It's the old closet conundrum -- too many clothes, nothing to wear. There are already popular rental services such as Rent The Runway or LeTote, but Seattle start-up Armoire is creating a unique niche in the fashion industry and marketing to hundreds of working women and moms on-the-go across Seattle and the country.
Here are five reasons to consider checking out the Seattle-based company Armoire:
1. Armoire uses a combination of algorithms and stylists to find your clothes
Ambika Singh is a co-founder and CEO of Armoire. She is also an MIT grad who used the school's accelerator program to launch the business. Her team's brainpower came up with an algorithm that helps clients find clothing that already fits their tastes. On top of that, they have a personal stylist that helps pick out clothes, too, and makes sure they fit your body preferences. The company has clients all across the country, but if you live in Seattle you get the bonus of actually meeting your stylist if you choose. Other rental companies, like RTR will allow a person to do the hunting and pecking among thousands of choices, but the algorithm cuts out a lot of valuable search time.
2. Renting clothing is eco-friendly
The fashion industry is one of the worst offenders when it comes to pollution. Renting clothing from companies like Armoire helps us consume less. "A little-known fact is that apparel is the second most polluting industry in the world behind only oil and gas," said Singh. "I think a lot of the community is like, 'I’ve got too many things in my closet. How do I make this simpler?' That has really spoken to Seattle women, as well as the time-saving thing because all of us are kind of running around."
3. You never have to wash or dry clean the clothes
As with most rental services, you do not have to take care of the maintenance of the clothing, including basic care like washing and dry cleaning. Armoire covers normal wear and tear in your monthly subscription costs. However, if an item is totally damaged, lost or stolen you will likely have to cover 80-percent of the cost.
4. You don't even have to leave the house to get your clothes
Membership comes with free shipping, but if you live in Seattle you can pick up and drop off your clothes at The Riveter in Capitol Hill. That option gives a very quick turnaround if you are able to make that work.
5. The clothes are high quality and they fit the style of the region
If you've lived here for more than a hot second, you realize there's a style to Seattle. Armoire curates clothing that fits the local scene. That means items like bombers and dresses that transition from work to going out. "It's got a bit more professional woman's vibe with the Seattle kick," said Singh. Armoire is also partner with local producers and use an array of locally-made accessories.
Armoire is the brainchild of MIT grad students and received "The Most Unlikely Startup to come out of MIT" award. Clients pay a subscription fee of at least $149 a month to rent at least four items at a time. Members can also save money by referring people to the service.
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