Award-winning clothes repair service looking for public investment
The award-winning clothes repair service, Clothes Doctor, has launched a campaign on Crowdcube for public investment. In just a few hours, it raised £100,000 – a sixth of the way to its target – as investors back this sustainable start-up.
Helping customers prolong the lifespan of their clothes and address our throwaway culture, Clothes Doctor is collects, repairs and returns clothing so that consumers can avoid the traditionally inconvenient and time-consuming chore.
Clothes Doctor’s founder, Lulu O’Connor, said: “Our aim is to change the way people feel about how long their favourite pieces can last. Saving a beloved pair of jeans or a coat by repairing or customising can gift the owner years more wear. If you can repair it, you can re-wear it.”
Founded in July 2017, Clothes Doctor received the Good Web Guide’s ‘Really Useful’ award that year and has since performed over 2,000 repairs. Orders are placed online, clothes are collected by courier and then within one or two weeks, the repaired clothes are returned by post.
With investment funds, the startup would be able to use technological developments to set up an at-home fitting platform. At the moment, it is powered by a team of professional tailors located in a Cornwall workshop; but in the last couple of months, orders have grown by 321 per cent and the Clothes Doctor is now partnered with large brands such as John Lewis and Karen Millen. Expanding this partnership programme is key to the company’s growth strategy.
The service is aa crucial one given that the fashion industry is the third biggest contributor to landfill waste; in the UK, Londoners alone throw away 11 million items of clothing every week. MPs launched an inquiry into the sustainability of the fashion industry back in June, with fashion bosses being question in October on efforts to address its substantial environmental impact.
A variety of new companies are springing up to try and tackle the fashion industry’s ‘fast fashion’ culture: the reGAIN app, for instance, allows users to ship their old clothes off for recycling, free of charge, and receive a discount coupon in return.
But at the Clothes Doctor, the focus is upon reducing the amount that consumers buy and making an item wearable once more. O’Connor stated: “We believe that extending the lifespan of clothes is a way that we can all do a little more to help protect the environment. It’s an ethos that really resonates with today’s conscious consumer.”