It’s been quite a year for the excessive-stop apparel condo provider Rent the Runway. After a $one hundred twenty-five million funding improve from Franklin Templeton Investments and Bain Capital Ventures, the New-York based organization reached $1 billion unicorn reputation.
In an interview with CNBC, co-founder and modern-day CEO Jennifer Hyman (who commenced the agency in 2009 together with her Harvard Business School classmate Jennifer Fleiss) said the funding will give the organization flexibility to “time the IPO for when Rent the Runway can have the excellent success.”
As a long-time Rent the Runway patron, I turned into pleased to look an e-mail in my inbox today addressing a number of the company’s customer service problems – a hallmark that the agency is eager on perfecting their version earlier than taking the organization public.
In the past, the predominantly store-from-domestic service has been plagued via complaints about slow transport instances, the unavailability of well-timed customer support (for instance, a talk service that hardly ever seems to be available), and high-quality manipulate troubles at the same time as its purchaser base has grown to eight million users.
Simply titled “We’re Sorry,” today’s e mail addressed these issues head-on, acknowledging purchaser frustrations and promising to “reestablish the extent of customer service [customers] each count on and deserve from Rent the Runway.”
Hyman mentioned that transparency changed into key to this process. She promised a doubling of the customer service team, new gear to help customers control their bills without waiting a day or extra for a reply, a brand new Twitter account for customer service at @rtrhelp, and a brand new three hundred,000 square foot success facility in Arlington, TX a good way to expedite delivery and returns. Prior to its opening last week, there was best one area to ship back orders, in Secaucus, New Jersey. The e mail additionally announced a chain of stay Twitter “RTR Town Halls” over the following month for clients to share comments.
For clients who’ve been annoyed with the carrier inside the beyond, it’s a welcome acknowledgment of some of the organization’s flaws and an apparently authentic desire to get it right. Hyman even mentioned that it’s been an “interesting and now and again bumpy adventure.”
Clothing apartment services – consisting of ones like Armoire and LeTote (full disclosure: I’m a customer of all three services) – are becoming wildly famous at the heels of schooling campaigns about the exquisite quantity of waste produced through the apparel enterprise. The World Economic Forum estimates that the average American disposes of 81lbs of unwanted clothing every 12 months. The rise of fast fashion way that garb doesn’t close as lengthy and ends up in landfills at magnificent fees. Our desire to continuously have new matters blended with a flourishing $2.Four trillion enterprise that preys on materialism manner that a hundred billion gadgets of clothing are now produced yearly, 50% of which might be disposed of within a yr.
Add to this the developing worries over sweatshop exertions and other environmental influences of manufacturing garb – it’s the second most polluting industry on the earth, behind oil – and it’s smooth to look why clothing condominium is at the rise. If things don’t alternate, by 2050, experts have predicted that the fashion industry will expend 25% of the world’s carbon budget.
Even sustainable clothing agencies that reduce the number of pesticides and other waste produced still adhere to a linear economic system wherein every object is produced only to be bought, worn, and disposed of. Clothing apartment offerings goal to make style circular, reusing substances as opposed to losing them. Giving each item of apparel a longer existence is a big energy-saver, and higher-pleasant apparel (along with mending offerings) ensures that portions can be rented out for years.
Of direction, problems remain with the round machine utilized by style condo, both financial and environmental – mainly transportation and cleansing prices. Curiously, there’s been little or no research or transparency with regards to assessing the impact of cleaning garments and transporting them everywhere in the united states for clothing rental services. While Rent the Runway has a handful of brick-and-mortar stores in large cities, in addition, to drop containers in some WeWork and Nordstrom locations (even though these still want to be transported to the warehouse) and Armoire just spread out their first in Seattle, the enormous majority of clothing is shipped via UPS. And consumer complaints about slow shipping will best put extra strain on agencies to ship more, and quicker.
Perhaps that’s the rate we have to pay to cut down on ruinous speedy style, but I understand what I’ll be asking at the ones Rent the Runway metropolis halls.
In the give up, there are so many reasons to reduce down on garb waste, but the services presenting to assist lessen it want to paintings properly for you to make it show up, in any other case humans will head returned to rapid fashion to fill out their wardrobes.
It’s heartening to look the biggest condo service in the united states of America acknowledge its flaws and make strides to enhance customer support so there are fewer obstacles to participating in this burgeoning circular financial system.