COVER STORY

Bringing Fashion Rental 

To The Mainstream With Clothesfriends


Bringing Fashion Rental 

To The Mainstream With Clothesfriends


with Carmen

Clothesfriends, fashion rental, clothing rental

COVER STORY

Bringing Fashion Rental 

To The Mainstream With Clothesfriends


Bringing Fashion Rental 

To The Mainstream With Clothesfriends


with Carmen

Clothesfriends is a fashion rental app that aims to bring clothing rental to the mainstream

16 MAY ‘22

#COVERSTORY

7 minutes

#COVERSTORY

7 minutes

Staiy Podcast invites Carmen, co-founder of Clothesfriends, a fashion rental app aiming to educate and build a community of conscious brands and users.

Words by Sophie Badaoui

#COVERSTORY

7 minutes

Words by Sophie Badaoui

Clothesfriends is a fashion rental app that aims to bring clothing rental to the mainstream

Sonja Wunderlich and Carmen Jenny,

Listening to Carmen’s and Clothesfriends’ story, we couldn’t keep it to ourselves. From a simple idea came a fashion rental project and a community of changemakers.Carmen co-founded Clothesfriends with Sonja, and in this article, you will discover how this clothing rental business came to life, its purpose and mission, as well as its future goals. She starts, “I have my background in fashion and fashion journalism.

When I was learning more about the whole fashion industry, how it works, the whole impact it has not only on the people who are wearing the clothes, but especially on the people who are making the clothes and I'm looking at it from an environmental perspective that it has almost 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions impact, the first idea was to tell the people what the impact of the fashion industry is and that's why I chose fashion journalism as my tool to teach or to educate people. However, it was always in my inner mission to give them a way to also make a change and to bring it into their everyday life to consume sustainably, to still have fun and to enjoy fashion, and that's how Clothesfriends was born

Clothesfriends is a fashion rental app that aims to bring clothing rental to the mainstream

Picture from Mrs City


What is Clothesfriends?

Clothesfriends is a fashion rental app where you can rent clothes for as long as you like.

You can have the variation you're used to from going shopping or going to a shop next by, and instead of buying a piece, you just rent it so you can have the same variation and fun with clothes by just renting them.” Indeed, clothing rental is not only a more sustainable way of consuming fashion, but it can also be more fun! Needless to say, clothing rental has proved to be an efficient way to make a little extra money while contributing to circularity. Because people are slowly but surely seeing the benefits of clothing rental, clothing rental apps are now emerging and creating a market on their own.

Clothesfriends, fashion rental, clothing rental

Picture from Clothestfriends

Dress Emi by Chlench


How does it work?

The question that we all might think now, is how does a fashion rental app such as Clothesfriends work? Carmen explains that once you download Clothesfriends, “you can just set up an account, you can browse through rent, whatever you like from two days to three months, so you can rent a dress for your best friend's wedding or a coat for winter and it’s totally individual, you can rent from different brands and from other users. So our goal is to build up a community that is sharing clothes, sharing inspiration.” In a sense, clothing rental is a way of getting people closer together by connecting them with fashion pieces they share.


Clothesfriends is a fashion rental app that aims to bring clothing rental to the mainstream

Picture from Clothestfriends

Picture from Clothestfriends

Clothesfriends, fashion rental, clothing rental

Picture from Vogue

Clothesfriends, fashion rental, clothing rental

Picture from Vogue



About educating

According to Carmen, the goal of Clothesfriends is to “bring fashion rental to the mainstream”. As more people are becoming more aware of the fashion industry’s environmental and social impact, fashion rental seems like an incredible solution. Even if fashion rental is becoming more popular now, there is still a long way to go. 

For this reason, Carmen highlights that “for now, Clothesfriends is really about educating. You have to lift people up to it and you have to make it easy and fun and try it out in your everyday life and bring it to people and also it's very interesting to learn how differently educated people are.


Some are already super into vintage and second-hand fashion and some are just trapped in a system that is dominated by fast fashion companies and of course, they choose that because they don't know anything else and they don't know what their impact is. Still, they want to consume these clothes because it's fun, so we have to find this tipping point of making people aware of it, but then also motivate them to try something else. We want to grow the Clothesfriends community from the side of brands who are collaborating with us who are also getting a new approach to potentially new customers to showcase their products within a clothing rental community. 


