Founder Update

Founder Update

Founder Update


It has been a wild first half of the year since my last letter. 


9 months ago I was told that this year would be one of the hardest years of my life — of course given my optimism, I ignored that comment. How could it be harder than moving to a new country (Australia) as a poor student that could barely speak the language, working 70 hours a week to pay $80k of overseas student school fees, rent and food — THAT was hard.


17 years later, I’m still working around the clock, but now for something I’m so proud to say I truly believe in. It’s neither harder nor easier, just different. I think anyone who is working on something they are truly passionate about is familiar with the feeling of burnout, especially when it’s related to your own purpose-driven startup you are trying to get off the ground. Many of us have had a taste of it and the key is knowing when it’s time to take a breath, step back, get some perspective and then zero in on fewer goals that will get the business further and really nail them.


But first, this is what I have learnt in the last 9 months:


  • 80% of rental is still for special occasion, there is still so much more education needed around renting for work, holidays or everyday for consumers to see the value

  • Special occasion rentals are no longer exclusive to gowns and black tie dresses. It now also includes elegant garments with a spin of fun and casual from brands like Oroton, Aje and SIR.

  • Matching suits is 100% a thing.

  • 50% of our renters have never rented before because they didn’t trust the platform options available at the time.

  • Even in rental there is a constant demand for new items and 1000s of options. The hustle to stay on trend can’t be escaped with rental (and that makes me sad).


In terms of the industry, progression is slow:


  • Fast fashion brands are being watched and pressured to do better, but their bottom line just keeps growing without doing a thing.

  • More and more influencers are launching their own fashion brands because they can without considering that they are contributing to our global consumption problem.

  • Luxury brands would rather experiment with digital fashion over rethinking the business model and waste problem.

  • Fashion brands are still confused about how to align sustainability with growth (mostly use it as marketing tools). Only a few brands have nailed it, some brands have completely missed the mark and most brands are wondering where to start their journey. 


It’s all really made me think about how I’m using my energy to service the industry and fulfil my purpose with Rntr. I’ve had hundreds of conversations with brands who are looking to either integrate the most sustainable solutions within their business model or simply capitalise on the high-growth recommerce market — either way, for brands, it can feel like a complicated and time-consuming process to kick off.


As we move forward with Rntr., we will be focusing on breaking down complicated issues into digestible formats, using a clear step by step rollout process to ease into this new fast growing market. We will also be diving deeper into our impact measurement, working with our ESG consultant and researchers to ensure we are taking the right steps to accurately measure and track our impact. We can’t change what we can’t measure. 📈


Beyond this we just want to ensure that we are creating a one stop shop for brands to offer a complete recommerce experience to their loyal customer base while eating their cake too. 🍰 In this case cake = increased revenue and stock productivity, owning the brand journey, customer data and covering ESG risks.


A few other interesting bits:

  • We are running a survey at the moment with the chance to win 1 year of rentals — tell us your thoughts 💭

  • Rntr. was discussed on this podcast.

  • We launched our first bridal partnership with Melbourne couture label Deborah Selleck  — brides-to-be now you can Mix, match & build your own wedding dream outfit here.

  • Together with our brand partner, ESSE, we are currently experimenting with our rental tech in physical retail spaces — make sure to visit the ESSE x Edit Collection pop up in Chatswood Chase before the end of September.

  • If you are in Byron Bay for a holiday and not sure what to wear, visit our partner store CHIA, to rent a few nice things for your sunset soirée.

  • We are excited to announce we will be launching our resale integration for brands in the coming months to allow brands to complete the cycle post rental as well as service customers looking to trade in.


Amidst all this, I am grateful for where I am at today working with a group of legends who all share the same passions as I do. Team culture has always been a top priority of mine and it’s something I don’t take for granted. We are constantly asking ourselves how can we be better? What are people renting for? Are they having a fun experience? How can we show fashion brands what they are missing out on?


There may not be a right or wrong way to do it, but we are definitely offering up some interesting options for brands. Our purpose is to make sure that we can help every fashion brand in any way possible even if they can’t use our tech solution. We still want to share our knowledge, skills and resources — to be that useful friend you can always lean on.


You can learn more about us here, enquire to partner with us here or just say hi.

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