Welcome to the latest episode of our Podcast series "In Conversation" where we bring you inspiring stories, retail insights and conversation from fashion's most influential business leaders.
Back in the 2000s, the UK fashion market was the birthplace of some of the most innovative and trailblazing businesses in fashion e-commerce, now 20 years later it is leading another industry revolution – fashion rental.
Just before the pandemic hit, a number of start-ups were born offering a conscious consumer a whole new way of enjoying fashion that had nothing to do with buying and owning it. Renting clothes is nothing new of course, but in the past it had largely been confined to wedding and occasion-wear.
Now, thanks to businesses like Rotaro, consumers can rent items for everyday wear to complement their core wardrobes and can use the process as a way to experiment with their personal style and discover new brands that may go on to buy into.
Rotaro was founded by a young team of entrepreneurs, including Georgie Hyatt, Charlie Knowles and Brooke Andrews.
Georgie previously worked for global trend authority WGSN where she consulted with some of the world’s leading fashion and retail brands, while Brooke previously worked for publishing giant Conde Nast and before that had set up and sold a tech business.
The pair talk to Lauretta Roberts, Editor in chief of TheIndustry.fashion, about what it was that inspired them to establish Rotaro, how its business model, which focuses on working directly with brands, and its obsession with data sets it apart from other rental businesses on the market.
They explain how the insight they gain from their renters helps brands to adapt their collections and create more desirable and more durable garments, how they have experimented with physical retail and how they see the rental market evolving in the future.
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