RINS is a ‘Clothing as a service’ concept: A peer-to-peer clothing rental platform through which consumers can rent quality clothing directly from another person’s wardrobe.
The RINS concept was developed and tested during year 2016 but not executed, because the founder of RINS, Anniina Nurmi, is now concentrating on developing the ‘Clothing as a service’ system as a whole and business models within this system for other companies.
With RINS a person who loves fashion and has a lot of quality clothing in her wardrobe which are dear to her but are not used often, can monetise her wardrobe by renting the clothes she doesn’t frequently use.
On the other hand, the person who lives a minimalist lifestyle and wants to reduce the amount of clothing in her home but still enjoy fashion, can have access to a huge variety of quality of clothing without the burden of storing or owning.
‘Clothing as a service’ model will change the fashion industry from disposable to sustainable.
Read more about the model from Anniina’s article “Why & how ‘Clothing as a service’ will change the fashion system?”
The concept was developed together with potential customers from the get-go. An important part was an active development group of 200 persons who took part in discussions, shared ideas and participated in testing.
During year 2016 there were several tests from which valuable insights and knowledge were gained. Below you can see a brief introduction to these tests:
The first assumption was that the concept should be a platform through which a consumer can rent clothes directly from a local retail store. This was tested together with Nudge store in Helsinki. There were around ten pieces of clothes from the selection of Nudge, a random selection of styles & sizes. The clothes were available for rent through a Facebook group in July 2016. The pricing was 20% of RRP for week 1 and 10% of RRP week 2 and onwards.
We learned a lot from this test #1 but it was not a great hit among consumers. There was a lot of interest but the timing, small selection and location were some of the reasons why people didn’t participate. Other reason were also the newness of the whole concept and pricing – as the price for a week was thought to bee too high.
There is definitely potential in developing this “rent-in-shop” concept but we decided that the retail business and its current revenue model is so far from the ‘Clothing as a service’ model that we first have to show that it works with peer-to-peer before we can continue with retail customers.
We are so used to owning our clothes that it’s hard to think that there could be any other way. This is why the most important thing at first is to change our mindsets. Test #2 was about gaining insights about how it feels to have a piece of clothing just for a while.
There were four pieces of clothing from Nurmi label. Each of them was given to one person. This person kept the item for a week and then she gave it to another person of her choice. The next person kept it for a week and then gave it to another person. This way the piece of clothing travelled for eight weeks with eight persons, without any costs.
During those weeks three of the items had the chance to visit cafes, bars, restaurants, exhibitions, birthday parties and many other places. The feedback was positive and even though many were a bit scared at first that they would damage the loaned piece but nothing happened to any of them – and at the end many participants were keen on renting again.
One of the four items wasn’t that lucky: it was tucked away in the first participant’s home for many months because she forgot to give it to the next person.
Test #3 was about gaining knowledge on how willing people are to share their wardrobes and start renting their own clothes. Anniina wanted to find something to wear for the Climate Launchpad cleantech business idea competition and of course she wanted to rent them.
The development group came to help: there were many outfits offered and from those Anniina found two which suited her both style-wise and size-wise. The price for two weeks for these were 25€ for the dress and 20€ for the top.
RINS participated in Climate Launchpad, the world’s larget cleantech business idea competition, organized in October 2016 in Tallinn. RINS won the Decision Metrics & Finance theme award & 5000€.
Want to start developing your own ‘Clothing as a service’ business model and need consulting?
P.S. If you wish to discuss about ‘Clothing as a service’ with like-minded people, do join the ‘Clothing as a service’ Facebook group (currently discussion mainly in Finnish).