Five sustainable fashion start-ups to watch

The fast fashion industry has grown exponentially in recent years, contributing heavily to rising textile waste, increasing water pollution and various other environmental issues. For many consumers, the convenience of the eCommerce platforms fuelling this growth is the biggest motivator behind their continued success however there is a growing movement calling for fast fashion to slow down. As environmental concerns continue to take centre stage in the press and on social media, many consumers are becoming more aware of the impact their decisions are having and are contributing to a growing demand for sustainable fashion alternatives.

Be it in the form of either rental or resale, there has never been more options available for consumers to adopt a more circular relationship with their favourite brands. There are increasing numbers of brands launching in this space as well as increasing numbers of consumers starting to adopt them. The circular fashion movement has been high on the agenda in the US for a number of years following the actions of pioneering brands such as Rent the Runway but the UK market is swiftly catching up.

Market-leading brands such as HURR and Vestiare Collective are currently dominating the media conversation in the UK around circular fashion however as this topic becomes increasingly important, the opportunities for up-and-coming brands in the sector are plentiful. We shine a spotlight on five of the circular fashion brands to keep a close eye on in 2021:

Recently recognised by Drapers with their 2021 Recommerce Award, Newcastle based Hirestreet are beginning to make real waves in sustainable fashion on a national level. Under the leadership of CEO & Founder Isabella West the brand has carved out somewhat of a niche for itself through an ambitious mission to make sustainable fashion accessible for everyone rather than focusing exclusively on luxury brands like many others in the sector. Operating at the intersection of both resale and rental through the brand’s newly launched Zoa platform, the white-labelled technology empowers brands to either rent or re-sell off-season products for a reduced price and capitalise on the burgeoning demand from ethically minded consumers.

The Restory
Working with some of the biggest names in luxury fashion such as Farfetch, Harrods and Selfridges, The Restory are the world’s first luxury aftercare brand. Rather than providing a platform for brands to either rent or re-sell their products, The Restory focus instead on improving their longevity thereby reducing unnecessary waste. Using technology to provide an on-demand service, the brand can collect shoes, bags and leather goods and re-store them to their former glory, enabling consumers to fall in love with their favourite items all over again instead of disposing of them and contributing to the unsustainable purchase, waste, dispose model.

My Wardrobe HQ
Another brand that Drapers have pinned as one to watch are luxury fashion specialists My Wardrobe HQ. Brand Manager Lily Travers has recently been recognised as part of their prestigious 30 under 30 list and the brand itself was awarded as the Best New Online Business. The business has broadened its offering in recent months, launching in to menswear through a partnership with Belstaff. This hasn’t been the only development throughout the pandemic, as MWHQ have also launched a white labelled rental and resale service called My Ventures, giving consumers an option to essentially try before they buy with pre-loved items.

Based in Lithuania but with a footprint across Europe following several months of expansion, Vinted are one of the brands leading the disruption of fashion resale. Competing with the likes of Depop and eBay, the Vilnius-based start-up do not take selling fees making the re-selling process even easier for its 37 million app users. One year younger than rivals Depop, the brand are capturing market share at pace and through an ambitious advertising campaign are attracting increasing numbers of consumers to fuel our circular transition.

Specialising in luxury goods and also capitalising on the growing appetite for sustainable solutions in the previously underserved menswear market, Cudoni’s real calling cards are the convenience and the simplicity they offer sellers. The brand provide a three-step process for sellers that helps to achieve on average a 30% higher sale price than if they were to sell items themselves. The funds from these sales can be directed either to the seller’s bank account or towards a charity of their choice. Menswear has been penned as a significant growth area for the business, with male visitors now accounting for 35-40% of website traffic. This rising demand is one of the trends to look out for within the industry and shows the universal appeal of more sustainable style options.

If you have a sustainable fashion brand and would like to discuss how we could support your growth over the coming months get in touch with our award-winning team today.

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