Last night we were honoured to sponsor and announce the winner of the Circular Economy Pioneer of the Year accolade at this year’s Positive Luxury awards, held at London’s Kimpton Fitzroy hotel. Hosted by Stephen Webster and Lisa Snowden, wearing rented Mother of Pearl, MY WARDROBE HQ chair Jane Shepherdson presented the accolade – judged by an expert panel including Arizona Muse, Doina Ciobanu and Amber Valetta – to Linde Werdelin, beating off stiff competition from Rebecca Taylor and industry stalwarts, Louis Vuitton. It was a fitting event to announce MY WARDROBE HQ’s partnership with Positive Luxury.
MY WARDROBE HQ’s Jane Shepherdson & Lily Travers wearing rented Isabelle Fox, Christopher Kane and Huishan Zhang at the Positive Luxury Awards 2020
Famed for its Butterfly Mark, Positive Luxury recognises a brand’s actions across these key areas: governance, social and environmental frameworks, community impact and innovation. Positive Luxury evaluates brands through a comprehensive assessment process that is reviewed by its Sustainability Council of thought leaders, industry experts and institutional partners; when a brand passes the assessment process, they receive the Butterfly Mark, which visibly authenticates luxury brands that contribute to a better world.
Speaking of the partnership with MY WARDROBE HQ, Positive Luxury’s CEO and Co-Founder Diana Verde Nieto said, “We are proud to partner with MY WARDROBE HQ because it is a great business; you can rent instead of buy and be more mindful of how you live your life.”
CEO and Founder Sacha Newall concurs: “As pioneers in the sustainable fashion field and promoters of the circular economy with our unique rent and buy model, MY WARDROBE HQ is delighted to partner with Positive Luxury to help promote a more mindful and sustainable consumption of fashion.”
In a retail first, from today customers can rent fashion from MY WARDROBE HQ in store at Liberty’s iconic Great Marlborough street store.
Customers can browse a selection of womenswear RTW and accessories on the 1st floor between 11th February – 31st March, with designers including Coach, The Vampire’s Wife, Lulu Guinness, Gucci, Chanel, Saint Laurent, Rixo, Franks London and so many more. From weddings and races to galas and garden parties; our specially curated edit of event wear exclusively available at Liberty will see you through every occasion across the year. Partnering with Liberty London on this project, MY WARDROBE HQ founder and CEO Sacha Newall explains, “Liberty London has so much heritage, there really is no other department store like it. We’re all about experiencing newness in a modern way and Liberty is all about heritage, while embracing the new; it’s a revolutionary new way of consuming fashion and I can’t think of a better brand to partner with.”
Here, Liberty London’s Chief Marketing Officer, Madeline Macey reveals why Liberty has partnered with MY WARDROBE HQ and how she sees rental and retail co-existing…
Why did you choose to partner with MWHQ? As a retailer that has always championed discovery, we are excited to be working with MY WARDROBE HQ who are disrupting the way customers are shopping in a sustainable way which we know our customers will respond to.
Who is the Liberty woman and why do you think she will embrace MWHQ and fashion rental as a concept? Ours is an artistic shopper, they don’t answer to trends but their own self-expression. They have also been actively informing us of their desire to shop fashion and accessories in a more sustainable way so I’m excited to see how they respond. Our vintage offer, which we have had for 14 years, has grown 66% up YoY which is a direct example of how our customers shop outside of the norm.
How do you see rental and retail co-existing? At Liberty, we have always embraced quality craftsmanship and design over fast-fashion, and so are delighted to offer our customers a new way to enjoy the Liberty edit. We stock designers and pieces we believe will last longer than a season in someone’s wardrobe, but also appreciate sometimes you have the need for a one off special moment, or particular time in your life like a holiday or a Honeymoon that requires some designer supplements! Shopping consciously is the way forward.
Which designers do you think are excelling/embracing sustainable fashion? BITE Studio are a new brand we are bringing on board who have some great tailoring I will be wearing this season, while Paloma Wool is a big winner with our customers already.
What inspired the Liberty collection featured in our edit? The Liberty RTW collection has only just launched to much fanfare. It’s a beautifully detailed collection created here in our London studio inspired by prints from the archive and each piece is timeless.
Which pieces from the Liberty collection would work well for renting and how would you style them with existing wardrobe pieces? Our classic Hera peacock print has been re-imagined in gold, brown and black which is how Liberty do Leopard print! I will be wearing the shirts and dresses across different looks.
Visit MY WARDROBE HQ on the 1st floor at Liberty London between 11th February – 31st March 2020.
