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What sustainable fashion means to me: Jade McSorley as co-founder of a rental fashion startup

What sustainable fashion means to me: Jade McSorley as co-founder of a rental fashion startup
By Renoon

Meet Jade: London based co-founder of Loanhood, a startup building a fashion rental community, and model, as well as expert in fashion innovation. She shares with us the biggest challenges and opportunities about building a company in sustainable fashion.

How can we change the fashion industry without putting aside our power of self-expression? Is the question Jade McSorley asked herself some years ago. She comes from a 360 view of the industry: from modeling, fashion innovation and an entrepreneurial journey, her career has been pretty full. She is known for placing third in one of Britain’s Next Top Model series; but more than that she has been in the innovation ecosystem of fashion as an expert part of Fashion Innovation Agency in London and founding Loanhood.

I started modeling and then went back to school

From a professional point of view, when Jade first experienced the fashion industry by modeling, she found it to be a job she deeply loved and that allowed her to have a very successful career within the field.

“Nonetheless, after having spent thirteen years working as a model, I slowly realized that behind all the benefits inherent in such job (traveling all over the world and shooting for famous brands) there was indeed a side of fashion which I felt to be incompatible with my morals.”

What sustainable fashion means to me: Jade McSorley as co-founder of a rental fashion startup
Jade McSorley

“Initially, I felt confused about how to address the problem and actively make a change within the industry. That’s when I decided to go back to school in order to deepen my knowledge about such taxing issues and look for better potential solutions.”

She enrolled in the London College of Fashion, where she studied Fashion Futures: “I particularly enjoyed it because of its speculative nature. It boosted my awareness about sustainability, the dynamics of the industry and especially how much consumer behavior negatively affects it.”

What sustainable fashion means to me: Jade McSorley as co-founder of a rental fashion startup

The birth of Loanhood

Two years ago, Jade teamed up with Jen Charon and Lucy Hall, friends and co-workers, and founded Loanhood, a sustainable fashion startup which promotes the idea of circular fashion. The idea is to create and target a community of “loaners” instead of impulsive buyers.

“We aim at changing the consumer’s mindset by providing an accessible and user-friendly service for renting all kind of clothes:  from luxury to vintage, from second hand to fast fashion. We started the company as a personal project, but since its beginning has been organically growing bigger and bigger!”

What is sustainable fashion to me : as co-founder of a sustainable fashion startup
Jen Charon, Lucy Hall and Jade McSorley founder of Loanhood

I have big goals and high values

“In this sense, with Loanhood I really wanted to do something completely different than any other rental fashion options thay I saw. We don’t focus on designers pieces only, but on all kinds of clothes. I want to build a place where you can literally rent your outfits and those fashion items that are lying unused in your wardrobe to someone who might simply want to try out a different style.”

What sustainable fashion means to me: Jade McSorley as co-founder of a rental fashion startup

“I believe in the possibility to prolong the life of our garments and give them new value while still keeping our love for fashion.”

Jade’s company, which is based in London hopes to expand nationally and internationally and it is going to release its app soon, crowd-funded partly by its fantastic supporters and followers.

I feel that rental is a powerful answer to my question

What is sustainable fashion to me : as co-founder of a sustainable fashion startup
Jade McSorley

Going back to Jade’s initial question: how can we change the fashion industry without putting aside our power of self-expression? “In a fashion industry that keeps launching almost identical fashion drops and feeding our consumerist values, I believe that to wear a rented dress or bag is a powerful statement of our’s ideals.”

“At the same time, if compared to buying new clothes, renting really empowers us as consumers, as it gives us the opportunity to actually claim and fully express our personality and tastes without having to always own something.”

This is Jade. Drastic helping us shift our modern ideas of personal ownership. We will follow her journey from her Instagram.

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