Friday, 8 April 2016

fashion and the sharing economy : part two

A few weeks ago I wrote about the benefits of sharing clothes - we get to wear beautiful things, we extend the useful life of garments, it's a win-win for the planet and fashion lovers.

I was given the opportunity to trial the dress rental service from GlamCorner, including renting a dress and ordering a back-up in case my preferred dress didn't fit. I was thrilled to get to wear something 'new' to the opening night of Swan Lake, and poured over the pages of dresses to find the perfect one (or two, as it were).

I love the Opera House!

If you're thinking this dress looks a little different to what I posted before, you'd be right. This is neither of the two dresses I had initially selected. And because I always want to be honest with you, my readers, about the ups and downs of living a sustainable lifestyle, I need to fill you in on what happened.

I love the idea of designer dress rental and have successfully rented in the past. But in all honestly, GlamCorner has some wrinkles to iron out in order to make this a smoother process.

Long story short, the dresses I had carefully selected weeks ago did not get returned to GlamCorner in time for for my event. According to GC, the Easter long weekend and rural location of the customer(s) who had the dresses before me led to delays. In order to make things right GC offered to send me three dresses via their same day delivery service and I chose the above (lovely) dress by Grace & Hart.

I did enjoy wearing this dress - both for the beautiful style, including unique geometric lace detail, and the allure of wearing something new - but I'd be lying if I said it was exactly what I'd envisioned or that I was happy with the overall experience.

Here you can see the great detailing of the lace overlay, and I loved
the slit sleeves as well.

Of course I understand accidents happen, and any sharing-economy business relies upon all the sharers returning items on schedule and all systems working flawlessly. However, Easter comes every year and can be easily accounted for in scheduling. Furthermore, I'm not sure GC would have let me know what was happening had I not contacted them the day my dresses were due to arrive (two days before the event) to ensure everything was on track.

Like many of you, my days are filled with many competing commitments and I was frustrated to have to spend more time looking through the website to find dresses suitable for the event, my body type and my personal style, after I'd already dedicated time to do this a few weeks past.  GC offered to pull dresses for me when I expressed my frustration, but fashion is an extremely personal experience for me, so I managed to squeeze in a quick 30 minute search to make sure I selected dresses that were 'me'.  Because I was searching dresses that were available immediately, the selection was smaller than before - good news for my schedule squeeze, but many of the brands I would have chosen were unavailable.

I've been joking this week with friends that this was a 'First World Problem', but on reflection, it's really not that trivial.

Markets and economies must shift if we're to manage the climate crisis and other global issues concerning the environment, poverty and inequality. I greatly value businesses working in the sharing economy, like GlamCorner, and other creative and disruptive business models, because it's only through trial and error and being brave enough to launch a new type of business that the necessary broader changes will occur.

So, was it a perfect experience? No.

Did GlamCorner try it's best to make the situation right? Yes.

Will I rent dresses in the future? Absolutely. Even from GlamCorner.

And at the end of the day, I still got to wear a beautiful dress to the opening night of Swan Lake at the Opera House.

* * * *

Have you had similar experiences with sharing economy or otherwise 'disruptive' businesses? I'd love to hear about it.

Also, thanks a million to my ballet date and 'photographer' on the night, my dear friend Erica. xx

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