From the traditional fashion industry we moved to a new way of understanding the sector: concepts such as ‘vintage’ fashion, ‘reuse’, ‘second hand’ and ‘looting your mother’s closet’ prevailed over fast fashion and its predominance of the last decades.
Shanya Suppasiritad, founder of Rntr, tells us in this interview her vision about Retail, the new trend of Rental Clothing and the future of the sector.
In this context, what role does Rental Clothing play? To find out, we will delve into one of the pioneering companies in this sector, located in Australia and led by its founder, Shanya Suppasiritad, who has agreed to collaborate with Analyticalways in this interview.
For years, the company Rntr has been promoting a new way of understanding fashion. Its slogan, “Dress better. Every day” refers to the rental of garments for different uses, from big occasions to everyday events.
Shanya, to get to know you a little better, tell us how you got started in the Retail sector.
It started when I was very young. I understood fashion as my second skin because it allowed me to be who I wanted to be and gave me the opportunity to express myself freely. I think fashion and clothing played a very important role in my childhood.
Then I became a stylist (in 2013) and discovered that I loved helping people discover who they were and building their confidence through fashion: that’s how it all started.
And how did you come up with the idea of creating a software to let users rent clothes?
I came up with it because I saw the contradiction of the consumer never knowing what to wear while the industry and brands were overproducing, losing profits. How was it possible that we didn’t know what to wear if we were producing 1 billion items a year? I believed there were other ways to produce profits without more production, while generating community with your customers.
Have you noticed a trend in the fashion world towards sustainability or do you think it’s a facade that still has a lot of ground to cover?
Nowadays, no company can escape being transparent about its commitment to sustainability and its ethical culture and that’s why there is so much green messaging out there, but I think we have a long way to go to clean up the whole industry. The main problem is still overproduction that leads to waste.
And what do your partners think, especially now that nature and sustainability are hot topics?
They are generally committed to a better future for the industry and it is true that it is hard for them to match the fast fashion industry. They also can’t compete with the same price range. What they love is the degree of engagement with the user.
And as for covid and the uncertainty generated, how do you plan for the future of your business?
It is also changing consumer behavior. Sustainability and ensuring a future for the next generation has never been more important. What we are trying to do is to create an infrastructure for the emerging business model so that it can grow and thrive without consuming so many resources.
Tell us a bit more about your brand: is it only available in Australia? Is it expensive to rent clothes? What kind of care does it need?
At the moment we only operate in Australia, although we do not rule out expanding the range of partners globally. In terms of care, we have an agreement with one of the best fashion maintenance companies with the fastest return of items to optimize operations. On the other hand, fashion rental revolves around affordability, so we make sure that our customers see it as affordable. We start with prices of around 20% of the original and can go up to 30% depending on the length of the rental.
With the rise of fashion rental companies, what makes RNTR special?
Rental Clothing is here to change the narrative by empowering fashion brands to take back control of their designs and how they are marketed. Therein lies the importance of our tool: it integrates into the brand’s website and helps them with their products while we bear the “burden” of the logistics – all that aside from the obvious environmental benefits!
And beyond that, what else is the brand looking for?
Basically we are helping brands to earn more with less by managing the stock they have already produced. This way we maximize ROI (Return Of Investment) each season and the brand can connect with a wider range of audiences who may not be ready to commit to buying but are ready to rent.
Finally, what’s the most ROIvolutionary thing you’ve done lately?
In the last few months we have helped our brands rent some garments up to 15 times, earning up to 150% on the original price. Instead of connecting with one buyer, we have brought them to 15 users. Those same items are sometimes out of print, but we continue to rent them. I think that’s an impressive achievement.
You can listen to the full interview here. Learn more.
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