She’s gone from studio assistant to helming the sustainable label that’s on everyone’s lips; we meet Mother of Pearl’s Amy Powney – the fashion designer who’s on a mission to change the way women shop.
What does sustainability mean to you?
I can’t think of a more important conversation right now than climate change, the future of all our homes, the quality of our lives and all that inhabit it. Not many people know, but the fashion and textile industry is one of the top contributors to climate change – this is why it’s such an important topic and a conversation that we all need to collectively feed into to make positive change together.
How do you educate yourself on the sustainable changes you need to make – as a person and as a brand?
Sustainability is a mindset, once you’ve started questioning things and opening your eyes, it will naturally infiltrate into every single thing you do. Research is key, finding solutions that give you what is needed with the least possible impact on people and the planet. My team and I simply started with Google; it takes time to research, but it is possible to find solutions and implement better practices. Mother of Pearl embraces sustainability from a holistic point of view: from restructuring the supply chain in accordance to fully ethical practices to creating a plastic bottle-free studio and low-waste working environment in our London HQ. Sustainability shouldn’t mean missing out. I see it as an opportunity to look into ways of doing things differently. On a personal level, I’m trying to reduce my air travel, so last summer I took the train to Avignon in the South of France; I definitely didn’t feel deprived, in fact the opposite, it was one of my favorite holidays with great friends. I’m also trying to buy second hand and rent as much as possible for my baby, where I do have to buy I am trying to make sure it’s the things needed for a long time or sustainable pieces I can keep or pass onto a friend.
Winning the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund in 2017 allowed you to launch your No Frills collection – what was the most important thing that you learned from this?
Through exploring our supply chain and looking into how we can re-develop the way we create at Mother of Pearl, we actually ended up making savings (which surprised us all!) and found we could sell classic pieces for lower prices, this is how “No Frills” was born; a fully sustainable line of core classics for everyday wear. Everything we have learnt, and continue to learn, infiltrates all of our processes throughout the Mother of Pearl collections.
What do you want the Mother of Pearl legacy to be?
Sustainability is the backbone of everything we do at Mother of Pearl and every piece we make has sustainability in mind. Our aim with all the work we have been doing is to not only offer a product, but to start a movement. My next mission is to use social media to empower and educate about the impact of fashion on the planet and how we can work together to make a change – stay tuned!
What kind of Mother of Pearl pieces can customers now rent or buy from MY WADRROBE HQ?
We curated a mix of our sustainably produced eveningwear collections – pieces that you can really paint the town green in! We love them paired with a chunky earring and a statement heel!
And if you could choose a favourite piece?
Our beautiful green Emmie dress which was worn by actress, producer and writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge at the Cannes Film awards in 2018.
What sustainable hack should we be adopting for the New Year?
I always stand by some basic tips to live more sustainably; change your energy supplier to a green one, shop less but buy better quality (or try renting!), swap meat for vegetarian for as many days per week as you can, support local farm to home businesses for your food and buy a re-useable water bottle and coffee cup. These things are easy to do and make a huge difference, some of them cost a little more and others a little less so it evens out.
Who should we be following on Instagram?
@gretathunberg for a reminder that no one is too small to make a difference
Last podcast you listened to or Netflix boxset you watched and why we need to be tuned in…
One Strange Rock is the most incredible eye-opening documentary I’ve seen in years. Narrated by Will Smith, this series shares the perspectives of our planet through the voices of eight astronauts.
Who inspires you and why…
Jameela Jamil because she isn’t afraid to speak her mind and the way she has used social media to create an incredible community with @Iweigh.
How are you spending the festive season?
As I’m 8 months pregnant, I will be firmly putting my feet up in my London home and not travelling. I will be eating my way through delicious food, hanging out with my husband and having a quiet one. I will of course be working on my new social media project launching next year but from the comfort of my sofa probably with hypnobirthing audio in the background!
“Inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends.”
Fast fashion…a term you’ve heard a lot recently and one that isn’t going away anytime soon. The British fashion industry has woken up to the damaging impact of mass consumption – more so recently after the Misguided £1 bikini hit headlines and the shift to shopping sustainably.
Beyond the environmental impact that’s caused by discarded or unwanted articles of clothing, the process of producing enough clothing to keep up with demand is equally damaging. Clothing brands are promoting over-consumption and increasing their carbon footprint without implementing the proper processes to reduce their environmental impact. In a generation where we prefer online shopping to the in-store experience, brands are feeling the pressure to drop 100’s of new-in pieces every week to meet consumer demands. I’m certainly guilty of shopping because of the variety of clothing/very cheap prices and I’ll admit, sometimes I’ve worn these items once or even not at all.
