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Could Fjong do to your wardrobe what Spotify did to your music collection?

Is clothing rental the fashion industry’s version of movie and music streaming? A new research project under the Centre for Sustainability and Energy looks into consumer attitudes and preferences towards renting, rather than owning your clothes.

2 October 2020

Norwegians have a lot of clothes, each of us having about 175 pounds worth. We throw away almost double what we did 15 years ago. The average person has 359 different items in their wardrobe. Twenty percent of these are unused. FJONG is a clothing rental service platform with the goal of reducing people’s environmental footprint caused by clothing consumption, while still offer clothing-variety. The company enables consumers to seamlessly share their wardrobes and subscribe to outfits. FJONG’s offered outfits are owned by their customers, business lenders and brand partners. Every time an item is rented out the owner receives a share of the revenue. FJONG offers both “one-off” rentals and a clothing subscription service. Subscriptions allows users to receive a dispatch of clothing for rent, keep the items for a specific period of time, and hand them back for cleaning and further redistribution.

In a cooperation between FJONG and BI Norwegian Business School, the research project will investigate whether Norwegian consumers are willing to rent more of their clothing, rather than buying new. It will seek to better grasp the potential of the Sharing Economy within fashion retail and identify key physical and mental drivers and barriers to having a ‘shared wardrobe’. It will try to answer the question: What would it take for everyone to view clothing as a service?

BI is responsible for the work package on consumer attitudes and preferences and the research group starts by performing focus groups with sub-sets of Norwegian women, before developing a national survey administered to the broader population. The survey is expected to answer key questions, such as what are Norwegian’s attitudes to renting, rather than owning, how is the experience of renting online, and what is the average consumer willing to pay to get clothing as a service. The survey is set to go out in November, with results expected to be ready by January 2021.

For more information of the project, contact project leader Per Espen Stoknes (per.e.stoknes@bi.no) or research assistant Olav Soldal (olav.b.soldal@bi.no).