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Business & Economy

Fashion entrepreneur launches ‘CLOAN’ for sustainable shopping

A North East fashion entrepreneur has launched an online clothing rental site to encourage a greener and more circular approach to style consumption.

Rachel Cornick, 39, from Jesmond, Newcastle, has set up CLOAN – a platform combining fashion rental with the power of social media offering consumers the ability to ‘loan’ influencers’ wardrobes from fashion creatives such as Lindsey Holland, Marisa Martins, Jessica Skye and Amira Khan among other contemporary labels, luxury brands and high street names.

Rachel, who is also the founder of social media-based talent agency Varg Talent, has received business support from advisors at Robson Laidler who helped her to secure a large cash injection from the Business Enterprise Fund to generate more exposure for the start up.

CLOAN, which aims to reduce the consumption of fast fashion, also has also secured an exclusive partnership with Go Climate to ensure a consistent commitment to sustainability and will offset its environmental impact.

Rachel said: “I was seeing a shift in the way we consume fashion and at the same time witnessing first-hand the rapid rise of influencer marketing so merging the two felt like the natural next step.

“We believe that fashion should be about experience not ownership and being sustainable shouldn’t mean sacrificing style. Our customers can rent items from the personal wardrobes of the creatives and also a curated edit of archival and new season collections.

“Reducing waste is the biggest challenge our industry faces. Loaning won’t totally replace owning but it gives the consumer the choice to change some of those habits. It sits as a smart way to rethink our fashion consumption and make more sustainable sense of our wardrobes.

“The advisors at Robson Laidler have been invaluable in helping me navigate through the best tax-efficient way to structure the business, helped me flesh out the business plan and provided forecasts for funding applications.”

CLOAN aims to offer a premium rental experience with a direct-to-consumer model with the platform managing all items and quality-controlling every rental, with all loans, stored, cleaned and sent out from its purpose-built facility in Scotland.

Customers select which items they would like via the online platform and choose a rental period of either four, 10 or 16 days. They then return the items when the period is over and can pay extra for peace of mind insurance to cover accidental damage.

Robson Laidler business advisor Jack Spoor said: “Rachel is a very successful and astute businesswoman who has spotted a niche in the market for a premium rental fashion shopping experience that promotes sustainability and one which doesn’t feel like the switch to renting is a down-grade.

“We have supported Rachel with vision mapping for her business, which has helped her develop a sustainable and profitable business plan and we look forward to continuing to guide her with our regular business and financial coaching.”

The rental platform carries accessories from designers including Burberry, Chloe, Loewe, Miu Miu and Prada, alongside clothing from labels such as Joseph, Toteme, Frankie Shop, Rejina Pyo, Ghost, Rotate, Kitri, Sandro, Rixo, Stine Goya and Shrimps.