Last week we interviewed Laura Apel, a German young entrepreneur that is about to launch her first professional project: Kleiderrebell. Keep reading and find out more about her original approach to the fashion industry and the exciting adventure she is currently living.
How does the Kleiderrebell project work?
Kleiderrebell will be an online shop where you don’t buy, but rent your favorite fashion items. Each article has its own rental fee. The fee covers the duration of one month, but the customers (women only) are given the flexibility to decide what they rent and for how long. No subscription, no run-time, no fixed costs. Whenever a customer is sick of wearing an article, she can just return it to Kleiderrebell. Additionally, our customers can send their discarded fashion to us and get a voucher for it. The goal is to encourage a more sustainable fashion industry: women can be trendy without being forced to buy new items.
What inspired you to come up with this original approach?
During my Textile and Clothing Management studies I got the chance to complete a practical training in Bangladesh. There I was provided with a deep insight into the fashion industry, starting at a cotton plantation and finishing with the ready-made garment. Ever since, I am looking for an alternative solution to the classical way in which we consume fashion.
How has your vision of fashion evolved all through these years you have been working in the industry?
I have been visiting and selling at flea markets for years now. Flea Markets are always a great experience, you never know what to expect! Sometimes you find great stuff to buy, sometimes you go home with nothing at all. But whatever you buy or sell: it contributes to the idea of sustainability. My vision of fashion has definitely changed, especially ever since the Kleiderrebell project came to my mind. We should ask ourselves what consumption alternatives we have before going ahead and buying everything new.
Tell us about the crowdfunding initiative you have started to help you launch your project?
The crowdfunding campaign ends on November 22nd. Our goal is to reach 15.000€ – from which we already have more than 8.500€. People can support this campaign and can get different goodies: we offer cotton bags with nice prints, several shopping vouchers, “sharing parties” and style counseling.
A sharing party is an event where a customer invites 3-4 friends to her home. Kleiderrebell will visit them, bringing a bunch of clothing, chosen by the customer in advance. That way, the customer and her guests can try the clothes in a nice atmosphere and decide afterwards whether they want to rent it or not.
The style counseling helps women organize their closet and find new outfit combinations.
How do you expect to make the project financially viable in the long term?
At the moment we buy only second hand clothing (to expand the assortment). That way we also save money and can offer our customers a very low renting fee. The shipping costs depend on the amount of clothing a customer rents. Orders from 50€ on are free of shipping costs. Orders of 30€ are split: Kleiderrebell takes over the shipping costs, the customer has to take over the costs of return.