A pop-up can be an amazing way to test out a new business or launch a product, and at Copeland Park we have pop-up events on site most weeks. We chatted to one of the most recent of these events, Crease, a community for peer to peer clothing rentals, who launched with a rent event at Copeland Park on the 1st June 2019.

What made you choose Copeland Park for the Crease pop up?

I really wanted a buzzy area with good vibes & Copeland Park definitely fitted the bill. There’s a real community feel with independent businesses everywhere; it was so nice to be a part of that for the day. The location was perfect, I met some amazing passers by who were really into the idea and ended up renting some stuff. I think the sunshine helped too!

Where did the idea stem from? Do you have a background in fashion?

I do! A lot of my experience and interests are at the root of the idea. I’ve worked for agencies and brands in sales roles for years. Being in fashion wholesale, you’re exposed to over production and wastage in a big way, which definitely got the cogs turning.

I’ve also accumulated a load of stuff that just sits in my wardrobe, which feels like such a waste – these clothes deserve some airtime! I have a wonderful group of girlfriends who always share and swap their clothes; I remember thinking, ‘What if this could be scaled up?’

I’ve also spent a fair amount of my life longing for stuff I can’t afford, which probably contributed to the idea. ‘How can I have that handbag and not part with £500? Can I justify spending that money? How many times am I going to use it?’ There’s none of that with rentals – you get your buzz without spending a small fortune, which I’m all for.

I think working in fashion & most creative roles, you’re at the forefront but not necessarily earning enough to access it; hence the drive of fast fashion. With Crease, you can rent out a Gucci bag or a Vintage blazer, show them off, send them back & on to the next thing. On the flip side – you can earn money back on an outfit you bought for a wedding and haven’t worn since.

I see it functioning best as an app but, for now, we’re a website and an Instagram page. I’m planning on doing more Rent Events, as I think the community aspect is so important; it’s amazing meeting like-minded people and getting the concept out there.

With the word fast fashion having such negative connotations, are people’s attitudes towards clothes buying changing?

Definitely! I think people are starting to gauge the severity & impact fast fashion is having on the planet thanks to documentaries like The True Cost and movements like Extinction Rebellion. Renting, reusing, recycling are finally becoming the focus. It can be difficult to know how as an individual you can make a difference, especially when it comes to clothes. Something as easy as renting is a massive step in the right direction.

When you’re faced with facts like it takes 2,700 litres of water to make ONE cotton shirt, you start to realise the magnitude of waste. That’s enough drinking water for one person for two years – mad. Attitudes seem to be shifting in the right direction; think of the plastic bag charges and refillable cup incentives, it’s only a matter of time until the movement infiltrates our wardrobes.

Certain brands like Reformation are smashing it. They produce everything with sustainability at the core, from sourcing fabrics to producing the clothes. But I think we need to focus on the reuse aspect; people might not have the money for more costly ‘sustainable’ brands, which is the beauty of Crease – you can access names you might not otherwise be able to afford. I think there’s a rental revolution on the horizon for clothes, the proof of concept is there with things like AirBNB and Zipcar, so why not monetise our wardrobes?

Do you think the main market for Crease right now is girls or do you get a lot of interest from boys as well? Why do you think this is?

Yeah definitely, for now anyway. I think women are a bit more savvy and certainly conscious when it comes to shopping, so that might be why. We also only have Women’s available at the moment, which might be something to do with it! Saying that, I had amazing feedback from guys at the event; it feels like there’s an appetite there. I’m aiming to expand into Men’s very soon, so keep an eye out…

Do you know anyone else doing similar things to you in terms of fashion and recycling?

In the States companies like Rent The Runway are huge, it seems like rentals are becoming an everyday alternative to buying new. Brands seem to be more considerate with producing collections too; some are pushing for ‘better’ fibres and finishing processes and introducing recycled cottons / nylons into their designs (although it would be great to see more designers doing that). Fashion, Politics and recycling are certainly more interconnected than they’ve ever been with MP’s calling to end the ‘throwaway fashion’ era; I think we’re all looking to make a difference and by renting your next outfit you can.

Crease returns to Copeland Park mid August with a new selection of clothes to rent, follow them for up-to-date information on dates & timings.

They are looking forward to visiting Skin-Deep and mixedracefaces exhibitions in Copeland Gallery.
Products being loaded very soon to the app.

Interested in organising your own event at Copeland Park,? Get in touch.