welPop, the ambitious startup that will completely disrupt the luxury market.

According to a study, 68% of the clothes in our closet are not worn. What if, instead of owning an item of clothing, you rent it?

This is the credo of several start-ups trying to shake up the fashion industry and push (some) traditional brands to adapt. H&M, temple of fast fashion, has just launched a clothing rental service in its store in Stockholm. The Swedish brand is trying out the experience for customers who are members of its loyalty program, who can rent up to three items per week.

In Europe, welPop has taken the lead.

 

In Europe, welPop has taken the lead.

Since September 2021, the company has been offering its customers the opportunity to rent their favorite luxury bag for a weekend or more. Once worn, all bags are then cleaned and repackaged to be rented again.

 

“We really see consumers in the midst of transformation. We have taken the full brunt of deconsumption and customers who expect brands to adapt, ”says Ahmad, founders of the startup.

 

welPop buys its own inventory but also connects owners with potential tenants. The young shoot centralizes all the bags in a warehouse. “A simpler way to make sure packages sent to customers are spotless. That way, we can take care of the dry cleaning and the alterations to be done, ”explains Ahmad.

 

The company, which already claims several hundred customers, is diversifying and is establishing white label partnerships to offer for rental, end of collection or overproduction bags.

American success?

 

In the United States, Rent the Runway is a model and above all a success story. This unicorn (valued at over a billion dollars) born in 2009, repeats over and over again that it “did not disrupt a market, but created a new one”. His credo? The rental of luxury clothes for specific occasions: evening, birthday, prom, wedding …

Rent to be more responsible?

 

Renting rather than buying, a good deed for the planet?

Cécile Poignant, prospective and specialist in trends is not convinced: “When I see traditional players taking an interest in clothing rental, it is in fact to address people with a rather excessive consumption, that these brands try to build loyalty through a rental service, ”she explains. And to add: rather than buying the “good conscience” of consumers by renting part of their clothes, brands should above all focus on sustainable and ethically made clothes. And there is plenty to do: fashion is the second most polluting industry in the world. For example, making a single pair of jeans requires more than 11,000 liters of water.

One thing is certain, the mode of consumption is in full change and to meet an increasingly important clientele, welPop to raise money in a few months “It is for the moment more urgent to invest in marketing and increasing volumes rather than aiming for profitability. Our objective is to attract the greatest number of rental companies and encourage them to rent more and more. That is why we we provide very important means of communication in terms of distribution. ”explains Ahmad, who is not at his first attempt