Look Good

Designer fashion at high street prices – everything you need to know about CLOAN

Let us break down how fashion rental with CLOAN could take your next outfit from safe to stand-out in all the right ways.

Written by Becky Hardy
Published 23.09.2023

Have you got a wedding coming up?

Maybe there’s a special birthday on the horizon, a christening or an engagement party that you really want to get spruced up for.

Maybe your next night out with the girls is going to be a big one.

Although we always want to look our best, an invitation to these kind of events tends to elicit a simultaneous groan and cheer: we can’t wait to celebrate with you but, also, how much is it going to cost us?

When you factor in transport, gifts and spends on the day, it can tally up. And that’s before you’ve even started to think about your outfit.

Enter: fashion rental.

No, we can’t save you splurging on the most elaborate gravy boat you’ve ever seen, or stop you from getting the bottles of prosecco in for the girls. But we can help you save money on your next piece of occasion wear –without sacrificing on quality.

Fashion rental has started to take hold here in the North East, thanks to a solid business model of providing more of us with greater access to better clothes, without damaging the environment or breaking the bank to do it.

The premise? You order an outfit like you would if you were online shopping – for a fraction of the cost it would retail for, FYI – you wear that outfit for however long you’ve ordered it for, and then you return it so someone else can have a go.

And now CLOAN have come along – offering rental, only better.

An exclusively designer enterprise, CLOAN’s main point of difference from other fashion rental brands is that it is entirely brand-to-peer. They take every outfit back from their customers, professionally clean it and luxuriously repackage it for their next customer – so there’ll be no lipsticks left behind in pockets or stains left uncleaned when you come to trying that next outfit on.

They’re also not purely online. We caught up with CLOAN founder Rachel Cornick earlier this month in Fenwick, where the brand has recently established a concession stand on the first floor. So, you can see their range of designer outfits for yourself and try different styles, sizes and accessories on first before you commit to that rental.

And while we can’t speak for all fashion brands, CLOAN’s three foundational pillars seem to be a recipe for success: sustainability, savings and self-expression.

HOW CLOAN WORKS

If you’re shopping online, follow these five simple steps to CLOANing your way to your new fashion fave:

  1. Visit CLOAN
  2. Select your item
  3. Choose your rental period (4, 10 or 16 days) and add to basket
  4. Once the item is delivered, enjoy wearing it
  5. At the end of your rental period, return the item using the pre-paid returns label

CLOAN take care of all the cleaning after you’ve worn your item, so renting couldn’t be less hassle.

Bearing in mind that these are high-end designer fashion items, available from as little as £20. Talk about a steal.

CLOAN: THE PERKS

Fashion rental is still a new concept to many of us, so it makes sense that some of you will still have your reservations about the process

So, let us break it all down for you:

  • Save money – renting will always be cheaper than buying. With CLOAN, you can wear a designer dress that retails at around £500 for as little as £20. The only difference is you give it back to CLOAN once you’ve worn it. Hey, we won’t tell if you don’t.
  • Sustainability – the reduced carbon footprint of renting an outfit, and allowing others to rent that same outfit, rather than fuelling the demand to make multiple copies of that same item is a no-brainer. Not to mention how this then impacts the ethical quandary of underpaid, underage workers making those clothes.
  • Self-expression – what rental allows you to do is be bold. Make crazy choices. Try something outside your comfort zone. What’s the worst that can happen? You’re sending it back anyway. And that crazy choice may just take your next outfit from safe to stand out in all the right
  • Save face – listen, if you’ve rented one of the luxury designer dresses from, say, Preen, that CLOAN have, then no-one else can wear it. So, no fashion faux pas or anxiety that someone else will turn up to your event wearing the same dress as you.

WHAT HAPPENS IF MY RENTAL FROM CLOAN GETS DAMAGED?

It’s very rare that something’s damaged beyond repair,’ says Rachel. ‘But, if you feel like the event that you’re renting for is going to be a wild one, you can take out a £10 peace-of-mind insurance.

‘That covers you for any damage, as long as the piece is returned to us. We’ll always take it back and you won’t be charged for the cost of the repair.’

 

CAN CUSTOMERS BUY FROM CLOAN?

The short answer? No.

CLOAN are trailblazers in the fashion market because they focus exclusively on rental.

So, you can rest easy in your designer gear knowing that you’ve saved your purse, your individuality, and your environment a little bit, too.

WHAT DESIGNERS DO CLOAN STOCK?

It would probably be quicker for us to list the designers they don’t stock, to be honest.

From Stine Goya to Self Portrait, Burberry to Badgely Mischka, Ghost, Loewe and Diane von Furstenberg, CLOAN’s designer roll call is impressive to say the least.

With around 80 different high-end brands in their closet, CLOAN are a one-stop rental shop where you’re guaranteed to find your next stand out, glamourous ‘fit – a one-of-a-kind piece that we promise your friends won’t come in wearing, either.

‘I’m particularly loving two brands at the moment,’ says Rachel. ‘One is an Australian brand called Aje, they do gorgeous, bold, bright colours, all in lovely cottons and linens. They’re a real social media standout.

‘The other brand is Rebecca Valens, who is also Australian actually. The statements on their dresses are those gorgeous, big bows. I feel like the price point I gravitate to is when they retail at around £400/£500, so at rental they’re so accessible but you still feel like you’re still getting a quality, expensive-feeling dress.’

WHAT SIZES DO CLOAN STOCK?

‘We have everything from a 4 up to a 20, but not necessarily in every style,’ Rachel explains.

‘That being said, a lot of our dresses tend to be in styles where they can look great on a range of sizes. The orange dress I wore in this shoot, for example – that’s a Self Portrait that, honestly, anyone from a size 8 to a 16 could wear, purely because of its style.

‘We find they’re particularly popular online, because people aren’t worried about them fitting when they arrive!’

 

IS THERE A MAXIMUM NUMBER OF TIMES SOMETHING CAN RENT OUT?

‘No, it just comes down to the quality of the garment,’ Rachel explains.

’Some things get cleaned and, every time they come back, they look brand new. Whereas with other items – anything with a delicate trim or all the bias-cut dresses from Ghost, for example – cleaning can cause them to lose their shape ever so slightly, so they’ll only last about 20 rentals.’

HOW ARE CLOAN OUTFITS CLEANED?

‘We have a cleaning station integrated into our warehouse, which uses purely safe chemical cleaning agents,’ Rachel reveals.

‘And although it probably doesn’t make the most business sense, I also try and handwash items wherever I can – I just think that’s the most sustainable way of cleaning them and it preserves their quality.’

 

 

TOP 3 STYLING TIPS WITH CLOAN

As we chatted about all things fashion in our interview, we could help but pick Rachel’s brains about what she felt were three universal styling tips that could work with any and every outfit, (bought or rented).

  1. ‘I honestly think a hairband – it elevates any formal outfit. There’s something almost regal about wearing a good hairband. Don’t underestimate them!’
  2. ‘I love tonal outfits. Match your bag with your shoes with your dress, you don’t need to colour-clash. Tonal is my favourite.’
  3. ‘Don’t limit occasion wear to occasions. If you’ve got your rental over the weekend, wear it for your event and then the next day put a sweatshirt over it with your chunky trainers. You might as well get your wear out of it while you’ve got it, (providing you haven’t gone too crazy on the dancefloor the night before!).’

For more information about CLOAN and to order your next rental online, visit their website

Or pop in and see Rachel and co. on their concession stand on the first floor of Fenwick Newcastle  

You can also follow CLOAN on Instagram

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