We all know of Rent the Runway, Poshmark, and environmentally-conscious manufacturers. But what if they were one and the same? Irish brand Sustain Sister combines clothing rentals for luxury vintage garments with original organic cotton products for sale. Founded in 2017 by Dublin native Caitriona Lynch, the line has been gaining a large following throughout Europe.
The Sustain Sister business model is based on two separate sustainable solutions to fashion: ethically-sourced clothing to purchase, and the sharing economy of rentals. The retail element, Sustain / Buy, looks to combat fast fashion and reduce waste while using leather-free and organic materials. The brand offers everything from dresses to tops to yoga wear.
The rental aspect, Sister / Borrow, was an answer to the abundance of garments women buy. Unwanted clothes fill up landfills, harming the environment. Instead, Sustain Sister implements a borrowing system for worn clothing, both high fashion and everyday. Each vintage piece is available to rent for 7 to 14 days, and are dry cleaned between shipments with Green Earth products. Items are shipped in reusable bags to further limit the company’s environmental impact.
Lynch cites fast fashion brands like Zara and H&M as influencing her to start Sustain Sister. She explained that such brands are “leading culprits of the throwaway fashion culture,” adding to the large amount of wastefulness the fashion industry produces.
“The disappointing nature of the fast fashion industry led me to go down the Eco-friendly route,” Lynch said. “It’s devastating that the fashion industry is the second largest polluter after oil. I want to provide more options for conscious customers looking to make a positive change. Sustainable fashion is better for the earth, the people, animals and in the long run our bank account.”
The Sustain Sister brand offers a unique alternative to fast fashion retail, allowing for both eco-friendly purchases as well as waste-limiting vintage rentals. And that is the new kind of fashion we all need.