1. Dear Sonja, dear Carmen, I am very pleased to be able to introduce you and CLOTHESfriends as part of our Female Founder Community. Please feel free to tell us a little about yourself and your company.

Dear Lisa, thank you very much for the wonderful opportunity and we are very happy that we can complement our communities. CLOTHESfriends is the fashion rental app for renting and renting clothes. You may have to get used to this idea of ​​renting clothes - but why should you buy a new dress for your next wedding or the fifth jacket for autumn when you can rent it for as long as you really need it ? With the CLOTHESfriends app, outfits and accessories can be rented from other users or fashion brands for an individual period of time.

The exchange of the rented pieces can take place via postal delivery or local hubs (exchange locations). These are currently represented in Munich, Nuremberg and Hamburg. Our motivation is to not only let CLOTHESfriends take place digitally in an app - but to bring fashion sharing into everyday life and thus increase awareness of sustainable fashion consumption that is also fun.

2. What does “fashion consumption awareness” mean to you and how do you implement it in your company?

What is central to this awareness for us is that it is individual for everyone. Fashion and sustainability have a different importance for every consumer. What is crucial is that we, both as individuals - but above all as a community - have great potential to steer consumption in a long-term sustainable and circular direction. To increase this awareness and take everyone by the hand, we communicate both in the app and on social media what impact fashion has on the environment - for example, to visualize what the real price behind a 4 euro T-shirt actually is.

We also work with the Viennese start-up TeamClimate. Together we have developed a CO2 calculator that gives a guideline value for the CO2 emissions that would have been produced if the rented item of clothing was newly produced. It is particularly important to us to build a community that inspires and supports each other.

That's why we attach great importance to telling the stories of our partner brands, users and partner hubs and acting as a platform that builds long-term awareness of sustainable consumption and innovative solutions. While studying fashion journalism and fashion communication at AMD Munich, we became more and more aware of the influence the fashion industry has on the environment - for example, that it is responsible for more CO2 emissions than the aviation and shipping industries combined.

As consumers, we have a significant influence on how the supply adapts to our demand. That's why our motivation since the beginning has been to give people an opportunity to be part of the change.

3. You started your business relatively recently after completing your studies. What has been your biggest hurdle so far during the founding and what has been your greatest success?

It's now been a year since we founded CLOTHESfriends. It was an incredible feeling when the CLOTHESfriends app was available on the App Store and Google Play Store. The opening of the CLOTHESfriends Rental Store in Munich was also a very nice highlight. But what means the most to us is the positive and happy reactions from our community. When you know that you inspire them - that they rent the look for a special occasion with CLOTHESfriends or that they tell the stories of their own pieces when renting them out.

One challenge, however, is that we constantly develop the processes further and in the best possible way - and learn from mistakes and feedback from the community. It is particularly important to us to grow the selection of products and to inspire new users for Fashion Rental. Together with our team and our community, it's just incredibly fun to grow CLOTHESfriends and we're looking forward to everything that comes!

4. What is your vision for the fashion industry?

The Future of Fashion is Circular – the fashion industry as a circular system by consciously using resources and reusing, upcycling or recycling clothing. For long-term and sustainable change in the fashion industry, it is crucial that everyone participates. This means that fashion companies have to think differently. At the same time, regulations and laws are needed at political, social and economic levels so that global change can take place. The role of consumers is just as crucial. Your decisions and demands have a significant influence on developments.

That's why with CLOTHESfriends we give you the opportunity to be part of the circular economy yourself. Our vision for CLOTHESfriends is to enable sustainable fashion consumption without compromise by using the clothes that are already there. In this way, we bring users and fashion brands together on one app in a circular community. With CLOTHESfriends, the basics are enough at home and you can rent the pieces you want for as long as you feel like it.

5. 'Don't limit consumption, just change it' - With CLOTHESfriends you create a community that doesn't have to forego fashion trends in order to live more sustainably. What 3 tips would you give to others who want to pay more attention to their fashion consumption?

1. Try it out with joy : Approaches such as upcycling fashion, second-hand or renting and renting may be rather unusual compared to buying quickly from Zara. We can say from our own experience: It's worth trying out. For example, once you get a taste for fashion rental, you really learn to appreciate the variety, variety and value of fashion again. It's often more fun if you try it out with a friend - whether it's a tour of the city's second-hand stores or browsing through the CLOTHESfriends app. :)

2. Get informed : With the many marketing claims (often greenwashing) and the whole “trend” around sustainability, it is often difficult to keep track. It is therefore worthwhile, for example, to find out about a company's values, materials and efforts for social justice in production directly on their website. Other helpful sources include Good on You, Remake, Fashion Revolution or Renoon.

3. Don't tense up : You can't live a sustainable, error-free life from one day to the next - you'll probably never be able to do that and it's not necessary. It is much more important that you learn to understand its impact and thus automatically make honest and conscious decisions. For some it's getting to know a new fair fashion brand, for others it's sorting out their own wardrobe. It is crucial that we rebuild the appreciation of fashion - everyone has to decide for themselves. Of course it helps if we let ourselves be inspired. However, you shouldn't feel bad if you violate your principles - or those of others. Conscious fashion consumption looks different for everyone and only if everyone integrates it into their everyday life in the way that suits them can we make a change in the long term.



If you would like to find out more about Sonja and Carmen and CLOTHESfriends, please take a look here:

To the website: www.clothesfriends.com

To Instagram: @clothesfriendscom