Industry Insights with Jade McSorley
A mesh leopard print Jean Paul Gaultier top, a tinsel-embellished crocheted balaclava, and an A-Cold-Wall nylon bag just skim the surface of the choices that can be found on LOANHOOD, the latest fashion rental app. One-third of the brains behind it is co-founder Jade McSorley, who built the platform on the back of her career as a model, where she witnessed the unglamorous sides of the industry. Disillusioned by its fast-fashion production and disregard for sustainability, she and her co-founders Lucy Hall and Jen Charon were set on being part of the solution.
LOANHOOD’s unique proposition is to build a community of ‘loaners’, providing an accessible and user-friendly service for renting all kinds of clothes, from luxury to vintage, from second-hand to fast fashion. One of its unique features is “Loan A Look,” where users can style two or more pieces from the app together to create custom outfits and share their creations with others. This feature promotes the building of an organic fashion community and encourages people to get creative with their clothing choices, as opposed to following the mono-style trend often seen in fast fashion. Centered on gender-inclusivity, creativity and sharing.
Almost everyone has experienced the dilemma of the statement piece. You buy something for a night out, an event, or a wedding, and its life is condemned to the 24 hours you wear it, only to collect dust for the next 5. For this, LOANHOOD is the answer. McSorley states with enthusiasm, “I love the expression it allows. You can unleash your alter ego through rental and expose a totally different side of you for a night, without committing to a £250 price point because you can rent it for 25 to 30 pounds.”
The fashion rental market had an estimated market value of $3.9 billion in 2020, which is expected to double by 2025. LOANHOOD has entered the market with a strong vision. In a world where the industry keeps launching almost identical fashion drops and feeding our consumerist tendencies, renting is a powerful statement of newer ideals. At the same time, renting empowers us as consumers by giving us the opportunity to claim and fully express our personality and tastes without always having to own something.
As McSorley spearheads the movement, she reminds us, “It isn’t going to happen overnight. Community education is a huge pillar of what we do. We know that we have to start with educating people, addressing the way we currently consume fashion, and opening them up to new possibilities.” But with her will to inform and build a community to self-circulate change, the hope is that it continues to reverberate into the wider fashion industry.