This week it’s time for an interview with Sara from Palanta. Palanta is an online platform for renting clothes. This way you do not have to buy clothes for a special occasion or for example maternity clothing. If you still want to buy the clothes afterwards, that is also possible. Because durable clothes are often more expensive, this is a perfect solution. You can think longer about your purchase and try it on a few times.
First of all, how are you?
All is great, now I’m abroad, visiting my family, but still working as Palanta is 1 year old in September and we are creating something new and exciting to celebrate it!
Could you tell us what is it that you do?
At Palanta I’m mostly working with the brands, managing the orders, website and logistics, plus keeping in touch with the investors. Put it in another way, I’m on a mission to offer a sustainable alternative to fast fashion and the current fashion industry by offering fashion rental subscriptions and inspiring people to live and dress more consciously.
How did Palanta start?
I started working on Palanta in January 2019.
My journey with sustainability started in 2018 with this story:
When I was packing for my 7 month stay in the UK back in 2018, I posted an Instagram story asking: “Will my clothes fit in the suitcase?”. There was no question, I had to leave most of my dresses behind.
I was looking at my wardrobe and started thinking – “Do I really need this much clothing if I cannot even take it with me?”. I thought I was a responsible fashion consumer, but this situation opened my eyes. I decided to challenge myself to become more conscious of my clothing habits.
With a blank page in a new country, I dived into the bizarre and shocking world of fast fashion and clothing waste.
The first article that caught my attention, featured Burberry, a British luxury brand: “Burberry has destroyed more than £28m of its fashion and cosmetic products”. This article made me realize even more that I wanted to make a change in today’s fashion industry.
From that moment, I worked on educating myself on the topics of sustainable production and fashion waste. I also adopted a minimalist way of thinking, driven by less is more. I learned a lot from eco-bloggers, vloggers and from documentaries on Netflix such as The True Cost.
What started with a one-suitcase-wardrobe challenge, grew into an ambition for a healthier fashion industry and planet. It was time to take action! With the inspiration from the minimalist filmmaker, YouTuber, Matt D’Avella’s documentary, Minimalism – I decided that I wanted to connect this vision with slow fashion and sustainability.
“If I’m traveling somewhere that’s cold, maybe I’ll buy a second-hand jacket or maybe I’ll rent one. I don’t know if that’s possible. Can you rent jackets? I’ll find out.”Matt D’Avella
And so PALANTA was born, just like planting a seedling, an idea and concept dedicated to renting out sustainable and ethically made clothing. As an answer to over-consumerism and fashion waste in the clothing industry, driven by an ambition to contribute to a healthier planet.
Could you tell us a little bit more about how it works?
PALANTA for the community:
Rent.Love.Return. Renters can choose as many clothes as they want via our website, and they can subscribe to those chosen items and they can keep them as long as they want, they pay per month or per 2 weeks for women and maternity items. After they decide to send back the items, we do a quality check and prepare it for the next renter. People can also purchase the rented items with a discount via Palanta. We support the brands with each rental and purchase made through us.
Visit our events: The community can join our events listed on the platform and learn, meet and relax during that time. (yoga, mediation, mindfulness ceramic workshop. We will organise clothing swaps, upcycling and sewing workshops and educational talks.)
What kind of clothes do you rent out?
We are here to support people shifting to a no-ownership mindset and a more circular wardrobe. We believe for this our daily wear collection is a way. We have a women’s, maternity and baby collection. We provide our community with this rental tool, but we think it is also important to educate and engage them with other circular methods – such as our recycling, upcycling workshops and educational talks.
What do you want to achieve with Palanta?
Our goal is to be the most circular and sustainable company in the fashion industry in Europe. We aim to help sustainable brands gain bigger attention and help them reach more conscious consumers. In the long term, our goal is to re-educate the fashion industry and minimize fashion waste.