Something that is often asked is why some brands’ pricing is increasing while so many others are decreasing to stay competitive. A lot of this is down to the process in which items are made. Brands that listen to consumers on sustainability and wage equality have to increase costs to cover this. Take RIXO for example; a British brand I love because of its amazing fabrics and prints. These are sourced by hand in the countries they originate and where fair prices are paid directly to the seller. The garments then go through the manufacturing stage where people are paid a competitive and fair wage. Many other brands are looking to other sustainable initiatives such as packaging; Kitri source compostable bags – excellent!
It’s all great stuff. But is it enough?
As a consumer there are lots of things that we can do to help promote sustainability in the fashion industry, while supporting independent and emerging brands.
When you’re shopping do you think about how green the brand is? How your purchase might affect global warming?
The tips below have been accumulated from research into this topic and are things I now adopt:
Quality is really important when purchasing a new item. Of the pieces already in your wardrobe, ask yourself – how many times have I worn this item before it’s shrunk, stretched, or fallen apart? Sadly this happens all too often because good quality isn’t found in cut-price products. Each purchase should be an investment so that over a long period of time, the cost per wear is fantastic and not a flop.
As I get older I am learning what I will and won’t wear time and time again. However, the pressures of social media dictate that we ‘need’ new outfits. My advice is to invest in a staple wardrobe; good pieces you can bring out every year and team up with some on-trend pieces so that you are not overhauling your wardrobe each season. It’s costly and wasteful and just not necessary.
Learning how to up-cycle clothes allows you to showcase your style and keep up with the latest trends without hurting the planet. YouTube is full of amazing ‘how-to’ videos, bringing out your old, hardly worn pieces and giving them a serious makeover. As well as being good for the environment, this is also lighter on your purse. Do you have a frayed pair of jeans? Cut them into shorts… it’s that simple!
I absolutely LOVE the idea of swapping clothes or selling/buying second hand. It’s a really good way to be sustainable and is an easy way to give your wardrobe a refresh!
It was first introduced to us (well me anyway) on SATC and now clothing rental is a revolution taking over the fashion industry. As The London Chatter said recently: “It’s never been more fashionable to give a damn! They say the most Sustainable Fashion you can wear is what’s already in your wardrobe… and I think the future of fashion is wearing what’s in each other’s.”
I am particularly excited to be working with MY WARDROBE HQ – a social shopping platform where you can buy, sell and rent designer items – and share the experience of renting with you. It’s the perfect opportunity to wear gorgeous pieces by amazing designers, calling an end to single use purchases.
“The environmental impacts of fashion should not stop us from the liberation that fashion has given to women – it should only make us change how we consume it. There is no need to buy a dress, when we can rent one.” – Emily Brougton, Saving the Grace
MY WARDROBE HQ is super easy to use and hosts a mega catalogue of brands and members’ wardrobes you can rent from such as Poppy and Chloe Delevingne, Caroline Flemming and Olivia Buckingham. All you have to do to start is register your interest through their homepage and follow these next steps:
Log in with your invitation code, register your details and then start browsing designer items available from members’ wardrobes and brand profiles
Determine the perfect rental period and price to suit you both. You can rent from 1 day to 1 year – a unique rental experience available only on MWHQ
Honestly, I can’t think of anything better. I already share a lot of my items with friends and vice versa, but after being lucky enough to see the many, many rails of goodies that MWHQ has to offer, I’m incredibly excited at the prospect of being able to rent the perfect piece for future occasions.
It was only in June 2018 that I was a self-confessed fast fashion addict; buying clothes with each new season and always knowing about the latest Zara drop. Yet one month later, I radically transformed my shopping habits and instead turned to a more sustainable wardrobe.
There’s a new addition to my sustainable wardrobe – clothing rental – and it’s here to stay as a regular for any event.
Despite being a sustainable living advocate, I like most other young women, want something ‘new’ to wear to a party. The social pressure and self-expectation to wear something ‘unphotographed’ for each event is solved sustainably by renting a dress instead of going out and buying one. As Livia Firth, founder of Eco-age would say, unless it will get 30 wears, don’t buy it!
As someone who hates online shopping (in my opinion it removes the experience of feeling the clothes and trying them on), the Dressing Room service has all of this… and the style advice. It’s as if you’re shopping with a friend in the comfort of your own home. I was sold! You can see my excitement here.
Written by Emily Broughton, Founder of Saving the Grace – a sustainable living platform focusing on 5 areas of change: lifestyle, food, fashion, wellness and action in the world, to save our world’s waters through empowerment and education.
