Renting is the new owning - what has worked well with music, movies and cars for a long time is now being tried out with clothing more and more often. One recent example: Pool in Berlin. The 200m² store in Berlin-Kreuzberg opened its doors this fall and offers nothing to buy, but plenty of clothing to rent.

The "Pool" concept was founded in 2020 by Rune Orloff and Kristian Rix in Berlin. The new concept is also about making the consumption of clothing more sustainable: "We buy things to own them, even if we actually just need to use them. If we now move to a post-ownership system, we can reduce waste for individuals and therefore for the industry as a whole," says Rune Orloff.
Pool store in Berlin
Photo: Tobias Kruse
Pool store in Berlin
In an initial test phase, the two founders tried out the concept both digitally and physically and then realized, "that our members like to come to our space to try on garments, exchange styles and basically browse our offering physically and not just digitally. So we decided to build out a larger space that would facilitate our daily operations, strengthen the relationship with our members, and actually give them access to a huge walk-in closet," explains Kristian Rix. The idea for the Pool Store was born.

Three rental models are offered – for €9, €29 and €49 a month respectively, depending on the value of the pieces to be borrowed. With 9€ members get access to all products under 100 € original price, for 29€ to all products under 500€ original price. Those who pay 49€ can borrow everything, even over 500€ original price. The subscription can be cancelled at any time and has no minimum term.
Pool store in Berlin
Photo: Tobias Kruse
Pool store in Berlin
The assortment currently consists of about 1500 pieces, including the labels Aeance, Arys, Carcel, Comme des Garçons, Daily Paper, Hien Le, Highsnobiety, John Elliott, Mykita, Nanushka, Nike, Nudie Jeans, PB 0110, Permanent, Rhude, Soulland, Superconscious and Ufu.

Everything offered in the store comes from the partners' warehouses and is only paid for once it is checked out for the first time. So nothing is produced especially for the store. Rather, the assortment is largely composed of pieces such as press samples, overproductions, deadstock and upcycling in limited editions. The offer is limited to the Berlin area for the time being, because in addition to the physical store there is an online store where you can choose the desired pieces. These are then delivered in an environmentally friendly way by e-bike.
Pool store in Berlin
Photo: Tobias Kruse
Pool store in Berlin
For those who don't want to miss out on the in-store shopping experience, the new store is the place to go. A "swap box" in the entrance area immediately makes it clear that this is no ordinary store. Here, orders previously put together online can be picked up and parts that are no longer wanted can be returned. These are professionally cleaned after use. In addition, all parts are insured against wear and tear. Each part that one chooses, one can keep as long as desired, there is no time limit. Only a limit on the number of parts one can borrow.

The store construction was also designed with sustainability in mind. Instead of wood, Honext is used, a new type of wood-like material made from recycled cardboard. Recycled hangers as well as upcycled metal shelving also meet the sustainable requirement.


[The original version of this article has been published on textilwirtschaft.de]



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