On days I’m feeling neglected, left out, or upset, I like to put things in perspective. So I compare myself to the 80% of lonely, desolate, clothes in my closet that I haven’t touched in months… talk about neglected. That really does the job.
All jokes aside, it’s true: women only wear about 20% of the clothes in their closet. The remaining 80%, about 57 pieces of clothing, stay folded in drawers or hanging in the depths of wardrobes. But what do you do when they’re just too special to KonMari them away?
It was this thought process that brought Adarsh Alphons to found breakout app Wardrobe. The idea occurred to him at a wedding, as he was surrounded by all of his best-dressed friends. Looking around, he knew the unique, fashion-forward clothes they were wearing rarely saw the light of day.
Wardrobe lets its members easily lease their best threads, whether they’re too dressy for every-day wear or too niche to wear too often. A community-oriented interface makes it easy to connect with others in the NYC area and swap clothing for a great price.
With hundreds of garments leased on the site, it’s easy to pick a pair of shoes for an interview, a dress for a party, or the runway top you couldn’t get your hands on.
“We’re giving access to Fendi, to Dior, to Balmain, at the same price as fast fashion, or less,” Emphasizes Alphons.
Disavowing fast fashion brands like Zara and H&M, Wardrobe only leases high-end items, thrift finds, and other special pieces, so you can get the best bang for your buck, all while being a conscious consumer. In fact, Wardrobe’s dedication to sustainability actually creates a negative carbon footprint – rather than going out and buying a fast fashion piece you’ll only wear once or twice anyways, Wardrobe is an easy, preventative substitute.
“Social impact is very very important to me. I have a primary interest in this area, it’s not a secondary thing. And fashion is such a big polluter, so when I founded Wardrobe, I wanted to make sure that there was a beneficial impact.” Alphons also uses green dry cleaners all over the city as Wardrobe Hubs, where the clothes get cleaned, and act as a transition between renter and owner.
Not to mention, Wardrobe hosts free photoshoots for their users. This not only showcases the great garments, but allows for networking opportunities and creates a sense of inclusivity.
Curious about this all-inclusive club for clothes, I signed up. For two weeks I had an absolute blast renting pieces I could never dream of finding in a store. With my new sartorial pieces, what else could I do, other than high-tail it on over to SoHo to take some pictures?
After returning my clothes, I had some time to reflect. Firstly, I knew that there were no other apps like Wardrobe on the App Store. Knowing I was participating in the growth of such an impactful app was exciting in itself. Second, talking with Alphons and other Wardrobe users was a wake-up call to how we treat not only our closets, but the planet. In a place like New York, it’s easy to think our clothes affect no one except us and the people that see us. Wardrobe was a gentle reminder that this couldn’t be far from the truth. In fact, using wardrobe was a viscerally positive experience, unlike anything else on the App Store today.