If you hadn’t heard already, clothing rental is in. And there is good reason…
Clothing rental is a revolution in how we use our clothes – it could call an end to those disposal clothing purchases brought solely for a single event, where a photo on Instagram means that the dress never sees the light of day again. Clothing rental is a solution. It’s time to rent a dress, or two.
The modern woman is empowered through fashion. Fashion creates our identity; an expression of who we are, and who we project ourselves to be. With each event and party, brings an opportunity to show the world who we are as women.
Temptation of Fast Fashion
With this has come an endless choice of pieces, paraded to us in shop windows, discounts galore, the tempting walk down a high street, or purely in the comfort of our home, it’s hard not to spend money on fashion when we see influencers, and celebrities wearing the latest designer pieces that we only hope will look half as good on our bodies.
Yet the endless shopping is taking a strain on our bank accounts (the dreaded fear of looking at one’s balance after a shopping spree online the night before… is an experience that is far too common for women like myself). British women have 60% more clothing and keeping them for half as long as 15 years ago; wardrobes filled with both fast, and/or designer fashion.
Fashion’s Impact on Women & the Planet
And while fashion is a source of freedom for many women, the creative expression of their clothes is an oppressor for the women making the clothes. Fashion Revolution has brought light to this through the campaign #whomademyclothes and is asking consumers to ask these questions.
There are also bigger environmental problems as a result of fashion. Water the source of all life for the world is being put under pressure for the constant demand for cotton and other materials. Stacey Dooley’s documentary ‘Fashion’s Dirty Secrets’, and its exposé on the Aral Sea that has lost over 80% of its water proved just have threatening the fast fashion industry can be.
Fashion & Water
The fashion industry is the third most polluting industry of water on the planet after oil and paper, communities are left to use toxic water contaminated by the chemicals that make our clothes which is causing serious diseases and cancers in much of the developing world.
But the environmental impacts of fashion should not stop us from the liberation that fashion has given to women – it should only make us change how we consume it. There is no need to buy a dress, when we can rent one.
Sharing Economy & Clothing Rental
Thankfully the sharing economy is coming to centre stage of fashion as we slow down our actions. Fashion rental is the equivalent of shopping online (with far cheaper prices) and you can ‘own’ the item(s) from 7 to 365 days. Each service works slightly differently, however MY WARDROBE HQ (who recently teamed up with fellow rental platform Wear the Walk) holds the stock and offers a concierge styling service to help you choose the perfect dress for any occasion.
Written by Emily Broughton, Founder of Saving the Grace – a sustainable living platform focusing on 5 areas of change: lifestyle, food, fashion, wellness and action in the world, to save our world’s waters through empowerment and education.
Summer doesn’t officially begin until the art, fashion and music worlds collide to celebrate the opening of the Serpentine Pavillion at The Serpentine Summer Party, hosted by Chanel. Imagined by Japanese architect Junya Ishigami, this year’s design comprised a free flowing and organic slate canopy roof that appeared as though it had grown from the ground.
When it comes to event dressing, MY WARDROBE HQ champions sustainable fashion and is leading the way by offering a new way to dress. With this in mind, we invited some of our favourite personalities from the fashion world to join us at the Serpentine to kick off the season in rented dresses, all chosen – and available to rent – from the MWHQ platform.
Did you know that as a nation, we buy more clothes per person than any other country in Europe. Goes some way to explain why the fashion industry was worth £32 billion to the UK economy in 2017. The rise in ‘fast fashion’ – a term coined due to the speed in which designs move from the catwalk and onto the high street, often at low cost – not only encourages over consumption but generates excessive waste that the planet is struggling to keep up with. Social media only acerbates this, with recent research from The Hubbub Foundation suggesting that 17% of young people questioned said they wouldn’t wear an outfit again if it had been on Instagram. Following the requisite selfie and #yolo caption, the item is then either returned, or worse, thrown into landfill.
But the tides are changing. As more consumers look for experiences over material things, the rental economy has welcomed retail into the fore, in a sexier, cooler way, offering consumers a new way of shopping high-end luxury fashion, with a greatly reduced carbon footprint. Why choose a mass-produced number from the high street (and in turn buy Mr Zara a new super-yacht at the same time), when you can borrow a runway knockout from Stella McCartney at a fraction of the price, guilt free.
