– By 2030, recycling is expected to be twice as large as «fast fashion», says Sigrun Syverud, founder and daily manager of Fjong.
Syverud started Fjong in 2017, and has since built up the rental service in the Norwegian market: Through the website, you can choose pen clothes for special occasions, or you can subscribe to clothes for everyday use.
The idea behind it was to gain access to more clothing, but without contributing to a slightly sustainable over-consumption: For the clothing industry accounts for 8-10 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions in the world. In addition, some of the clothes are never sold, but end up in a warehouse or are burned. And of the clothes that are sold, much is almost not in use.
One third unused
– In Norway, a third of what people have in their wardrobes hangs almost unused. Not only is it an incredibly big environmental problem, but we do not use it as a producer, says Syverud in the TV 2 program Bare business.
Fjong is now collaborating with a number of well-known clothing manufacturers on renting out their surplus stock of clothing slag.
And now the rental service looks beyond Norway’s borders: During December, Fjong will start up in the neighboring country in the south.
– There are an incredible number of “far-reaching” brands in Denmark, both in terms of design and sustainability. They are very conscious of it. After Denmark, the plan is to start up in Germany, and so on out in Europe, says Syverud.
After Denmark and Germany, it is the Benelux countries’ turn, where there are no similar rental services. For Fjong, it is important to establish itself in a new country in order to expand the customer base, and thus ensure profitability. Syverud is now working to bring in new investors for the further investment internationally:
– It is important to get out of Norway, show that the service is attractive in other brands. We are raising money to further develop the technology, make it even more scalable, and make it even more user-friendly, says Syverud.
More with rental
Others in the clothing industry have also thrown themselves into the rental trend, and now offer their own rental service: The hiking equipment manufacturer Bergans now rents out equipment and clothes that you may only need a few times a year.
– There is no concern that there are more clothing manufacturers who set up their own rental service, and then it will be Fjong?
– No, we think it’s great that there are more people who also start with rent. The biggest competitor for us is the use-and-throw society, and the old way of consuming, says Syverud.
However, she believes that Fjong’s technology is better than most in the industry, and that they thus have a competitive advantage. According to Syverud, most clothing manufacturers are also positive about cooperation, although recycling can mean less sales:
– We experience that people are very willing to change, and very much part of the new solution of which Fjong is a part. They see that recycling is growing rapidly, and that one must be part of that change, says Sigrun Syverud.