Christening gowns first up as KappAhl trials clothing rentals

baptism dress fredrika klaren 2We at KappAhl are now trialling clothing rentals. The first garment up is Newbie’s popular christening gown, which from next week will be available to rent at six stores.
I truly believe in this! We can’t be sentimental and hoard clothes anymore,” says Fredrika Klarén, head of sustainability.

From Monday 17 February it will be possible to rent Newbie’s popular christening gown from six specially chosen Newbie stores. The gown is the first garment that KappAhl is offering for hire.
“For some time we have seen a growing interest in rentals as a way of consuming more sustainably. Now we want to test it out and prove that it works!” says Fredrika Klarén.

The gown hire is a trial that will run for a limited period of time before evaluation. A decision will then be made as to whether to continue the rentals or expand the selection of garments for hire.

Why should we start renting clothes?
“Increasing clothes’ lifespan and using them more often is important to reducing their environmental impact. Research has shown that if we double the number of times a garment is used, we halve its environmental footprint. Our textile collection scheme is one way of increasing each garment’s use, and now we want to try out rentals as another solution. We are setting it up and learning, and our hope is to then scale it up. I believe that we have many garments that are suitable for rentals.”

fredrika Klaren with baptism dress

How did the christening gown come to be first up in the trial?
“It seemed like an obvious garment to start with. As it normally gets used only once, it’s a very unnecessary garment to buy. We can’t be sentimental and hoard clothes anymore.”

Since August, an interdepartmental working group of representatives from different divisions of the company has been working to make rentals possible.
“We have been an extremely creative and innovative team, rolling our sleeves up to make this work, together. We haven’t done any big feasibility study; instead, we’re just diving in and seeing what sticks, so to say.”

The gown is made of an organic cotton blend with lace details and a frilled trim, and it is also available for sale in stores.
“I see it as a gown for celebrations. It doesn’t have to be for a christening; it would suit a name-giving ceremony – or any other ceremony – just as well,” says Klarén.

As it stands, only a limited number of gowns are available for hire, and we would encourage customers to pre-book over the phone or visit us in store to secure their rental. The customer is responsible for returning the garment in a good condition, but they don’t need to worry about washing it.
“Store staff are teaming up with local laundering services. It is important that we be clear to the customer that the gown cannot be damaged or lost. We want to be able to rent out each gown many times, to have a solid environmental impact,” says Klarén.

baptism dress for rent annette nilsson

The six selected Newbie stores that will be trialling the rentals are Gränby in Uppsala, Mall of Scandinavia in Solna, Sergelgatan in Stockholm, Frölunda and Femman in Gothenburg and Väla outside Helsingborg.
The gown rental price is SEK 300 (it costs SEK 699 to buy).

Posted by Elina Bratt Lejring

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