Why are we telling you this? Because MY WARDROBE HQ is championing the circular economy movement by teaming up with peers and brands to offer an unrivalled selection of past and current season pieces at a fraction of the cost of full RRP. We’re hugely passionate about promoting sustainable fashion – we’re not saying give up buying for good, but we want to encourage the message of ‘buy less, buy better’. Better quality items have more stringent policies and processes in place which means less pollutants into nearby rivers, less carbon emissions due to the handmade process these items go through, and a better quality of life for the garment makers. What’s more, by renting out your items, you’ll also line your own pocket which in turn, we hope, will encourage you to turn your back on the high street and fast fashion and instead make a long term commitment to slow fashion.
If you want to lessen your fashion footprint, register here and join MWHQ in our rental revolution!
The only Green Washing we’re interested in is clothes care with ZERO impact on the planet. On average, a household gets through almost 400 loads of laundry a year, consuming 13,500 gallons of water. Not only is this a huge waste, but that waste is also contaminated with microfibres (particles under 5mm) from manmade fabrics. A recent study found 6kg of clothes resulted in anything between 137,951 fibres (for poly-cotton clothes) to 728,789 fibres (for acrylic clothes). You might not think much of it, but what’s worse is these microfibres have started to impact our food chain, with scientists discovering these teeny tiny strands in fish larvae. Yuck. Add this to the energy use and chemical pollutants used, the damage we’re doing to the planet is relentless. So what can we do about it? With the advent of alternative cleaning solutions – anyone else have bicarb and apple vinegar on their repeat shopping list? – we’ve rounded up 5 sustainable laundry hacks you can adopt today.
1. Air them outside.
It might sound obvious but hang your clothes in the fresh air. This will help remove smoke, fumes or smells that may be trapped in your clothes. Ideal airing-out placement is outside if you can swing it, but a breezy sunlit room works as well. Bonus points for the nearby occurrence of leafy green plants, which can help absorb chemicals left over from the garment dying process.
2. Mix it up.
Pick up a bottle of inexpensive, high-proof vodka (any kind will work, we wouldn’t want the good stuff to go to waste ;). Mix with water in a spray bottle until the vodka ratio is about 60-70%. Spray it liberally on the area in question. Vodka dries odorless, kills bacteria, and will successfully remove smells. Leftovers can be added to raspberries and sugar – invite some friends over and suddenly laundry day doesn’t seem so bad!
3. Put them in the freezer.
For denim, many in-fabric smells are created by bacteria, which can be killed by freezing temperatures. If you’re okay with letting your jeans hang out in the freezer for a couple of hours – a large canvas bag will protect them from the icy depths – it can be a great alternative to washing. And since the freezer’s already running, you’ll be conserving energy.
4. Essential oils.
Even if re-worn clothes aren’t outwardly dirty or smelly, they can lose that fresh scent, the desire for which often drives us to wash unnecessarily. To freshen up yesterday’s outfit, mix a few drops of essential oils with water in a spray bottle and spritz on target areas. Lavender, lemon, clary sage, or grapefruit are all lovely options.
5. Lemon power.
Replace harsh dry-cleaning chemicals with something that comes straight from the earth. Simply mix lemon juice and water, scrub it onto the offending spot and hang dry. Any leftovers makes the perfect lemon dressing, just add garlic, mustard, honey, pepper, salt, cider vinegar and olive oil. Things that you could never do with your Fairy Non-Bio!
To the sound of popping Prosecco corks, summer looks to be finally here and with it comes a flurry of summer events that fill our calendars with a mix of excitement and dreaded fear of what.to.wear. Previous years would have seen us shop up a storm online or on the high street (we didn’t know fast fashion was the enemy back then), however the new way to get your fashion fill – and ensure you’re not caught staring at your mirror double in the same outfit – is to borrow your look and rent a dress. Through university, flat sharing and beyond, women have been lending one another coveted dresses, trophy topper jackets and prized Chanel bags for balls, galas and weddings, so it’s only fitting that this year, you have a fashion flutter and rent a dress for your forthcoming ticket to the Royal Ascot, from MY WARDROBE HQ. Spanning Self-Portrait, Ganni, Rixo, Isabel Marant Etoile, Needle & Thread to Chloe, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Zimmermann and more, our peer and brand wardrobes cover every occasion: need to cover your knees (Henley regatta) or cover the prerequisite square of shoulders (Ascot)? We’ve got you. What’s more, we’ve got a wardrobe full of designers bags and shelves stacked with Christian Louboutin and Gianvitto Rossi heels. If something catches your eye, drop us a line and one of our stylists can help plan your event wardrobe.
OFF WHITE – RENT £180; SELF-PORTRAIT -RENT £60; SAINT LAURENT- RENT £199; DIOR – RENT £450; SELF-PORTRAIT – RENT £55