HURR Collective is the UK’s first peer-to-peer wardrobe rental platform. Launching in February 2019, it had tens of thousands of people on the waitlist from the get-go and has shown no signs of slowing down since. Founder Victoria Prew has shared the motivations and inspirations behind the online wardrobe of dreams.
Over the past year, we’ve seen a shift in the way that we think about our clothes. People are opting to shop in vintage stores and charity shops, swap and borrow from friends, and mend and repair instead of throwing away. There’s one concept, however, that is disrupting the fashion industry in a major way: rental. While renting isn’t particularly new (think bridal and occasionwear) tech wizards have developed online platforms where they loan to shoppers for a limited time and for a fraction of the item’s original price.
After a vetting process, HURR allows lenders to make money from their wardrobes by offering their treasured pieces to renters, who have access to designer pieces that they can rent from anywhere between seven days to one month.
What inspired you to launch HURR Collective?
I am inspired by the thought that there must be a better future for fashion. As we all know, there is a lot of doom and gloom around the impact of the fashion industry on the planet but there are also a lot of really exciting innovations. From new companies to products and materials, there is so much excitement in this space that will hopefully pave the way towards a better future for fashion. I think it is important to be aware of the problems but focus on the solutions and choose to support the companies that are changing the way in which fashion exists.
How do you stay motivated?
I stay motivated by being a part of the solution and not the problem in terms of fashion being circular and re-defining newness. We are so used to it as consumers, but for us, rental is a way of defining and redefining newness in the same way that resale does so well. I think changing behaviours and seeing more people switch towards rental also keeps me motivated.
Pop-ups and short term concept stores are a big thing for new businesses at the moment. What has your experience been like?
We’ve loved running a pop-up, it is part of the reason why we extended it through December. It’s been great to see people changing their mindset as they walk in. They realise that renting is accessible; they can see clothes here that they would never usually have be able to afford to buy out right, but that they can afford to rent. Obviously it’s Christmas party season at the moment so we’re finding that a lot of our elaborate, extravagent dresses are being rented all day every day – i’m a big believee that rented sequins don’t sparkle any less!
What other sustainably-focused businesses inspire you?
There are lots of sustainable businesses that inspire me, it’s so hard to pick a few! Some that we work with or have a direct relationship with are Repack, which is reuseable packaging. It’s a completely closed-loop model which I think is really clever because obviously as a sustainable business we don’t want anything being shipped back and forward in plastic. I am also a huge fan of The Restory who restore luxury pieces like bags and shoes. They are doing their bit to try and extend the lifespan of items, much like we are. Also Clothes Doctor, who are trying to re-establish a connection between ouselves and our clothes, urging us to hand wash them which is a skill that has competely been lost.
What are some of your favourite fashion brands that people can find in the HURR wardrobe?
Personally I wear a lot of Ganni, for me those dresses rent well and can be worn on (at least) a thirty-wear basis. For something more out there, I love Needle and Thread for occasionwear; again, we have a few really stunning pieces that rent really well on our platform. A few of the dresses that we have at the pop-up were actually bought from sample sales. They are one-off pieces which I think is really special, knowing that you can rent a piece and no one else is going to be wearing it.
What’s up next for HURR?
We’ve got some very exciting things coming up in 2020 (shhh! it’s a secret for now!). To start we’ve got some really cool brand partnerships that we are going to be announcing and also really growing our communties across the UK. There are so many wonderful renters and lenders dotted around, so growing our communtiies outside London is going to be a primary focus of ours going into next year. Also, keep an eye out for more from our ‘In Hurr Wardrobe’ series!