I met Mirte Gosker and Sacha van Ginhoven, the lovely co-founders of StudioSG at a Connected Threads Asia talk. Based in Singapore, they founded the online wardrobe portal as an alternative to the fast fashion industry malaise that is harming the environment. What caught my attention was their snazzy tagline "Because life is too short to wear boring clothes, but too long to ruin our planet." It's true, many of us yearn to have new things to make us feel better, but our obsession with accumulating possessions is harming our planet.
|Mirte and Sascha|
Mirte and Sascha want to give women access to amazing yet well-produced designs, and they "hope to eradicate the urge to buy cheap and poorly-produced clothing".
As a member of StudioSG, you pay a monthly subscription fee of $199 SGD and choose 5 items from their wardrobe.
"We deliver the items, the women wear and love them and exchange them whenever they feel like. The can keep the items as long as they want and even buy them in case they really fall in love with it. We take care of pick-up, delivery and drycleaning. While we can't guarantee that we will from the beginning, we strive to be a zero-emission company. "
"There were two reasons to go for an online concept instead of a brick and mortar variant. First of all, retail space in Singapore is too expensive for a startup. We'd need to raise a lot of capital to get started. Secondly and more importantly, we feel the fashion industry is in dire need of technology. We focus on independent women who care about more than fashion. Women who are busy fulfilling their dreams, working, traveling, raising children. These women don't have time to shop and actually most of them feel they have more important things to do. But while they live their lives, they do want to look good. So we will enable them to focus on the important things in life while we take care of the 'looking good' part. They simply select the clothing items they want via our website or app and we make sure they arrive in near-new status at their doorstep or office. We plan to even ensure they have access to clothing while traveling, so they never have to travel with a suitcase again. Our online service will bring convenience and a solution for the future of fashion."
"We chose to start in Singapore as it's the perfect test market. Women are super fashionable and the city-state is compact enough to set-up our logistics. The all-year-round summer season is an extra benefit, it means we won't have to deal with summer and winter collections. So far, the reactions have been very positive. We have already a long waiting list of women who want to join. We work hard to onboard them as we speak. The biggest challenge right now is to get enough inventory to get onboard all those interested women. Industry-wide a third of all fashion produced is never sold. We are discussing partnership deals with fashion labels and distributors to get that one-third of clothing in our wardrobe. And we're talking about the newest collections here! We dedicate 20% of our collection to independent and upcoming designers to stimulate their route to market. We really enjoy to work with these young creatives, their vision on the future of fashion is refreshing as they all focus on sustainable supply chains and bringing back the art in fashion. "
Who is Your Inspiration?
"I find Leilah Janah a very inspiring entrepreneur. She was only 26 years old when she set up Samasource (now part of the Sama Group), a social enterprise which alleviates poverty in Africa and Asia through outsourcing project management for companies like Google and Microsoft. It's a smart business plan and very effective. Her courage and ambition to tackle such a large problem, while probably many people thought 'this girl is dreaming', earns my deepest respect. It's really cool to 'just do it'. She's a perfect role model for young changemakers with dreams."
So if you're keen on revamping your wardrobe but are not keen on hitting the stores, StudioSG might just be for you.