What if you could make money off the clothes just sitting in your closet? What if you could rent clothes instead of having to go on another shopping spree for your next upcoming event… when money is already tight? STMNT was conceived by two sisters, Jenessa and Madison Olsen after the Rana Plaza building collapse. While they were shopping fanatics, they never realized that their shopping habits came at a price. Jenessa shared, "I've always loved fashion, I've always loved being on top of the latest trends. But I was like, 'How is my demand for a $15 trendy t-shirt worth somebody's life?'".
That was how the idea for STMNT came into fruition – a clothing rental start-up that the sisters launched just earlier this year. So far, the shop has been functioning solely through Instagram and a pop-up shop, but just recently, the sisters announced that they will be partnering with Filthy Rebena Vintage Clothing, a store in downtown London. At the pop-up shop, the sisters organized racks of clothes for prospective renters to sift through to see if anything matched their style, needs, and fit.
To explain this process a little further, Madison Olsen said, "It is really making income off the clothes that are literally just hanging in your closet." Their big picture, as the sisters explain, includes - but is not limited to - helping people save money during one of the busiest party seasons of the year, and to grow the business into being able to cover “overhead charges, like app development and dry cleaning, by tacking on a 15% administration fee” and “enforce a strict ‘you break it, you buy it policy’ for damaged garments.”
Jenessa and Madison Olsen were not the only ones whose eyes were opened by the Rana Plaza building collapse – consumers have gradually been demanding more transparency about where their clothes are coming from and who is making them. H&M, for example, has been a prime example of a retail company taking huge strides to clean up their act; they have been working to make their manufacturing and distribution process more transparent, are focusing on acquiring and working with materials from sustainable sources, and getting involved with organizations who strive to make the fashion industry green, sustainable and cruelty-free. Just last month, for instance, H&M announced that they joined the Humane Society to help end animal cruelty in the fashion industry.
It seems there has been an outcry to bring an end to cruelty and abuse in the fast-fashion industry, and people are starting to become more aware. Alongside H&M are many more retailers working to make their manufacturing process much more transparent, environmentally-friendly, sustainable, and humane. We gotta give it to Jenessa and Madison – these girls have found a way to sustain a business model that doesn’t require an inventory, can function completely off social media and word of mouth, and inspire a whole generation of young shoppers to shop sustainably. Kudos!