Tulerie Launch Press Release
Dare to Share: Tulerie Targets Premium Clothing Rental With a Bold New Platform
Startup Delivers a Social App for Women to Share Their Prized Garments & Extend Ownership Value
New York, NY, October 16, 2018 — Tulerie (tulerie.com) today officially emerged from beta testing to launch its innovative platformfor the simple, enjoyable rental of premium women’s wear between owners and short-term borrowers. Tulerie is the sharing economy extended to women’s style, with a high-end focus that sets it apart from competitors.
Two years ago and hungry to dig into a new startup venture, Merri Smith and Violet Gross turned to their top passion: fashion. In their long list of brainstormed concepts, clothing rental wasn’t high on the list…and yet it wouldn’t go away. The more they learned about fashion production (beyond Merri’s eight years in the fashion business), the more intrigued they became with a two-sided mission: 1) combat the “fast fashion,” wear-it-once-and-toss trend spurred by social media and low prices at fast fashion retailers and 2) give women access to the high-end garments that might lie outside their everyday budgets. By 2016, the concept that would become Tulerie had topped their list.
“Most people can buy a few key investment pieces, but then they turn to consignment shops for luxury brands,” says Merri. “And even through consignment, it’s still really expensive. You’re going to pay 60% of the retail value for used pieces. So, if you’re buying something that retails at $5,000, it's still going to be beyond most people’s reach. But if you’re able to borrow it for a temporary period, that experience suddenly becomes a lot more accessible.”
In late 2016, Merri and Violet hired developers they trusted and spent 2017 bringing Tulerie to life. Early 2018 saw the start of beta testing. Scores of users provided feedback. Fulfillment processes were fine-tuned. And now, Tulerie is ready for the national spotlight.
Users download the Tulerie app from the Apple Store. As Merri notes, “Our goal is not to have 100,000 users in the next year. Our focus is quality users who understand the special opportunity to closet share and, more importantly, respect the garments the same way the owner would. We vet each potential user via a brief interview process.”
Once approved, users can browse items by type, size, color, and designer, as if shopping on an e-commerce site. The app is fully integrated with shipping logistics and payment processing. Automated email reminders and push notifications keep both parties informed and on schedule. The integrated messenger feature makes conversations about fit a snap between owner and borrowers. Still, if there’s a problem with the garment upon receipt, borrowers have 24 hours to send it back for a refund.
After the transaction finishes, the borrower and owner leave reviews about their experience. Tulerie has a three-strikes policy for users who return late or otherwise abuse the platform’s rules, but Merri and Violet have seen very few issues.
A small part of the rental fee goes to Tulerie, but there are no other costs to participants. Unlike most competitors, Tulerie has no subscription tiers, club costs, or hidden fees.
Violet admits that the duo, like so many other women, loved to frequent fast fashion stores for one-time pieces. Then they learned what it takes to produce garments so cheaply and how toxic those clothes are to the environment after disposal.
“If you donate clothes to places like Goodwill, 80% of their items still end up in landfills,” says Violet. “They’re just throwing it in the trash, so you don’t have to. Of course, we know at some point, all clothes need to be disposed of, whether it’s quality or not. We just want people to do it the right way. That’s why we partnered with a company called RewearAble that collects any kind of textile and pulls the fabrics apart for recycling or reuse as garments or rags. Nothing they receive goes into landfills. We’re very proud to play a part in this reclamation.”
The company is now excited to start rounding out the Tulerie community and has some exciting new services waiting in the wings for late 2018, including same-day requests.
Tulerie takes the idea of sharing clothes and expands it beyond a woman’s inner circle. Formed by a highly curated community of women who believe in the craftsmanship of designer fashion, Tulerie members appreciate a current and stylish wardrobe but sympathize with the effects over-consumption has on our environment. This invitation-only program gives members the opportunity to expand their wardrobe by borrowing from other women. Conversely, owners can subsidize those special purchases by lending them to other members. Blending the best of AirBnB and Rent the Runway, Tulerie has created a unique business model for the socially conscious fashion enthusiast. Tulerie is live on the App Store. For more information, visit www.tulerie.com and follow @tulerie on Instagram.