Rentez-Vous : A New Way of Shopping for Clothes
Fiona Disegni might have come up with a solution to one of women’s biggest problem: a wardrobe full of clothes but nothing to wear. This French entrepreneur started Rentez-vous (rent + rendez-vous), a store that allows people to rent out their clothes and access other people’s wardrobes (as seen in photo 1). This concept aligns with the collaborative consumption movement as a peer-to-peer wardrobe-sharing company, in which there is a winning situation for everyone.
Disegni started by organizing small events with friends in an apartment in Paris every month, and then moved to London and started doing the same there. She says "women are always unsatisfied with their wardrobe (as seen in photo 2), they keep spending and they never wear the majority of what they buy. Women spend over £1,000 a year on their wardrobe but don't wear over 70% of their clothes... There's [an estimated] £1.6bn of clothes in women's wardrobes in the UK that they don't wear but don't want to throw out. Those are exactly the type of clothes we want to target – the clothes that you like but you don't wear so much." The potential pent-up demand for these unused clothes and the nature of fashion itself create the perfect conditions for collaborative consumption.
Rentez-vous is an event-based concept, much like a pop-up store, to which forty to fifty individuals sign up and pay an entrance fee. The members bring in their clothes for rental or they simply attend to meet and browse. The rental cost for one week’s hire is 15% of the original retail price set by the owner. No original receipt for the item is required. The average price is of 20 pounds for a week. Rentez-Vous then keeps a 20% fee from each hire.
Upcoming designers are not missing out on this opportunity, renting a stall at each event to access customers and a new revenue stream. Rentez-Vous takes a 30% fee from their rentals and a 20% fee from the sale if the renter decides he/she wants to buy the item. Rentez-Vous is soon to be launched online, offering postal delivery options for those without the time or desire to meet up. A web developer is currently working on the site and app, while Disegni is establishing a network of dry cleaners as local drop-off points.
The whole idea behind Rentez-Vous (as seen in photo 3) is to reduce the environmental impact of fashion. Rentez-Vous’s mission is to prevent people from wasting resources by finding new alternatives to traditional shopping habits. Disegni explains "you can get it wrong, you can fall in love, or you can keep – we are not against buying, we are more against waste." According to WRAP figures, extending the life cycle of clothing by just three months reduces the carbon footprint by 8%, water consumption by 10% and waste by 9%.
As of now, Rentez-Vous events are only taking place in Paris and London, in all sorts of venues (hair salons, bars, lofts, art galleries, etc.). More than just an alternative to buying clothes, Rentez-Vous is a place that promotes emerging designers and connects people.
Photo 1: courtesy of www.rentez-vous.fr
Photo 2: courtesy of Rentez-Vous's Facebook page.
Photo 3: courtesy of http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pva6IPKicM&list=UUGozfIn7qgL1cXhT6Ns9MzA