As fashion girlies at ZAZA, we were ecstatic about being invited to the SLOW THREADS Sustainable Fashion Fair on the 30th of September by the lovely ladies at LOANHOOD, although we already had plans on turning up for a little splurge teehee. We had the amazing opportunity to put our lil’ Journalist hats on and have a meaningful, inspiring conversation with one of LOANHOOD’s co-founders Lucy Hall about the future of fashion and sustainability.
Despite being welcomed with a super stormy day, Glasgow kicked off the beginning of LOANHOOD’s Rental Tour. When asked why Glasgow was chosen to be the city which kicked off the tour, Lucy replied:
“I mean… what an incredible, exciting, creative, rebellious city! Glasgow is just alive. When we turned up yesterday, people were just chatting to us on the street, coming up to us–the fashion! Everybody is just super creative, so yeah we were just like ‘This is a no brainer!’”
A perfect contrast to the weather that went on outside!
LOANHOOD is a Fashion rental community which connects local, upcoming fashion designers and brands with Fashion lovers who want to shop sustainably for the low. Yeah… we know how sticky it gets. With the cost of living reaching higher numbers, many of us have found it hard to indulge in our own personal styles or splurge on the newest items. Lucy advised us to not be too hard on ourselves when it comes to this and offers some advice:
“Look at resales. There are loads of apps out there like Depop. Go to thrift shops; there’s an amazing revolve that runs swap shops that are open all the time throughout Glasgow– R:evolve Recycle. Obviously, rent your clothes! Rent out what you own, rent from other people, and that’s just an amazing way to be circular. Also, repair! Embellish, up-cycle, change your clothes (to) make them fit better. There are so many different options. Rent, Re-use, Repair.”
The event itself was a positive experience, with a maze of clothing stalls, workshops with super chill and talented people through-out. Two designers at the LOANHOOD stall that stood out to ZAZA the most were Fern Murphy (@_fftp__) and Anna Dewhirst (@annaadewhirst). Fern displayed designs featuring various puffer outerwear items, all following a nature themed colour palette consisting of greens, browns, blacks and beiges, paired with her signature bright orange drawstring poking out the necks and sleeves. Anna’s designs contrasted in colour as her work displayed neon greens and yellows, with her range included pieces such as asymmetrical dresses and tops. One thing about her pieces that stands out is the material and texture and get this, all of Anna’s creations are made from Loom Bands! Her pieces are impressive and everyone was simply obsessed!
LOANHOOD ultimately allows for self-expression, as well as experimentation with Fashion through their app. Since you are renting, you can dress yourself in pieces you wouldn’t usually be able to get your hands on. Most of the time when we buy things for a one-time event, it ends up just collecting dust in your wardrobe after the first wear. We know. But with the LOANHOOD app, you don’t have to worry about that since the renting process cancels it out!
LOANHOOD’s biggest values align a lot with ours here at ZAZA: community and authenticity. Lucy let us know at Z that there are already rental projects out there before LOANHOOD, but that it targeted a Female, Millennial woman who’s going to weddings and christenings. Lucy explains: “They’re doing great and we’re super happy for them. But what we were missing was that affordability, the creativity. It’s like…having that unique fashion, having something that’s a little bit different. And that’s what we’d get from a younger generation. All the young people are looking for unique clothing.”
Loanhood noticed there was a niche gap in this market, and hopped on that! ZAZA also encourages and supports anybody who has an idea like this and we understand it can be difficult to tackle, so we asked Lucy from LOANHOOD her thoughts!
ZA: What advice would you give to someone that has an idea like this but doesn’t know where to take it?
LUCY: Please feel free to reach out to us. You can email me directly, email@example.com. But then just get online, research, there’s so many resources out there. And start from the ground up and be like “What’s my mission?”, “What do I want to change?”, and then start slowly, try to do building blocks like “Okay, I’m going to test this idea on a really small audience”, say 10 people you know, then you can grow it out from there. And once you start getting demand for what you’re producing, grow it.
ZA: What was it that you studied or did before LOANHOOD?
LUCY: There’s three of us, three co-founders. I was a model agent for a very long time and then I had a restaurant so my background is Fashion and Hospitality, and I studied Public Relations. Jade was a model, so that’s how Jade and I met, many, many moons ago. We became best friends and then she went back to University where she did her masters in Fashion Futures which is where the idea of Loanhood came from. She was looking into the future of what we could do to be more sustainable with fashion. She’s now doing her PhD in Digital Transformation in METAVERSE. And Jen has worked in Fashion and Retail and has been a graphic designer her whole life. So that’s why the branding looks sick because she understands the colour palettes, the graphics, and making the brand really strong! We all bring different skill sets to the team.
ZA: Do you think that you need a fashion background to start a business like this?
LUCY: You just need to be passionate–for any business! You know I started a restaurant after working in hospitality and having never ran one. You learn so much from just doing it! Every business is different, you gotta just give it a go!
Fashion is an expression of individuality and we’re all trying to find ourselves, a brand like LOANHOOD is a perfect, open space for us to do just that. ZAZA sees platforms like this as the new wave of fashion. You guys know we are Visionaries, trust in Z.