Case study – Sioda


Launched in December 2020, Sìoda is a female-owned online clothing subscription service, providing high end everyday and occasion wear for women to rent on a monthly basis.

 

 

Sustainability isn’t an add on, a “nice to do” or an aspiration for Sioda. Playing our part to secure a safe, stable environment for ourselves and our future generations is THE primary reason our company exists. It’s the reason our MD risked everything to leave a fulfilling, stable, well-paying public sector career.

 

The first of our kind in Scotland, with award-winning eco-credentials, we wanted to give women a more convenient, inclusive way to enjoy fashion sustainably – offering quality luxury brands like Reiss & Hobbs, in sizes 4-24, at a great value price.

 

Our smartphone adaptable online service means busy women can browse and order 24/7 at home, work or on the go.

Free delivery and collection is included, as well as laundering and accidental damage insurance for extra peace of mind.

 

The fashion industry is one of the most polluting in the world, contributing to climate change, air & water pollution, drought & biodiversity loss. As one of the world’s biggest consumers of fast fashion, the UK is a major part of this problem. And although people say they want to shop more sustainably, fashion-based shopping habits aren’t reflecting this yet. 

 

Part of the issue is the lack of accessible sustainable options out there – especially for people who want to look good, but are too busy to research sustainable options or spend time raking charity shops hoping to find what they need.

 

So we set up Sioda to help change this, providing a rental service that is far more sustainable than buying new.

 

Understanding that social inequality also needs addressed to ensure a just transition to a greener world, helping tackle this is a priority at Sioda.

 

We are committed to improving the way UK society consumes fashion and to tackling some of the challenges caused by inequality.

 

It will be impossible for everyone to “play their part” in living sustainably, as long as poverty persists in our world. For families struggling to make ends meet on a day-to-day basis, putting additional effort into action to safeguard their longer term future can be virtually impossible. So as long as poverty rates continue to rise in our own country, it gets harder to persuade significant parts of our community to commit to sustainable living.

 

Furthermore, fashion is an equalities issue, with luxury fashion traditionally being unattainable to those on low incomes. Access to high quality clothing isn’t trivial – it can have lasting impacts: improving job prospects, keeping us warm through winter to reduce energy bills and giving us the emotional armour we sometimes need to face a day, even if we’re simply dropping our kids off at school.  

 

We’re accessibly priced to reach as many women as possible. We’re establishing partnerships with local charities, like Funeral Link in Dundee, to offer our service to those who need it most. We give a portion of our revenue to Women’s Aid. And we consider ethics as well as sustainability in all aspects of our supply chain, including banking ethically with the Co-op and working with local suppliers.

 

Launching a clothing rental service at peak lockdown wasn’t without it’s challenges – the most obvious being no one had anywhere to go. But that didn’t stop women renting gorgeous coats from us to liven up their daily walks, or video call-friendly tops for home-working.

 

We used that period of relative quiet to refine our service and get to know our first customers, understanding their tastes & lifestyle to build our inventory to suit them.

 

Looking after existing customers is really important to us, as we seek to establish long term trusted relationships. Beyond our core rental service: we seek to engage with our renters on terms they’re comfortable with, helping them transition towards more sustainable living in other ways, for example through signposting them to other ethical brands and services on our sustainable living directory & in our newsletters, or introducing them to inspirational people at member events, who’ve found other ways to be more content in their lives beyond retail therapy.

 

As lockdown has lifted, we’ve seen an increase in demand for our service, from Dingwall, to the Scottish Borders, right down to London. We’re excited to get to know our new customers, and to be part of Scotland’s journey to a brighter, more sustainable future!

Sioda Directors – Alex and Naomi

 

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. 

 

Visit our website now to begin your rental journey and become part of Scotland’s sustainable fashion revolution!

www.siodauk.com

Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest & Twitter: @siodauk