May 21, 2022
Naomi Ross is the founding director of Green Tech Circular Economy startup Civada – Scotland’s first online clothing rental service.

As a nation of overworked people, the last thing many of us want to do with our free time is to research the sustainability and ethical credentials before we buy, looking for diamonds. Troubleshoot second hand shops on the spot, or withdraw extra cash. For eco-friendly brands.

So, to be able to relax on the couch at the end of a long day and browse the best expensive clothes of the brands whose quality we already know and trust, delivered them from our home and Collected, washed clothes for us – and better for the planet than to clutter your closets with even more new things – is an easy step towards climate action, I think. Most of us have a laid back attitude when it comes to painting a picture about ourselves.

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At Sioda, Scotland’s first clothing rental service that offers the highest quality clothing every day and on this occasion one-off or on a subscription basis, is exactly what we are offering: Sizes 4-24 Great rents from brands like Reiss, Whistles and Hobbs. With sustainability and ethics throughout the company, from detergents to energy use and banking.

Being a strangely shaped woman herself, size involvement and physical confidence are really important aspects of the business. And renting is a less risky way to try styles that we would otherwise be embarrassed by, or brands that we are not familiar with. Along with well-known labels, we offer stylish, durable brands on our platform, they do initial screening so our customers don’t need it.

We’ve seen a rapid increase in interest and demand for our rental service over the last few years, which is a testament to the desire of consumers who want more sustainable practices and away from the more harmful ‘fast fashion’ trends. We’re proud that our efforts have been appreciated – last year Sioda won the Sustainability Award from the prestigious VIBES Awards, and I was on ScottishPower’s Green Power list for this role.

As a principal partner of COP26, which took place in Glasgow last November, Scottish Power listed Green Power to identify inspiring green champions from across the UK who are leading the fight against climate change. It was great to be part of this wonderful group of people.

Obviously, no company or individual is perfect, including Sioda – for example, we need to improve the impact of our transportation and packaging we are working on. Part of our effort is to make the entire industry’s supply chains greener, so that other people can also benefit.

There’s a saying going around: “We don’t need a small number of people who are living a completely sustainable life, we need everyone who is doing it imperfectly” – and I I accept it wholeheartedly. We are all in different places in our lives and need to help make the journey easier for everyone, rather than judging those who have not yet caught up.

That’s the decent thing to do, and it should end there.

Naomi Ross is the founding director of Green Tech Circular Economy startup Civada – Scotland’s first online clothing rental service. Naomi is also an active participant in environmental development, attending conferences and participating in local climate demonstrations.

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