We know you love seeing what goes on BTS at HirestreetHQ via our insta @hirestreetuk, so over the next few weeks we are sharing more inside scoop here on our blog as part of our Getting To Know You Series.
Look forward to hearing from our CEO, our in house team and our top rented brands. But first up, the story of Hirestreet, how it came about and where it’s heading, as told by our founder, Isabella West.
Tell us what led you to start Hirestreet?
I started my career in 2014 as a strategy consultant in London. I worked for some amazing businesses from Selfridges to L’Oreal. This was a great basis from which to learn a lot of the skills that I use every day as an entrepreneur.
In those days, I remember living for the weekends. I was working hard during the week and I was guilty of buying a new outfit for every occasion. My weekly online shopping delivery was something I looked forward to.
At the time, I genuinely wasn’t aware of the environmental costs of this kind of consumption – and I do think I became a bit addicted to the confidence that comes with a new outfit.
Fast forward two years and a combination of factors drove me to launch Hirestreet. Firstly, I knew my wear-it-once attitude was financially wasteful and after several attempts to resell outfits on apps like Depop, I started thinking about potential alternative consumption models. Secondly, there was an increasing amount of information starting to hit headlines around the ‘true cost’ of fast fashion.
My sense was that there were lots of women out there who, like me, had become somewhat addicted to fast fashion, who couldn’t afford to switch to more expensive sustainable clothing options, but were still worried about the environmental impact.
I started Hirestreet with a lot of my own wardrobe (with help from my brilliant friends and sisters). I just wanted to test the interest in the model. From day one the response we had was so positive that I haven’t looked back since.
Hirestreet has been running for just over a year and has already hit some incredible milestones – What’s been the most rewarding part of the journey so far?
100% the team. I used to be SO lonely (lol cry). Now I love coming into work every day. Honestly there is nothing more satisfying than the end of a really productive meeting when everyone is super motivated and happy.
And the funniest?
So many things to pick from, but when we actually tried to have a Samosa Mimosa morning that was hilarious and disgusting all at once – there is a reason this is not a thing.
Describe a typical day at Hirestreet HQ
OK so each day at Hirestreet HQ is always so varied but there are a couple of key features:
I love to come in early, have breakfast and a cuppa at my desk and go through my emails ahead of the full team arriving.
I typically look after data, finance & investor relations in the business. I also spend a lot of time doing competitor research. One of my favourite things to do is quiz the team on facts/data on the market that I have discovered that day
There is always lots of singing. Sometimes accapella.
We love a desk prosecco/G&T.
Where do you see the future of the fashion rental space?
In a couple of years time I think renting will be common place among young females – hopefully most of them will be members of our premium subscription service launching next year. We find that people are often hesitant to try renting for the first time, but once they do – they love it. We get lot’s of requests to expand into coats&jackets, skiwear, interview outfits and accessories – so that is exactly what we are going to do!
There is no doubt in my mind that the UK fashion market will start to go the same way as the US. I think people will continue to purchase their wardrobe staples but that they subscribe to a fashion rental service so they can rotate part of their wardrobe every month.