Scottish rent-a-frock firm styling an eco revolution in fashion

Easing of lockdown is raising new concerns for many Scots, worried that they may now actually be seen in person.

Well fear not, fashionistas. You won’t need to spend hours raking through racks of all the latest designer threads in order to look your best.

An innovative new firm is offering to do all the hard work for you, while caring for the planet at the same time.

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Stirling-based Sioda is running a monthly subscription service where eco-conscious customers can rent stylish clothing from high-end designer labels such as Reiss, Whistles, French Connection, Hobbs, Coast and Jaeger in sizes ranging from 4 to 24.

Stirling-based green fashion firm Sioda aims to help time-poor and eco-conscious Scots look and feel great without harming the planet through its high-end clothes rental service

The founders came up with the plan for Sioda, which means silk in Gaelic, to provide an ethical means for time-poor shoppers to get a fashion fix without adding to the mountains of waste going to landfill.

With a strong environmental ethos, the business aims to counter today’s throwaway fashion culture and ensure that women of all shapes and sizes can look and feel fantastic in a cost-effective and earth-friendly way.

Managing director and co-founder Naomi Ross said: “Team Sioda is determined to disrupt the fast-fashion industry’s ‘make, wear once and dispose’ approach and offer women a mainstream alternative – to rent beautiful high-quality clothes from our website, via affordable payment models.

“We are committed to bring widespread change to the way society consumes fashion and to tackle some of the image-based challenges inequality can bring.

Sioda co-founder and commercial director Alex McKenna

“Many people don’t have the time or energy to spend searching in charity shops for key pieces.

“Our team at Sioda have done the hard work for them, so they can visit our site and browse a range of gorgeous, timeless fashion items from their sofa, then have them delivered to their door to wear for four weeks.

“With key pieces of quality, luxury clothing and tailoring we can give women body confidence – whatever their size – in a cost-effective way whilst helping the environment.”

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Managing director Naomi Ross is the other half of team Sioda

The business provides a ‘try before you buy’ opportunity, which cuts the likelihood of impulse purchases that end up unworn.

Ms Ross added: “With our Sioda subscription service, customers can try out items of clothing to see if they like the style or fit of something without the commitment and large financial outlay for an item which may otherwise have ended up relegated to the back of their wardrobe after a season.

“This helps reduce the number of ‘fast fashion’ items of clothing being purchased which may end up in landfill.”

Business partner and commercial director Alex McKenna added: “At Sioda we have a real drive to be part of that societal change and take people along with us.

“As a society we need to do more to tackle the environmental crisis and be able to give assistance to people in our society in their time of need.

we feel really passionately that if we all make small steps to make a change, we can make a big difference.”

Customers can be confident in Sioda’s green credentials and hygiene standards.

Worn returned items are cleaned with a steam closet care system, which is certified against Covid-19.

The firm uses environmentally friendly products, while everything from the packaging to their banker has been carefully considered for its climate impact by the Sioda team.

It has also been certified by the Good Business Charter, which recognises responsible business practices.

The Sioda founders are now looking ahead to how they can use profits from the business to start a foundation focusing on social justice and ethical causes, and they are investigating ways that items can be reused positively at the end of their Sioda lifespan.

The entrepreneurial pair are already working on a partnership with Funeral Link to provide garments for women accessing funeral support for loved ones.

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