This update is primarily for our “Climate Mamas” out there, although our “Papas” may find it interesting, from a sociological perspective! We wanted to share with you our latest fashion “find” that lets you look and feel “glamorous” while at the same time allowing you to feel positive about your ecological footprint. Recently, Climate Mama was invited to a “NYC Broadway premier,” not an event often on our “social calendar.” As women the world over ask themselves when they have a special occasion like this one, the big question was: “what will I wear?” We came across an interesting new service recently and thought this would be the perfect opportunity to give it a try..purely, of course, for business reasons!!
Rent the Runway (RTR) was set up by two Harvard business school friends, Jenny Carter Fleiss, and Jenn Hyman. These friends identified and decided to launch what they believed to be a missing service in the world of womens fashion. Wouldn’t it be great, they thought, to be able to offer women an opportunity to look and feel incredible in designer clothes, even if these women didn’t want to invest, or more likely, couldn’t afford to make the financial commitment required to own these designer pieces outright? Voila, about 6 months ago, Rent the Runway was born. You can now “shop” in the comfort of your bathrobe from your own home, and within a day or two, designer dresses directly “off the runway” will literally appear on your doorstep for you to try on, wear, and enjoy for four days. After that, your “Cinderella experience” ends, and you fold up the dress and pop it into the mail in the prepaid envelope that was sent to you, with the dress. “Your” dress is now off to an eco-friendly dry cleaner in NYC, to be made ready and available for it’s next big night out adventure!
The eco-benefits of the RTR service jumped off the website for us, as we read about the opportunity to reuse these designer clothes many times over, not only saving on you the “back and forth” to stores and the greenhouse gases associated with these trips, but the obvious reduction in the accumulation of “stuff” that we in America are famous for. As well, given that the “store” is on-line, this automatically cuts down on the requirements and energy usages associated with operating a physical facility. The flip side is that RTR gives their clients the opportunity to have fun, play and get dressed up, all in a way that otherwise would not be possible!!
Climate Mama asked co-founder Jenny Carter Fleiss if she had considered some of the eco-benefits of RTR when starting the business, and if the RTR business and marketing plans, moving forward, would be showcasing and capitalizing on some of these ideals. Below are our questions and Jenny’s answers.
CM: I don’t see environmental sustainability as a “selling point” listed on your website. Was/is this a factor at all in your evolution, and/or is it just a great by-product?!
JCF: I guess both! We have always loved the eco-friendly element of what we are doing at RTR so while it wasn’t the key driving point behind what we were doing it was definitely something we focused on whenever possible. The general concept of sharing dresses within a community is eco-friendly and then we chose to work with an organic dry cleaner – everyone should know that this both enables people to preserve their clothing better and take better care of it as well as doing a great thing for the environment!
CM: Have you done any assessments on the carbon reduction opportunities for your users, i.e. less trips to the store, less packaging, reusing etc?
JCF: Not yet, but definitely want to – we’ve been SO BUSY since launch 6 months ago
CM: I know you are a new company; is environmental sustainability a direction you will/hope to promote in the future?
CM: Does your company incorporate any environmental sustainability practices in its day-to-day activities/management?
JCF: I would say yes, whenever possible though we want to be more active about it going forward.
We will be listing Rent the Runway in our Products and Services database and would encourage you to give them a try, and support this innovative idea and eco-friendly concept!!
Good luck Jenny, we LOVED our RTR experience, and highly recommend it!
Tags: rent the runway