The idea for Clothify struck Kian Sadeghi (C‘22) last March when a friend asked him to borrow his pajama pants. “So I give them to him and then the next day he returns them washed and folded, and I think, 'Why don’t I start borrowing out my clothes to people?'” Kian recounts. “And then I started wondering, 'Why don’t we all start lending our clothes to each other?'”
We all have those moments where we look into our closets and realize that we don’t have the appropriate attire for a certain event, before frantically knocking on a hallmate's doors or shooting urgent texts into crowded group chats. To combat this inconvenience, Penn students Sadeghi and Julie Lee (E‘22) launched Clothify: a convenient clothing rental service for the Penn community that's both economically and environmentally friendly.
Since its Sept. 1 launch, Clothify has provided a marketplace for Penn students to lend and borrow clothing items. From dresses to jackets to shoes, if you’ve got it, you can lease it. And when you find yourself short a certain clothing item, check Clothify to borrow it from someone here on campus. In Kian’s words, “Clothify takes something that already exists and streamlines it, makes it more efficient, and allows you to make money off of it.”
What makes Clothify so unique is that it was created by and for members of the Penn community. “We use our experience and our friends’ experiences and our friends’ friends’ experiences to inform everything that Clothify does,” Kian notes. And with no minimum fees, no subscription fees, no delivery fees, and a commission fee of only 7%, Clothify is suited for everyone. As Kian says, “It’s cheaper than any other option you can possibly think of.”
But Clothify's goals extend beyond just providing affordable clothing rental options for its users. In the era of fast fashion, sustainability is one of the pillars of Clothify’s mission. “Julie and I both believe that instead of encouraging [fast fashion] retailers to continuously make an excess of clothes by buying from them, we should use what we already have,” Kian explains.
On the website, you can search for an article of clothing, and filter the results by the item's size, price point, or location. For example, if you live in Harnwell College House, you can use the location feature to search for clothes to rent right in your building and pick them up without even stepping outside. “Literally speaking,” Kian says, “the college house becomes your closet.”
You can offer up your own clothes by going to the upper right–hand corner of the home page and selecting, “Post a new listing.” From there, type in the name of the item, list your location, set a price for rental by day or night, and upload pictures. "There’s also a place where lenders can block out dates,” Julie notes. “Say I’m putting my shirt up on the website but I know that I need it for this weekend. On the website I can block off those days.”
Clothify takes measures to ensure the quality of the rental experience for all parties involved even after the exchange takes place. “Regarding cleaning and stuff, we leave that up to the borrower and lender,” Kian says. Clothify also uses a mutual review and rating system. “We want to make sure that all lenders are trustworthy and that all borrowers are trustworthy," Kian adds.
Kian and Julie hope to ultimately expand Clothify’s reach to other universities in the Philadelphia area and to add features that allow users to rent clothes directly from retailers near campus like Lululemon, Urban Outfitters, and United By Blue. But, in the meantime, Clothify’s founders are focused on getting as many Penn students lending and borrowing on the site as possible. “I think that Clothify can become something very important,” Kian says, “I think it could literally change the way we consume clothes at Penn.”