As a Clothesfriends user, you can rent a piece, and then maybe also decide to buy it, so it's actually a conscious purchase. This is not an impulse purchase that you would have hanging in your closet and never worn, this can be an impulse rent and you can buy it if you really like it and value it. This is what fashion rental is about. Fashion rental is about recreating the value of clothes.” Additionally, this value is even more important as clothing rental makes us aware that clothes are not necessarily ours to own, therefore they are not to be taken for granted. As we wear them temporarily and will have to eventually return them, thanks to clothing rental, we appreciate more the value of clothes and therefore, will buy them in a more conscious way.


Clothesfriends is a fashion rental app that aims to bring clothing rental to the mainstream

Picture from Vogue

Clothesfriends is a fashion rental app that aims to bring clothing rental to the mainstream

Picture from Vogue


Clothesfriends, fashion rental, clothing rental

Picture from Mrs City

Oversized Kaftan Mir by Belle Ikat


As most fashion rental apps, Clothesfriends is undoubtedly serving sustainability in the core of its mission. However, Carmen notices, “I feel like the word sustainability is overused so you cannot even say what is sustainable and what is not sustainable. I think what is more important is to work on collaboration to make the fashion industry circular from different perspectives.

So it starts with the design of the material, then the production of the material and there are players who are innovating this field and there are players who are innovating the consumption side and the usage side like Clothesfriends and this is our take on this whole circle that we’re currently building. Collaboration also means communication, and the whole point is to work together and make it circular together. That is also why Clothesfriends believes in building up a community of brands and users to share stories, but also to make fashion rental a new way of consuming fashion.” Working on collaboration is what makes Clothesfriends different from other clothing rental apps, and what could ultimately bring clothing rental to the next level.


When asked about advice that she would give to young entrepreneurs that would want to found their sustainable business, Carmen suggests, “just go for it, if it's your deepest passion to make a change, and don't do it for the namesake or to make fast profit. If so, you're in the wrong industry, I guess. But if you keep sticking to your passion and also realizing that you cannot build something for everyone, just build what you believe in. Also, don't be afraid to tell your story and to get feedback but then to filter the feedback to grow your story within because we need more solutions, we need more collaborations, so if you have an idea that is your deepest passion, go for it, and you will learn along the way.”

Clothesfriends is a fashion rental app that aims to bring clothing rental to the mainstream

Picture from Mrs City

Picture from Mrs City

Clothesfriends is a fashion rental app that aims to bring clothing rental to the mainstream

Sonja Wunderlich and Carmen Jenny,


Finally, when asked about where she sees Clothesfriends in ten years, she hopes Clothesfriends will have made “fashion rental normal and sustainable fashion accessible and inclusive so people realize they can enjoy fashion in a conscious and sustainable way. And of course, be available worldwide hopefully, share the vision and grow the community on that loyal and transparent level.” Who knows, hopefully, there will come a time where most brands will have a clothing rental service to offer and if everything goes well, clothing rental could even become the core operation source of brands. Imagine also, if more individuals start to adhere to clothing rental, how bigger this network could become! Clothing rental has potentially the power to make circular fashion more appealing to people as everyone can easily be a part of it.

Reading about Clothesfriends’ story and mission, we can’t ignore the various benefits fashion rental offers us, whether it’s on a user level, a brand level, or a community level. It seems like fashion rental is here for the long run, and in the near future, our planet can only hope that fashion rental will be more common than shopping. So why not give fashion rental a try?


Shop from www.staiy.com

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Falda crochet

NAEL

€45,00
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Sonnenbrand T-Shirt wide white

Hafendieb

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Ribbed Racerback Tank Top

A LINE

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Shop from www.staiy.com

Sale Off
Falda crochet

NAEL

€45,00
Sale Off
Sonnenbrand T-Shirt wide white

Hafendieb

€29,00
Sale Off
Ribbed Racerback Tank Top

A LINE

€32,00
Sale Off
Beach Bag Straw Pink

Dedais

€41,00

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