Investigating How the Sharing Economy Works in Fashion: Leininkilainaamo Dress Rental

Smitten with Ivana Helsinki’s new dress rental Leininkilainaamo, we reached out to Pirjo Suhonen to enquire about the concept, and to pick her brain about how the fashion industry can respond to the minimalist movement.

Words: Meri Frig

  Image: Leininkilainaamo

Image: Leininkilainaamo

Can you tell us about the Leininkilainaamo dress rental in short?

Leininkilainaamo responds to the demand for sharing economy and circular economy. Customers can take part in a low involvement manner, since there is no registration required, nor any mandatory club membership. Simply, the idea is that you can rent unique dresses for a period of two weeks, for the price of 25 euros. Leininkilainaamo exemplifies what the sharing economy means in fashion. People may not always want to wear the same dress over and over again, but also can’t afford to always buy a new one for each occasion. And people don’t also want to support the throwaway culture. 

What initially sparked the idea?

For a long time now, we have discussed what the recent trends, such as minimalism, or the KonMari movement, mean in fashion. Ivana Helsinki dresses are must-have pieces: once you get one, you can wear it for thirty years. Yet we may want to wear something different and new, something more exciting, for example, for a big event, such as a wedding or a launch party.

"People may not always want to wear the same dress over and over again, but also can’t afford to always buy a new one for each occasion."

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Sharing Economy: Leininkilainaamo Dress Rental in Helsinki

What styles of dresses do you rent out? What kinds of occasions are they for?

There are many different ones, ranging from ones in black lace to those with Moomin prints. In general, the dresses are a little bit fancier and more noticeable statement pieces. They are also versatile, great for different purposes: whether you want to impress someone special on your first date, or want to wear something eye-catching for a party.

The collection includes eighty dresses, but we also update and complement the collection continuously. It includes some treasures that we have saved from runways and collection launches, and we also produced new ones for this purpose only. The sizes range from 34 to 46.

Do you feel that the time is right for the concept: are consumers now more open to renting outfits today?

Yes, definitely. I think fifteen years ago this idea would have seemed foreign. Today, people are used to renting their homes on Airbnb, sharing taxis, or having rented art on their walls, and hence, people have become very used to this idea of renting. Many people today feel anxious about having too much stuff and have started to appreciate simplicity: having only the very dearest items at home. At the same time, we do like to enjoy and find pleasure in such special activities, as dressing up.

Ivana Helsinki flagship store, Uudenmaankatu 15, Helsinki