One person’s garbage is another’s treasure, as the saying goes, and that certainly applies to our modern shopping habits. Last year, while traditional retail was in freefall, the secondhand sector grew rapidly. According to estimates, it is now expected to reach $64B in the next five years, surpassing quick fashion.
Users see it as a means to generate money by selling their own used items. Few apps also provided a sense of community throughout the lockdown. Companies create a platform for employees to engage with one another, promote one another’s online stores, and swap clothes.
Now HURR, a London-based female-founded fashion rental platform, has just received $5.4M in seed funding, allowing women to extend the life of their wardrobes. London’s leading VC Octopus Ventures led the round, with participation from D4 Ventures and Ascension. Octopus Ventures has previously invested in other circular economy companies (including Depop and OLIO).
HURR plans to utilise the Octopus Ventures funding to expand its operations, invest in its technology, and expand both its community and the number of white-label partners it works with.
HURR business model
The latest funding boost will be utilised by fashion entrepreneurs to dramatically scale up as they disrupt the trillion-dollar market of women’s fashion throughout the world, with the fashion industry progressively shifting towards a circular model.
Launched in 2019, HURR is a hybrid business model that combines peer-to-peer fashion rentals, direct agreements with fashion outlets, and a white-label service with merchants like Selfridges Rental. It also has a physical location at London’s Selfridges department store, as well as a partnership with worldwide resale marketplace Depop.
The concept behind fashion rental businesses is straightforward. Companies owning stock and leasing parts centrally at a discounted rate for a limited length of time offer subscription-based and pay-per-hire services.
Most of the people have revised their approach to fashion and style as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, with a sharper focus on more sustainable approaches. This has also introduced people to the world of garment rentals, be it buying clothes for yourself or simply seeking for a more eco-friendly approach to your wardrobe. Overall, these services are a great alternative to investing in the never-ending cycle of quick fashion.
“I am totally certain that the future of fashion is circular,” said Victoria Prew, CEO and creator of HURR. “We are proud to be at the forefront of this growing consumer movement.” Customers in the UK spend £2.7B on ensembles they only wear once, while more than $400B worth of apparel is wasted globally each year, according to another startling statistic. I’m a millennial who grew up with the concept of shared ownership. We’ve all seen disruptive tech-first enterprises like Airbnb and Uber grow to prominence, and if we can rent our homes and cars, why not our wardrobes?”
“HURR is perfectly poised to leverage on the shift towards new models of ownership and pioneer the transition to a more climate-friendly apparel business,” said Matt Chandler, consumer investor at Octopus Ventures. It is able to deliver a full-stack rental solution to established brands by handling the crucial logistics services required for rental, which feeds the HURR platform with incredible breadth and depth of supply. We see a great opportunity for scale here, and we’re pleased to bring our Depop knowledge to bear as we work with Victoria and her team.”
In the fashion rental space, HURR competes with companies such as ByRotation, Rotaro, Cocoon Club, By Rotation, Hirestreet, My Wardrobe HQ and more.