London’s fashion rental marketplace HURR has raised $5.4 million in a seed funding round. Taking the fashion industry head-on, HURR offers savvy consumers a circular economy approach, providing peer-to-peer fashion rentals, direct partnerships with more than 85 fashion partners, and a white-label service, which was most recently adopted by major UK retailer Selfridges. The seed funding is expected to thread the needle on further proprietary technology advancements, expansion of its white-label partners, and community development.
With the UK receiving the dubious honour of being the fourth-largest producer of textile waste in Europe, it should go without saying that the status quo has no chance of a sustainable future. Of 15 European countries surveyed, almost a quarter (24,3%) of all textile waste is incinerated in a CO²-intensive process, and more than half (57,1%) of fashion waste ends up in landfills.
HURR founder Victoria Prew recognised the need for an alternative route. “I am absolutely convinced that the future of fashion is circular, and we are proud to be at the forefront of this accelerating consumer shift. In the UK alone, customers spend £2.7 billion on outfits they wear just once while more than $400 billion of clothing is discarded across the globe each year - another shocking statistic,” she explains. “As a millennial, I’m part of a generation that loves shared ownership. We’ve all witnessed the rise of disruptive tech-first businesses such as Airbnb and Uber and if we can rent our houses and cars, why not our wardrobes?”
HURR’s $5.4 million seed funding round was led by circular economy specialist Octopus Ventures, previous backers of peer-to-peer resale platform Depop (acquired by Etsy for $1.6 billion), and saw participation from D4 Ventures and Ascension, among other undisclosed investors.
“HURR is perfectly placed to capitalise on the shift towards new models of ownership and spearhead the transition to a more climate-friendly fashion industry. By operating the critical logistics functions needed for rental, it is able to provide a full-stack rental solution to existing brands, which in turn feeds the HURR platform with amazing breadth and depth of supply,” commented Octopus Ventures’ Matt Chandler. “We see a huge opportunity for scale and are excited to leverage our experience working with Depop as we partner with Victoria and her team.”