We have a holistic approach to help customers take the next step towards a sustainable lifestyle. We organize mindfulness workshops and eco-events where the community can join and meet like-minded people. We will organize mindfulness workshops such as yoga, meditation, stress release ceramics, and moreover educational workshops about circularity, slow fashion.
Renting our daily clothes is a huge decision to make. By finding mindful moments and being in peace with your inner self, you will have space for new adventures, more conscious ways of living and dressing up.
What do you like the most about being an entrepreneur?
I feel lucky to work on my own startup and fulfil my passion. I feel I learn new things every day that make me a better person and a better professional. Even if it’s a mistake I need to correct or a pleasure I can celebrate with our Palanta team.
What is the hardest part of being an entrepreneur?
For me, the biggest challenge was to accept that there is no 100% sustainability. I used to feel bad seeing influencers collecting their trash in small jars while I was so far from that. I decided to be 100% transparent as the founder of PALANTA. I am talking to real women, real mothers who make and will make non-sustainable choices, but I want them to know these are not mistakes. I would like to show them to appreciate each step they make towards being more sustainable.
I started PALANTA alone, but this does not mean I was lonely I have and had wonderful supporters and volunteers along the way and the more I talk about the more positive feedback I get from brands, the community, even strangers via socials. And Since November 2020, I am working with a great team to make Palanta stronger.
Another challenge for me was to accept and believe in myself and that being a foreigner I have respect and influence and I can create something meaningful in this beautiful country.
How is it like to have your own webshop during this pandemic?
A rollercoaster haha! We launched in the middle of the pandemic, September 2020, we had a great experience with our early adaptors, each renter had nice feedback that we could learn from. We made some changes in January and since April, rentals were growing. Our community is growing, and we aim to organize more and more events in the future as well.
What does sustainability mean for Palanta?
For us, sustainable fashion is not just about the sustainable and ethical production and marketing of products, but conscious end-user thinking that determines our shopping habits, how we care about our clothes and our future decisions.
We have some requirements for brands with who we work. They must be transparent about their production and sourcing. Pay fair wages, know #WhoMadeMyClothes and use sustainable or re/upcycled materials. Design high-quality and evergreen pieces with sophisticated or extravagant patterns & colours so we can offer quality pieces for renters to spice up their wardrobes and try our new styles or simply use PALANTA as an addition to their existing wardrobe. We love brands and clothes coming with a story.
I had zoom interviews with the founders and plan to visit their production sites as soon as we can travel again safely.
We aim to be circular with our compostable shipping mailers – that renters can use for returns – and after that, we compost them in the city gardens.
For cleaning, we use eco-friendly detergents and if there are stains, we take them to a wet-cleaner – there is a great one in The Hague that use eco-friendly detergents as well.
What can we expect from Palanta in the upcoming years?
I believe that with our support more people can take a step towards a sustainable life and conscious wardrobe.
PALANTA’s mission is bigger than online eco-friendly fashion rental only. We also educate our users about the ugly truth behind fast fashion and stimulate them to take a step towards green fashion: a conscious wardrobe focussed on sustainable production, organic materials and improved working conditions. We strive to disrupt fashion consumerism. Not only by offering a green fashion rental alternative but also by organizing eco-events, mindful workshops and educational talks. Because we know our clothing habits today have an impact on our children’s tomorrow.We also focus on ethical brands. PALANTA supports transparent and sustainable brands by renting their items and marketing them. As these brands are usually so small, but their items can cost more, they are struggling to survive. With useful insights from, they can develop their products much faster than with the usual buying models.
In the future: After gaining strength in The Netherlands, We would like to expand to more EU countries. I already received applications from Spain, Sweden and Hungary, but for now, we are 100% focused on the Netherlands launch.
We aim to have more and more physical locations, more brands on the website and events for our growing community.
Are you curious about the clothes you can rent on Palanta? Or are you looking for a nice outfit for a special occasion? Take a look at the website www.palanta.co
Would you like to do an interview with us? Or do you have suggestions which entrepreneurs we could interview? Let us know in the comments below, send us an e-mail or leave a message on our socials.