May 30, 2019 | By Louise Squire
In 2015, Eileen Fisher declared the fashion industry to be the second largest polluter in the world. By 2030, garment production is expected to increase by 63%. In Asia, efforts to curb this are still in their early stages, with consumers often reluctant to buy second-hand or recycled clothes. This, however, is slowly changing as consumers become more aware of the impact of over consumption on their lifestyle, their wallet and the environment.
Responding to this shift in consumer mindset, the market is seeing start-ups emerging online, many promoting sustainability primarily through a financial perspective. One example is Yeechoo, a Hong Kong-based clothing rental start-up that aims to educate audiences about the importance of sustainable fashion, prompting more environmentally-conscious choices in fashion.
WGSN sat down with Yeechoo’s marketing director Fioni Fong to find out how they plan to help reduce the environmental impact of the industry, whilst still meeting Asian consumer demands for designer goods and the latest products.
How does the brand tackle making sustainability a consumer priority?
Sustainability in fashion often fails to be a priority for consumers in Asia, and most of our customers subscribe our rental services for financial reasons; we are putting out content and partnering with sustainable brands to promote the cause in the long-term.
How do you make clothing rental appeal to your audience?
We emphasise hygiene as our top priority, detailing our extensive process of cleaning worn clothes. The process does consume high amounts of energy, however we are working to improve this.
How do you retain customers and satisfy your range of audiences?
To meet demands for the latest designer trends, we update our clothing range at least once a month. Customers are also invited to sell their own clothes on the website, although occasional-wear and travel-packages dominate customer interests. We are now focusing on our Infinity department for the coming months – a unique service that allows consumers to rent daily workwear, turning away from the occasion-specific nature of formal wear.
Founded in 2013, Hong Kong brand Yeechoo improves sustainability and reduces waste by offering their customers the ability to rent designer clothes. Co-founders Abby and Shan Shan developed Yeechoo in response to the high demand for designer goods in Hong Kong, often combined with an obsession with the newest releases. They noticed that consumers often bought expensive items but wore them infrequently. A rental service for high-end fashion brands would resolve the financial burdens that come with consumerist demands.
For more insight and inspiration around sustainable fashion, head to the sustainability section on WGSN.
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