For many people a change of season means a change in wardrobe, but the overconsumption of clothes has become an issue that heavily impacts the environment.
That is why two London sisters decided to launch STMNT, an app that allows fashionistas to rent apparel from people in their area, and by that, reduce the consumption of clothing.
Janessa and Madison Olson, Co-founders of STMNT, say their own experience in post-secondary inspired them to create the platform. Janessa adds, “As a university student, l was lending out my clothes constantly and I was also always looking for stuff to wear…but I had such a small budget! So, we thought this would be a great opportunity for students to earn some extra cash, but still look amazing while giving them an alternative to wearing fast fashion that’s so damaging to the environment.”
How it all works
STMNT facilitates clothing rentals by allowing users to create a profile and list items that they are willing to rent out to others.
“It’s like Airbnb, but for clothes,” says Madison.
Users are able to set the price that they would like to rent their item for and the time they are willing to part ways with it. Once the user who listed their item accepts a request from someone wanting to rent it, they set up a meeting location and do the exchange. After the renting period is up, they meet again and the garment goes back to the owner. Olson says sourcing clothes from others is a great alternative to constantly purchasing new items. “Trends are here today and gone tomorrow, so instead of buying an item, you can rent it…wear it, get pictures in it, and then call it a day with the trending garment. That way you don’t have to buy it brand new. You help save money and the planet,” she adds.
The company also guarantees both parties are insured in case anything happens to the garment. “We know accident happen. Who hasn’t spilled coffee on themselves?” Janessa says. “We don’t want people to be afraid to borrow something because of that, so STMNT insures them.”
A small change makes a big difference
By borrowing items you can cut back on your carbon footprint and decrease your waste while still looking fly AF. Does that sound like a good idea or what? 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼
— STMNT (@_STMNT_) July 24, 2018
Building a sustainable and ethical future plays a key role in STMNT’s mission. Janessa notes that it was an experience during her undergrad that encouraged her and her sister to create the digital platform.
“I was taking a business ethics course and we talked about a manufacturing facility in Bangladesh that collapsed and killed over 1100 people…I remember leaving that class and being completely devastated and I kept thinking, ‘How is my demand for a $12 shirt worth somebody’s life? Or worth putting someone in a condition where they’re in danger or have a terrible quality of life?’…There has to be an alternative to what we’re consuming in fashion,” she says.
Eco-friendly without compromising style
Both Janessa and Madison are passionate about fashion and love the way people are able to express themselves through it. However, they both feel that there is a social responsibility everyone has when it comes to buying clothing.
“Why do I need to have fifty shirts just hanging in my closet? Why don’t I just source things from other people and decrease the demand for the terrible working conditions some people are in? The environmental responsibility needs to be upped,” she says. “Borrowing instead of buying is a small thing that we can do that will actually make a massive impact.”
The STMNT app is set to launch in early 2019, but people can participate in clothing rentals through the comapny’s social media and their pop-up shops.