Making Style Sustainable – the Stirling Business Providing an Ethical Fashion Fix

Nov 2, 2021

  • Globally, the fashion industry is responsible for 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions
  • In 2020, the UK was named fourth largest textile waste producer in Europe
  • Sioda tackles the carbon emissions and waste of the fashion industry by offering a subscription service to rent stylish clothes

A keen eye for quality second-hand fashion and a passion for the environment has led to a Stirling duo launching an innovative ethical sustainable clothing business. Sioda, which means silk in Gaelic, is the first Scottish business to provide a monthly subscription service where women can rent stylish high-end daywear and occasion-wear. Clothing from classic design labels such as Reiss, Whistles, French Connection and Coast are available for a monthly fee.

A throwaway fast fashion culture means that the global fashion industry emits more carbon than all international flights and maritime shipping combined. Sioda founders Naomi Ross and Alex McKenna love fashion and wanted a way to tackle this throwaway culture. They spotted a gap in the market for women who want to be fashionable and shop ethically but are too busy to source quality, second-hand pieces themselves.

By offering a subscription clothing rental service, Sioda customers get their fashion fix in a cost-effective, sustainable, and ethical way. Women of all shapes and sizes can still look and feel fantastic by renting stunning key wardrobe pieces. Sioda is proud to be leading the drive to change how we shop and help reduce the number of items going to landfill each year.

Customers can also be confident in Sioda’s overall green credentials. Returned worn items are cleaned with a steam closet care system (certified against COVID), using environmentally friendly products. Everything from the packaging to the bank they use has been carefully considered by the Sioda team.

Naomi and Alex are already looking ahead to how they can use profits from the business to start a foundation focussing on social justice and ethical causes. They are also investigating how damaged returned items can be reused positively in other ways.

The business has gone from strength-to-strength. It has attracted support from Women’s Enterprise Scotland through their mentoring programme, and Royal Bank of Scotland who contributed £5K to their start-up crowdfunder.

Sioda has also been recognised for its focus on sustainability. It won a Good Practice Award at the 2021 VIBES – Scottish Environment Business Awards in recognition of their sustainable business model. It has also been certified by The Good Business Charter which recognises responsible business practices.

To find out more and to have a look at their collection, visit their website.

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