Rental clothing is a movement that fights against rapid fashion and consumption
Turkiye’s first and largest rental platform, DCEY, was founded in 2010 by twin sisters Eda Francı and Seda Aksoy who are designers as well. In an interview with Fibre2Fashion, the founders, who have launched their venture in the UK, talk about their venture, renting process and share some styling tips.
Fibre2Fashion: What does the name suggest "DCEY"?
Eda Franci & Seda Aksoy:
Seda Aksoy :
DCEY is an abbreviation of Davet Cok Elbisem Yok, which means ‘many events but nothing to wear’. It is the actual definition of a situation that every woman comes across as a problem when there is an event. Since we are a brand which is enabling the women to find a dress to rent, spend less and have more options to select faster than buying a dress for an unexpected event, we chose to give this name.
F2F: What motivated you to start this venture of rental clothing?
Our mother, in particular, has influenced us to become interested in fashion. Since she was a young girl, she has enjoyed fashion, and she always wore clothes with taste and style.
The majority of people nowadays, for very understandable reasons, do not want to spend a lot of money on a dress that they do not think they will ever wear again but would like to wear to any event. Previously, it was very normal for us to borrow clothing and accessories from one another in order to expand our wardrobes and practice sustainable and cost-effective consumption.
The other big motivation was contributing to sustainability. It is a way of life that we should all prioritise in the new global order we inhabit in order to maintain the natural balance of the planet we call home. We, the DCEY founders, make an effort to uphold this ideal in our daily lives.
From a sectoral perspective, it is a movement that fights against rapid fashion and consumption to preserve sustainable fashion knowledge, advanced ecological integrity, and social justice.
Then, one day, we had the idea: why not turn it into the basis of a business model? The concept was resurrected, and from this, the first seeds of DCEY were planted. In 2010, we founded DCEY as the first business in Turkiye to enter the rental market, which had just recently been discussed and was not very widespread globally.
F2F: As a Twin sister duo, how do you strike a balance between your personal and professional lives?
Eda Francı :
Although we have always looked alike and attended the same school and home as children, as two sisters—and even as twins—we have always been very distinct from one another. However, as the company’s founders, we may have built the groundwork for DCEY’s current success with that distinction.Let’s look at the benefits of using both sides of the brain equally, which, in my opinion, apply to us in this situation.
Seda is a person of creativity. She unquestionably has a compelling and aesthetic viewpoint. She frequently travels since she is our creative director. We retain our trend dominance at its highest by taking part in fairs and academies overseas, which guarantees that we are accurately up to date on both the forthcoming and the present season.And me? The business brain is me. My interests are in strategy and numbers. I do make plans and count numbers.
However, this distinction serves as the ideal point of harmony and unification for us, and I believe that this is what makes us successful.
F2F: Can you please walk us through the entire process of renting from your venture?
Eda Francı :
Contrary to popular opinion, renting a dress is considerably more convenient and quicker than purchasing one. By selecting your own size, you can filter the stocks of the brands in our product range that you are most interested in, or all the brands we carry. You can save time in this way, which is really alluring to those of us who lead fast lives. If you are unsure about the size you want for the rental, you may assure the process by checking the additional size box when placing your purchase. We provide you the option to rent an extra size if you are unsure about the size you ordered.
When you provide your rental date and event information for the item you want to order, you can complete the procedure very practically with online payment alternatives after selecting the dress and size. After the product has been sterilized and subjected to the necessary checks, the remaining step is shipping the product. One or two days prior to the event, you will receive the delivery of the item you have hired. Within a specific time range after the dresses have been worn, we anticipate that the customers will ship the items in the identical packing they received them in. The item must be delivered to the courier on the day following the event because the rental duration also includes the shipment time.
Once we receive, professional teams clean the garments by putting them through an organic dry-cleaning process. By doing this, we reactivate the product on our system so that it can be shipped to further consumers in good shape. It’s that simple!
F2F: How did you manage to contact and deliver clients at the time of the pandemic and what innovative approaches were undertaken?
Eda Francı :
The pandemic did not have very positive results for any sector and company, of course, it was inevitable that companies that cater to events and special days like us would be affected by this. But on the other hand, our products, which attracted attention in this period when people were visiting each other at their homes, were mostly from categories such as promise and engagement dresses. In addition, our products for sale were also among our popular products.
We spent this process focusing on the investments we will make in the new season. By keeping our investments small for this period, we have developed strategies that we focus on for the coming seasons.
We were operating remotely throughout this time while our physical store was fully shuttered. As usual, we use our established network of couriers to deliver our goods. For the delivery, we made the best use possible of hygiene equipment like sanitizers, masks, and gloves.
F2F: What happens if the rented outfit gets damaged?
Eda Francı :
All of our dresses are insured; the insurance covers damage to clothing, tears, burns, and spills. However, deformations such as damage, burns, loss, and tearing of the products you have rented within the scope of Luxury retail are not covered by insurance but are provided by the customer.
In addition, we are developing a guide regarding the use of the products we send and the precautions to be taken to prevent them from being damaged, to create a more sustainable shopping approach, which we put at the centre of our company and operating policy.
F2F: Since Your designs are also available on the website, how would you define the aesthetic and vibe of your collection?
Seda Aksoy :
At DCEY, you can see that our product selection is fairly broad-based, when you look at our own products and brands that we manage—both the leasing and production processes. We reflect a vibe that concentrates on items that allow women who prefer our brand to continue to embody the DCEY inspiration and energy and to show their unique sparkle every day, no matter whether it’s an exceptional or a casual day. Our aesthetic is not centred on a particular brand or style, but instead consists of chic items that women who wish to capture a vintage and enchanted ambiance will like—whether they are feminine or masculine, modern or more alternative in style.
F2F: What are your thoughts on the overall rental market? Is it competitive? And what are the setbacks of this market?
Eda Francı :
Clothing rental platforms are a new business model for the fashion industry, driven by consumer demand for the newest styles, a dearth of reasonably priced designer clothing, and a shift in consumer buying habits towards more environmentally friendly purchases. The worldwide garment rental market is predicted to grow to a value of more than $2 billion by 2025, revolutionising how people now consume fashion. So yes, it is competitive and requires staying innovative and developing new strategies day by day. You should consider the basis of your customer target since it’s the base of the strategy you will create to differ from the stakeholders/ competitors.
But it is clear that there are a lot of unintended consequences that also have an impact on the environment, like the price of shipping and packaging. Transporting the clothing back and forth between the warehouse and the renter is a significant part of renting. The environment is also harmed by dry cleaning. There are things that can be done better, like using recycling bags and creating new rules for using the products in a healthy way. Even then, it’s undeniably more environmentally friendly than fast fashion.
F2F: Can you suggest five trendy styling tips every fashion enthusiast should follow?
Seda Aksoy :
First things first, a fashion enthusiast should decide his/her style (whether boho-chic, whether smart casual, etc) and he/she must build their looks around that vibe. As we call DCEY a timeless brand, we suggest every fashion enthusiast should have at least 1 linen pair of pants, 1 black combing dress, and a pair of low-heeled heels and the rest will be ok with accessories for sure!