RE-NT: A rental service or the future of retail?

Enjoying the 1990s grunge revival at the moment? Or you are more into the 1980s athleisure philosophy? Or maybe you hate maximalism and you are all about hippy modernism -a throwback to the 1970s. The thing is that nowadays no one has to choose whether to wear a leopard printed dress or linen belted slip dress; you can wear them both! You can be both.

Apparently, we live in the decade that “everything goes” and the rule no.1 says that “You can wear whatever the heck you want. There is no style. Only trends”. Before you say I am overexaggerating take a look at how often fashion retailers add new clothing to their shops. How often there is a new hot trend. Do you remember the tiny cat eye sunglasses that you bought last year, and then all of a sudden everyone was wearing them? Do you still have them? Yes. Will you wear them again this year. Don’t think so.

There is nothing bad about the desire of being trendy. Most of us want that. However, being trendy means consuming -constantly buying new stuff- and there are several problems that come with that:

• you actively support one of the biggest polluting industries on earth

• it is pretty expensive

• you end up with a bunch of cute clothes that you won’t wanna wear next season

Wouldn’t be great to be fashionable and not bankrupt? Would it be utopia if we imagine zero waste consumption? An ethical fashion industry? For RE-NT revolutionary team, that is their vision. It is not a fantasy but their goal.

RePack RE-NT REVOLUTIONRE-NT is a Berlin-based fashion rental service, which gives you the opportunity through its platform to have a capsule wardrobe and wear the hottest trends at the same time. Sharing is caring; RE-NT cares about terrible labor conditions, environment and above all you as a consumer, and now demands from you to change the way you think about shopping.

While I make my very application on the platform, in order to be a part of the community I read at the top of the page “Join the future of Fashion”, and hell yes that is the future…an excellent curated clothing rental service which now works on an app. While visual merchandisers and marketers try to find the next big thing in retail and Robina von Stein already directs it. We interviewed Robina and here’s what she told us about her initiative.

So how RE-NT works?

RE-NT is a fashion App which allows you to create your closet in the clouds. This means: Via the RE-NT App you pick your favorite styles, choose the dates you want your first outfits to arrive at your home (max of 3 at once). Wear, love and enjoy them and easily return them when you are ready for your next styles. Per month the customer can change his/her RE-NT outfit 3 times. If she/he would like to swap more she/he can top up with an extra €10 for an additional swap.

How do Berliners respond to RE-NT?

Our service is available in whole Germany and the DACH region but most of our customers are from Berlin as here is our headquarter. We got stunningly positive response to our service as many people feel the need to change their consumption habits but still would like to dress great.

You have a very interesting/ interactive home page. Are you a watcher or a player?

Thank you! With this homepage, we aim to express the active or passive role the consumer can take in the way she/he consumes. You either can start to play the RE-NT game meaning consuming less without wearing necessarily less great fashion. Or you are on the watcher side and observe how the environment is suffering from the immense overconsumption and overproduction of fashion.

But unfortunately, I have to tell you that many users did not understand the watcher player interaction on our side, and we are working right now on a new version, which will explain our service better.

RE-NT join forces with some big brands/ fashion houses like Isabel Marant. How do the brands respond to the idea of RE-NT?

Everybody knows renting fashion is the future. And everybody is pretty much in love with circular economy models because it makes so much more sense in every aspect: Money, time and environmental-wise. We are very happy to see that brands are so excited about our product. From the first day on of RE-NT, we always integrated both sides of the market into our product development: Brands and end-users because in order to change the environment we have to look and find solutions for both parties.

Thrift shops in Berlin are like a religion. People love thrifting more than queuing (who have thought?). Where do you prefer to shop? Second-hand shops or high-street?

I have to say that since we developed RE-NT I mostly rent all of my outfits. I have a very small “static” wardrobe at home but most of the items I wear are stored in my digital closet.

2. SZ Robina von Stein- neutral : courtesy of Leonor von Salisch
Photo credits: Leonor von Salisch

What is your idea about fashion and style? Are you a shopaholic?

I started with RE-NT out of the suffering of a huge wardrobe, basically filled with many Zara items which I barely wore. At that time I was studying more and more about the environmental effects my fast fashion consumption had on the environment but I still could not stop to quickly pick a fancy top for the weekend at Zara because it was so convenient. So I started to think about ways to develop a solution which is as convenient as fast fashion. That’s when the idea of RE-NT was born. So I am lucky to call myself not a shopaholic anymore. I have the styles I like for a season and I am happy that RE-NT offers me the opportunity to change outfits without feeling guilty of shopping again.

Where do you think RE-NT would be 10 years from now?

I love RE-NT. I love my team behind RE-NT. And I know that we will be able to accomplish amazing work together. There are many things we are currently working on. For example, the way the items are shipped is a major problem from the environment but also the time aspect. And we are currently working on a new solution to make this process more convenient and environmentally healthy.

And I also love how our customer and brand partners react to RE-NT. Our customers are very excited about our project and our partner brands support us where they can. I am very confident that together we will achieve our mission to transform the fashion industry into a zero waste industry.

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