Armedangels, the Cologne-based brand that set itself to task revolutionizing the fashion industry’s notoriously wasteful supply chain years before “sustainability” became mot du jur, has found a solution for deadstock: Stay Awhile, an online fashion rental site offering sustainable brands on loan.
The website is green — both in philosophy and age. It's newly created by Thekla Wilkening, former co-founder of clothes-sharing platform Kleiderei, and Armedangels was among the first labels to sign on as partner.
"We would like to transform the purely linear fashion industry into a sustainable cycle: by creating a flexible system that protects the environment, fulfils customer needs and is fun without a guilty conscience,” Wilkening says. “With a partner like Armedangels at our side we can realize our vision of a one-hundred percent sustainable fashion consumption."
Stay Awhile has billed itself under a singular (and effective) motto: “Rent what you like, buy what you really love,” an offer of flexibility in the finicky world of fashion for just 59 euros a month.
The subscription-based platform promises users a curated package with four items of either your own or Wilkening’s choosing. It now counts 15 brands among its partners, including 30-year-old fashion house Lana, fellow Cologne-based shop Shipsheip, and the sustainable Hamburger label Jan ‘n June.
According to Armedangels, its own partnership with Stay Awhile is key to developing sustainable fashion in circular flow.
Armedangels started in 2007 printing T-shirts and collecting donations for charity projects through sales. It’s now among Europe’s largest eco and fair fashion labels promising “no wage slavery,” “no chemical madness” and “no cheap mass-produced goods.”
But finding a home for its deadstock, or overproduction, proved to be “just as much of a problem for an eco and fair fashion pioneer,” the label said in a press release announcing the Stay Awhile collaboration this month.
“Armedangels is constantly working on new solutions to make the supply chain more circular, from the use of sustainable materials and timeless designs to the quality and durability of individual products,” they added. “Sometimes, however, even the best planning does not protect against overproduction.”
Now, those extra garments will be rented out on Stay Awhile, with plans for future seasonal products also on loan. Users who sign up with the voucher code “AAxSTAYAWHILE” will even get a 50 percent discount for the first month’s rental subscription.