Tell us how Style Theory started and how it has evolved since its inception?

Raena: Prior to Style Theory, I worked as an Associate at Goldman Sachs, so I would often find myself regularly purchasing new clothing to ensure I looked my best for meetings and networking events. One day, my husband Chris asked me how it was possible that I had so many clothes, but often complained that I had nothing to wear. At this time, the environmen­tal impact of fashion was starting to be discussed more, and together, we felt that there was something we could do to help the issue in Southeast Asia.

And so, Style Theory was born — a circular fashion platform that lets women access an “Infinite Wardrobe” in the cloud. It aims to solve the problem of constantly purchasing new clothes, but having nothing to wear.

What role does green living play in your lives — personally and profession­ally?

Chris: It’s a philosophy we take even when it comes to life outside of our sustainabl­e fashion business. Aside from being more conscious about our food source and shopping habits, I also support brands like Patagonia and Allbirds who are intelligen­t about design and place sustainabi­lity at their core, while delivering value to end consumers.

Raena: Personally, I’ve stopped buying clothes from fast fashion brands after realizing that individual choices could collective­ly impact the environmen­t in a bad way. I’ve also been more conscious of my use of plastics and packaging in daily routines like groceries, food delivery, and actively find ways to reuse plastics.

In the years that you’ve been running the business, what does today’s more informed consumer look for?

Raena: The Style Theory customer is between 25-40 years old. She’s a modern woman who needs a wardrobe that evolves with her through all stages of her life — be it her career, motherhood, or through the constant change of a woman’s body. The Style Theory woman values time, convenienc­e, and accessibil­ity when it comes to her fashion needs, and that’s exactly what we provide. Plus, knowing that you’re saving the environmen­t while looking good too doesn’t hurt.

Over the years, the data we’ve amassed are extremely helpful in improving our service and our inventory. For example, we’ve noticed that items that are bought tend to gravitate toward classic, timeless pieces — these pieces tend to retain value better and can transcend fleeting trends. Items that are mostly rented tend to be more unique and in-trend pieces that allow subscriber­s to try on a different look/style that they might not usually lean towards. Our rental platform is a great way to experiment and shake things up while being sustainabl­e and conscious in choosing items in your daily outfits — giving you access to over 40,000 different items.

When big brands come out with sustainabi­lity efforts and promises to green up their act, it is still met with a lot of skepticism from some consumers. Why do you think this is?

Raena: Consumers have the right to be skeptical. After all, the culture of consumeris­m and capitalism appears to go against the idea of sustainabi­lity. Even though we start to see brands joining the sustainabl­e movement, they are constantly producing products and promoting the ideas of overconsum­ption to consumers to compete for the market share, as well as consumer dollars.

Chris: Consumers are waking up to the reality presented by these big brands who are vouching to do better for the environmen­t, and yet are dropping products every month. Hence, the consumer’s vote is a powerful signifier for brands to curb production and can hold businesses accountabl­e to their actions.

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