and its customers.