How it all started
Clothes hire isn’t something people generally think about beyond the odd item for a special occasion – and even then it’s usually for men, like a tux or kilt for a wedding. So when they first hear about Sioda, many people ask me how I came up with the idea. Here’s the roundabout answer…
DIFFICULT THINGS COME IN SMALL PACKAGES
People also tell me how small I am A LOT! And they’re not wrong. At 4′ 11″, even petite clothes are often too big. And whilst the obvious advantage is that kids clothes (which are cheaper) will fit me, I haven’t found a kidswear brand yet that sells fitted frocks, stylish suits or tailored trench coats. Not only does this drive me crazy, it’s something I know affects lots of people my size. It also makes using charity shops, swap shops etc. much harder and, whilst I always loved the idea of peer to peer lending, it just wasn’t something I could take advantage of.
Setting up my own petite ones in the small town I live in just wouldn’t work either. So for ages, I stewed over the fact other people could share clothes and I couldn’t. Humph!
EBAY – MY BEST FRIEND
I soon realised eBay was the best place for me to get what I needed, because it gave me access to literally millions of clothes. Eventually, this became the only way I would shop, and it branched out to everything I needed, from my laptop, to my toaster, my reusable cup and my luxury toiletries – always pre-owned, often never used.
I realised I had a talent for finding incredible things at a low price and wanted to share this with the world.
GUILTY PLEASURES – STRICTLY COME DANCING
Everyone who knows me knows I’m something of a tree hugger. But I’ve also always loved fashion, cosmetics and glamour, and battle with my enjoyment of these vs the damage overconsumption can do. My love of fashion is also why I can’t get enough of Strictly Come Dancing (OMG, the sparkles!!). And thank god I allow this guilty pleasure, because this is where the idea of Sioda was really born.
I remember Stacey Dooley hitting our screens in 2018 and having no idea who she was. A cou-ple of months later, the BBC aired her documentary Fashion’s Dirty Secrets and I watched the general public go mental as they realised what damage fast fashion was doing. But interestingly, folk still kept shopping.
WHAT’S THE ALTERNATIVE?
I came to realise that most people carried on because no one was offering a realistic alternative. Sustainable fashion brands are still wildly expensive compared to budget retailers. Most folk don’t trust the quality of things they’re looking at on eBay and few can be bothered trawling second hand shops on the off chance of finding a hidden gem. Plus, the very few womenswear rental companies which are out there focus on occasionwear and/or are still too expensive. However, we all still crave the high of a regular fresh new look – those who can resist this feeling are few and far between, let’s face it! So what’s a girl to do?
This is when I realised there was a gap in the market, that I was uniquely placed to fill. Low price high quality womenswear on an affordable rotational basis was a service I would make mainstream through Sioda.
Sioda will filter the cream of the pre-owned crop, run strict quality control checks on everything we find, and offer up to you and our other customers exactly what you want at the click of a button. We’ll also share with you amazing new lines from some of the UK’s most talented up and coming ethical designers, so you can try these out alongside household name brands. And because we want to keep you coming back month after month, we’ll deliver you attentive customer service, working to bring in lines which most fit with what you want, so you truly look and feel your best in everything we send you.