The secrets of fashion? Coucou's founders, Marie and Isabelle, know all about it! In this manifesto, they explain why their responsible fashion project is so important and why they are raising funds now. We will let them have their say.
Our mission if you accept it: to help you consume fashion differently.
Because for us, stylish and sustainable can fit in the same sentence. Without breaking the seams of our wallet in the process.
Aaaahh clothes. It may seem a bit futile as a subject, but if we all walked around naked, it would be a bit awkward... Besides this primary need, it is also a powerful means of expression and creativity on which we do not want to miss out (and we know we are not the only ones).
Except that the textile production is a real bad guy on an environmental level. It's ugly, but it's a fact*:
-Fashion is the second most polluting industry, just after oil.
-It is responsible for 10% of C02 emissions in the world. Twice as much as is generated by the shipping and air transport industry!
-It takes 10,000 liters of water to produce 1kg of cotton, which will then travel thousands of kilometers to reach us (60,000km on average for a pair of jeans)
-Drawn into the fashion race, ⅔ ready-to-wear companies produce 4 to 10 collections per year, while we only wear 60% of the clothes in our wardrobe.
-Result: half of our wardrobe ends in the bin within 3 years. And we’re not even talking about the quantities thrown in the junkyard or burned directly by the brands.
Fortunately things are moving and sustainable and responsible brands are multiplying.
But if it makes sense to invest the right price for a pair of durable and well cut jeans that you'll wear again and again, it makes less sense to invest the same amount of money in a dress that you'll only wear once.
However, we don't want to stop enjoying ourselves. It's like being on a diet. If we deny us everything, we will automatically end up in an orgy of cupcakes which will mess up all our efforts (and by cupcakes we mean the big bad fast fashion).
And it's not because we're paying attention to our ecological footprint that we have to deprive ourselves of the extra self-confidence of a look that fits us like a glove.
It's for all these reasons that we created Coucou: an unlimited dressing room where you can find a stylish outfit for all your events.
In concrete terms, what do we offer?
An easy, economical, ecological and transparent combo. All spiced up with fun and style:
-The rental of outfits: we’re reducing the environmental impact of each dress by having it worn by the community, which allows you to change your look at each party (and at the same time, dare THE dress) without feeling guilty: for each dress rented, it’s about 10 kg of CO2 saved.
-The sale of jewelry, accessories and cosmetics from great little designers with mega cool values, to complete your fashion look in a sustainable way. We take the time to choose them with love to offer you a dingo selection!
-Advice to get started on this great adventure: in the showroom thanks to our lookeuses who will know how to find you the perfect outfit for every occasion, and on our website with ethical labels on all our items, and soon style tips.
Dont stop me now
Renting by principle, it's more ecological (it's called the economy of functionality, a bit of doc here). But at Coucou we decided to go one step further to build up our stock of rental clothes and accessories:
-Rather than buying collections directly from retailers, we source almost exclusively from second hand. It takes us longer, but it's more eco-friendly, and it also allows us to adapt more quickly to your desires (no need to order collections months in advance)
-During its second life in rental, we pamper our clothes a max to keep them looking their best. Our nuggets are cleaned if possible with water (at low temperature of course) or if essential by an ecological dry cleaner. In case of damage, they are repaired by our fairy-fingered seamstress, or even modified to further extend their life.
-Once they have done their time in rental, they are resold during our destocking. This way you give them a third new life. Parts that are too damaged are upcycled for our repairs, or given to associations (but to tell you the truth, we almost don't have any!)
A detail for you? Not at all! Extending the life of a garment by just one year reduces its environmental impact by 25%! That is to say less carbon emissions, waste and water pollution.
And yes, we're not going to hide from you that we don't grow at the same pace as in Silicon Valley (even if we also started in a basement like Steve J.), but that's ok.
Because if our goal was to make a lot of money very quickly, we would have developed an app instead of going into the circular economy.
What drives us is to see the stars in your eyes when you find the dress that will make you feel great, but also to be able to look our children in the eyes when they ask us what we were doing in 2021 to save the planet.
We are working on the creation of a new consumption model (yes, really, no more modesty here).
A model that is not linked to seasons, collections, overproduction, sales, unsold items. A model based on needs and desires. A moderate and thoughtful supply. A model that allows for adaptation, not a big machine that can't turn around. But also a model that is transparent to everyone. No excessive margins, no hidden costs, no false ideas. Our partners reflect this: almost all of them are craftsmen and -women.
We also aim for an easy and convenient way of consumption. We already spend our time running against the clock, so we want to offer a service that simplifies life: come and be pampered at Coucou, know what you're buying, with a simple and friendly contact. Save time and money.
So as we said, we started slowly, with the means at hand and the carelessness of ignorance. And it paid off, because very quickly you came in droves. We worked like crazy to get to this point and we're not a little proud of the result (although it's not as if 2020 hadn't put obstacles in our way).
And today we want to take this beautiful project a step further and with you. To continue playing in the big league, together. Reaching a bigger size (for the company, not for your dress) is our chance to put the fashion industry back on the right track.
That's why we're raising funds and why we're asking you to become a shareholder of Coucou!
And to accompany us, we chose LITA because... it's the only impact investing platform in Belgium and it fits our values.
The package we offer you:
-A ticket on board the locomotive to support our company and be part of it
-To become a shareholder of a beautiful fashion company that is growing (see investment file), and this from 100 € because we want everyone to be able to participate.
-To reduce your taxes by 45% of the amount you invest, yes yes, thanks to the tax-shelter
-To give your opinion, if you wish, during our GMs, or more if you wish
-A report on our development that will be made by LITA just for you during the whole duration of your investment.
What will we do with these new means:
-Create an online catalog where you can see all our rental items (with beautiful photos, accurate descriptions and tips to help you choose) and book your rentals
-Continue to develop our e-shop
-Digitize the in-store customer journey to make it easier to make appointments, check availability, confirm and remind you of bookings, exchange, etc.
-Work on better sourcing to meet your wildest desires
-Implementing the delivery of rentals throughout Belgium
-Find eco responsible packaging
-Continue to be able to offer you even easier schedules (evenings, weekends)
All this to develop a service that is easier to use, that better meets your needs. Yes, consuming responsibly can also rhyme with ease, modernity and speed.