WHAT WE LIKE
- Gives customers the most important gift: time.
- Adds value to clothes circulation with pro-stylists.
- Continual expansion of clothing range, increasing customer choice.
SOC 2★: Re-envisions a sharing economy for fashion
ENV 1★: Circulation of fashion creates zero fashion waste
(About Sustainability Impact score)
The zero-waste fashion service with professional stylists for you
“airCloset” is a service that provides a circular system of sharing clothing, allowing them to be passed from one person to another who wants to wear and cherish them for as long as possible without being discarded. Additionally, the biggest attraction of airCloset is the excitement of discovering a new self by having a professional stylist coordinate clothes that suit you.
To create more opportunities for users to participate in sustainable initiatives in a more casual manner, airCloset has created a system that allows all clothing handled to be reused, resold, and recycled without incineration or landfilling.
Zero waste of clothing is achieved through measures such as sharing items that were returned after only trying them on, holding members-only “Eco Sale” events to sell items that are no longer available for rental, separating clothes that cannot be worn due to damage, etc. and utilizing recycled fiber boards “PANECO®” made from 90% discarded clothing waste.
We spoke to Satoshi Amanuma, the representative of airCloset, about the background and future developments of the service and what led to its launch.
Aiming to bring “heart-thumping moments” through fashion to everyone’s daily life
Time is something that everyone has equally, but it can become unequal based on how it is used or perceived. We would like to have more time for enjoyable moments rather than tedious ones. This is Amanuma’s feeling behind the launch of airCloset.
“We want to increase exciting and valuable moments in people’s daily lives. With that in mind, we thought about creating a new service related to daily life. When considering the aspects of daily life, fashion is the one that can create the most heart-thumping moments. Fashion is originally a way of self-expression and a source of enjoyment. But with the busyness of life, people can end up wearing the same clothes every day, and the excitement and passion for fashion disappear, becoming a tedious task.
“We would like to support those who don’t have the time or peace of mind to search for clothes and to enjoy fashion purely. With that intention, we launched airCloset.”
Offering fashion enjoyment to women who feel the value of time every day
airCloset wants to offer fashion enjoyment to women who feel the value of time every day. Our target audience is women who are sensitive to the value of time as their life stage changes, mainly in their 30s and 40s, with over 90% having a job. More than half of our users are also women who are raising children.
“Women generally spend more time on fashion than men, even when considering hairstyles and makeup. In department stores and station buildings, there are more items and floors related to fashion for women. With a larger target audience and more options, it takes time to select and purchase items.
Even just observing my wife, women rethink their use of time along with the changes in life stages, such as work, marriage, maternity, and child-rearing. Some women would like to spend more time and money on their children than themselves. We want to offer a service that helps women stay true to their feelings while also enjoying personal styles.”
Personal professional fashion coordinators to discover unexpected styles
“Creating a world where excitement is as sure as the air.” (Image: Life Hugger)
airCloset’s main attraction is not in clothes rental, but “personal styling” where professional stylists coordinate clothes based on the user’s preferences. By wearing coordinated clothes that you wouldn’t have chosen yourself, you can enjoy discovering a new you.
“Just renting clothes online can’t save time for thinking about what to wear. So, I thought, what if we outsource the process of choosing, thus eliminating the time and effort spent on choosing clothes?”
The personal styling service provided by these professional stylists and the concept of renting a set of clothes for enjoyment of coordination is also helpful in reducing the time and effort when users manage their clothes.
“Initially, I imagined renting clothes one piece at a time. However, there are cases where the desired combination cannot be achieved due to stock availability. If we rent out a set of coordinated clothes, there is no need to worry about that.
You can return the clothes at your convenience, and maintenance and cleaning of the clothes are not necessary. Furthermore, if you like a piece of clothing, you can buy it and keep it with you permanently. In any case, I want people to focus on enjoying fashion.”
Renting is just one means of sustainable fashion
The fashion industry is generally considered to be a high-impact industry on the environment. Renting or sharing clothes instead of purchasing is also considered a mechanism to achieve sustainability. However, there are still challenges with operations and transportation.
“As a business, it’s not easy to eliminate fashion waste. Clothes rental is just one means. Sharing itself is a mechanism of using the same thing multiple times, so if this is the only part we look at, it seems to be a reasonable and environmentally-friendly approach. However, on the downside, as things are transported back and forth, the movement increases and the CO2 emissions during transportation also increase inevitably. We believe that this part should be studied more as a numerical data.”
Many companies have tried to tackle the issue of waste clothing on their own in the past. According to Amanuma, realizing a circular economy that has an impact on society and the economy requires not only the cooperation of one company, but also the entire apparel industry or cooperation with other industries.
“It is clear that mass production, mass consumption, and mass waste are not good for the environment. On the other hand, sharing services also increase transportation due to the movement of goods. However, with the increase of electric vehicles, a future without worrying about CO2 may be possible. I believe that it is important for companies to work together in the future.”
What a fashion circular economy wants to achieve
Communication with stylists that takes place daily through the app is one of the attractions of airCloset. Currently, about 300 stylists are responsible for coordinating users. Many new users start with the light plan, which allows one monthly rental, and then transition to the regular plan, which allows numerous rentals each month. From this, we can see that many are enjoying professional coordination.
Amanuma shares the following message with readers:
“Even on busy days, you can discover new fashion and be excited about a new you. Regardless of what stage of life our customers are in, I hope to create a future where everyone can enjoy fashion. Furthermore, by addressing the issue of waste clothing with ‘Zero Waste Clothing,’ airCloset has become even more circular as a service.
I want airCloset to continue being an existence where you can enjoy fashion naturally and sustainably with just one smartphone.”
(updated 10 Feb 2023)
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