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New UK fashion rental website to launch

The former head of sales and marketing at collapsed etailer My-Wardrobe.com, Sacha Newall, is launching a website where users can buy and rent clothing and accessories, called My Wardrobe HQ.

The marketplace, which is not connected to My-Wardrobe.com, will allow shoppers to browse products from brands, retailers and other individual users to rent or buy through Instagram-style profiles.

Rental costs are agreed between the owner or brand and renter. The rental price is paid and a deposit for the item is placed in a separate account held by payment protection system ShieldPay in case of damage. Once the item is returned to the owner the deposit is released back to the shopper.

Renters can also be given the option to buy the product outright.

My Wardrobe HQ takes a 20% fee on transactions.

The platform is targeting women aged between 25 and 55 years. It is currently being tested by a closed group of users and will launch to the public in September. By the autumn launch, Newall aims to have 50 brands and boutiques and 1,000 individual users on board.

Newall said: “We wanted to create a platform that supports circular fashion while also benefiting brands, retailers and consumers. The basics sell, but those seasonal statement items are often one-wear items that end up deeply discounted.

“With rental, a consumer is looking for something for one occasion, so the mindset shifts, putting a premium on the item. We rent differently from how we buy. What makes our platform unique, is that if our customer loves it, she can keep it at the value that has been pre-agreed with the seller. And then the buyer can rent it out to other users to fund in-season purchases.” 

Newall, CEO, is running the business with director of new business development Tina Lake, who was head of buying at Monsoon from 2008 to 2010 and founded platform London-boutiques.com in 2012.

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