Did you know the clothing industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world? Instead of buying, you can rent a Masterpiece! Founders Lieke van Schouwenburg and Suzanne Vermet-Reijgersberg share a passion for beautiful clothes and decided to start their own company: Masterpiece; a luxury designer rental service.
Masterpiece, recently opened its doors in Apollo 14. This startup delivers the most beautiful designer clothing to your home. Their goal is to make designer brands accessible to a larger audience, but also contribute to a more sustainable fashion industry. As they are real fashion lovers, but at the same time don’t want to contribute to the problems related to the fashion industry, they decided to be part of the solution. Together they founded Masterpiece in the beginning of 2019.
“Masterpiece is a rental service for designer clothes for women who like to wear luxury clothes and change their outfits regularly. With Masterpiece an outfit can be rented, worn, and exchanged for a new outfit. At the same time, they contribute to a more sustainable fashion industry.
Reduce, Re-use, Recycle
“The fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world. The costs of producing clothes are extremely high for the planet, people, and animal welfare. Every year more and more clothes are being produced. Meanwhile, the number of times that a piece of clothing is worn has reduced by almost 50%. With Masterpiece we want to make maximum use of existing clothes” the founders of the startup explained.
With Masterpiece we work according to the Reduce, Re-use, Recycle-principle:
- Reduce: by sharing clothes amongst customers, they no longer need a full closet of our own. This way we reduce the amount of clothes and waste.
- Re-use: by buying or renting stock-collections we re-use clothes that are otherwise stored in warehouses or even burned and not accessible to the public.
- Recycling: by renting from designer brands, they have a financial incentive to make good quality products with a long lifecycle and we create more awareness to use materials that they can recycle afterward.”
The Hague’s impact startup location
After working from home for almost six months, Lieke and Suzanne decided to look for their own office and showroom in the summer: “Because we focus on women in the Randstad, The Hague seemed like a good place for us. Apollo 14 is a young place with startups that try to tackle global challenges and make sustainability impact. This is very important to us, as we try to make a difference with Masterpiece too. We immediately felt at home at Apollo 14 and think it is a great advantage that there are larger offices and event spaces available within the building”.
What lies ahead
Like many other startups, one of the biggest challenges is to get more exposure. “The concept of renting clothes is quite new and requires people to change the way they go about their daily lives. We feel that the more people know about Masterpiece, the more they will want to use our services and products. Another challenge is to entice large and small players in the fashion industry to work with us. We have noticed that it takes relatively long to get them on board. We are a new concept with a new type of revenue model and still often have to explain that. Our preference is not to buy clothes, but to rent from brands and designers. Many parties still have to get used to that”.
“Given this, our focus lies on getting more exposure for Masterpiece. This means working on our marketing campaign, exploring possibilities to not only work with private individuals, but also with companies and organizing monthly fitting events. We are currently exploring options with regard to subsidies and accelerator programs, but are looking for the right fit for Masterpiece. We have lots to look forward to in 2020 and will for example organize a fitting event at the end of January. The exact date is to be announced soon so keep an eye on our website and socials!”