Eco Buzz | Clothes-Renting App GlamCorner Raises $4.2 million, Costa Rica Smashes Sustainability Records

Eco Buzz | Clothes-Renting App GlamCorner Raises $4.2 million, Costa Rica Smashes Sustainability Records

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Fashion-Sharing App GlamCorner Raises $4.2 million

Australian fashion-sharing app GlamCorner has raised $4.2 million in its latest funding round, led by third-time investor AirTree Ventures, who – according to Fairfax – have already sunk $500,000 into the start-up in 2015 and a further $800,000 in 2016.

The GlamCorner app was founded by Sydney-based husband and wife team Dean Jones and Audrey Khaing-Jones in 2012. The app allows users to rent designer garments for 10-15 percent of the cost of purchasing those clothes off the rack – saving a user hundreds if not thousands of dollars a year.

“We’re providing a platform that allows women to consume fashion in a different way, and what we believe is a better way,” Jones tells StartupSmart.

The clothes sharing economy has taken off globally with US-based Rent the Runway already proving the idea a profitable one; and who were also successful in raising $US60 million in Series E funding last year.

Jones says the rise of the sharing economy has meant an “increasing proportion” of women are looking to rent instead of buy one-off special occasion wear. He beliefs that GlamCorner has a competitive advantage in that it has a “significantly larger” volume of inventory compared with other dress-sharing apps.

GlamCorner Clothes Renting App

GlamCorner Dress-Renting App

GlamCorner’s funding round also attracted first-time investors such as Sass & Bide co-founder Sarah-Jane Clarke and Silicon Valley-based venture capitalists, Partners for Growth.

In his interview, Jones shares how the company has grown 500 percent in revenue in the last year and boasts a customer base that is “in the tens of thousands”. He explains that they will use its latest funding to “give a greater level of scale to the already successful formula”, which includes expanding inventory and investing in distribution, logistics, technology and fast delivery.

The company employs 40 people and according to its co-founder, has processed the retail equivalent value of $20 million in designer fashions saving tonnes of clothing waste. “Given Australian consumers send six tonnes of clothing to landfills every ten minutes, sharing clothing alleviates environmental impact significantly by allowing many different women to share the same item.

Related Post: War On Waste TV Series Encourages Australians to Get Serious About Reducing Waste

“Collaborative consumption is not just about being great for people’s back pocket, but also great for the planet and society.”

Australia’s women’s apparel market is valued at $9 billion. Should GlamCorner secure a piece of the market, it could make its investors a tidy sum. – Jennifer Nini

Costa Rica Reaches New Heights in Sustainability

If there were any doubts before about Costa Rica as a global leader in sustainable practices, its achievements in the first half of 2017 will do away with them.

This month, the country reached a new record in clean energy production, with 99 percent of its electricity coming from renewable sources, according to data from theNational Energy Control Center (CENCE). Its previous record was 93 percent.

In the last 30 years, renewable sources such as wind, geothermal, solar and hydroelectric have been responsible for production of more than 90 percent of Costa Rica’s energy. With a goal to be the first carbon-neutral country in the world by 2021, it is clear that Costa Rica has an unshakable commitment to sustainability.

Manuel Antonio Beach, Quepos, Costa Rica. Photo by Maximilien T'Scharner on Unsplash
Manuel Antonio Beach, Quepos, Costa Rica. Photo by Maximilien T’Scharner

Another sustainability milestone was achieved in June, when UNESCO declared Costa Rica’s Savegre River a “Biosphere Reserve”. Biosphere reserves are specially designated areas for sustainable development that reconcile the conservation of biodiversity with the proper use of natural resources. As explained on the UNESCO website:

Biosphere reserves are ‘Science for Sustainability support sites’ – special places for testing interdisciplinary approaches to understanding and managing changes and interactions between social and ecological systems, including conflict prevention and management of biodiversity.

Costa Rica already has four reserves protected under UNESCO.

The country is situated between Nicaragua and Panama, and is a pioneer in eco-tourism, offering tourists an abundance of wildlife, landscapes and climates. Costa Rica is home to approximately five percent of the known biodiversity in the world. The Savegre River particularly stands out for its great biodiversity. The territory also includes seven protected wilderness areas including Manuel Antonio National Park, Hacienda Barú Mixed Wildlife Refuge, Los Santos Forest Reserve and Quetzales National Park.

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