Borrow your wardrobe

29 November 2018 ... min read Listen

29 November 2018

Did you know fashion is one of the most polluting industries in the world? Four visionary young women set about changing this in their fashion store with a far more sustainable business model.

“Borrowing clothes instead of buying new clothes all the time is the solution for a more sustainable fashion industry,” says Elisa Jansen, one of LENA’s co-founders.

The rise of fast fashion means we’re producing and buying more clothes than ever. Piles of trousers, shirts and dresses are lying dormant in our closets, waiting to be thrown away after just a few wears.

Sisters Angela, Diana, Elisa and their friend, Suzanne Smulders, noticed this trend and started the first fashion library in the Netherlands in 2014. For a fixed monthly fee, members can borrow a certain number of items from the library’s vast collection of designer labels and vintage clothes. They can order these online or visit the store in Amsterdam. And if they fall in love with a piece, they can, of course, decide to buy it.

The more people start sharing their clothes, the less the industry needs to produce and it will give brands an incentive to make higher quality clothing.

“We see LENA as a playground to see how a fashion library works best,” continues Elisa. “Our ultimate goal is to share this knowledge with others. The more fashion libraries there are, the better.”

In five years, LENA wants to have boosted the concept of borrowing clothes. Who knows, fashion libraries may be a niche today, but normal tomorrow.

We're proud to be able to help LENA realise their dream through the Investment Ready Program. Thank you for reminding us why we're here.

‘Borrow your wardrobe’ is part of ING’s series of short films celebrating the courageous steps customers take in their life and/or business.

Investment Ready Program

LENA recently joined Impact Hub’s Investment Ready Program in Amsterdam. The programme mentors entrepreneurs over a period of five months and helps them to look critically at their business and connect them to potential investors. ING Nederland fonds, the corporate foundation of ING in the Netherlands, is the programme’s main partner.

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