Styling app Whering is the pocket personal stylist you never knew you needed.
One day in the summer of 2019, Bianca Rangecroft, who worked for a leading banking firm in the City, was working on a takeover of a fashion start-up in her office. Having delved into the background of the fashion industry and its nuances, hypocrisies, and many of the misconceptions that surround it as part of the takeover, Rangecroft became increasingly frustrated by how unsustainable even this so-called sustainable company was.
As the adage goes, necessity is the mother of invention, and so, clad in a Pepto-Bismol vintage Valentino suit, which had once-upon-a-time been her mother’s, Rangecroft had a brainwave.
“I had a total lightbulb moment,” Rangecroft tells Stylist from her office in London. “What if we could create a Clueless-style wardrobe app, where people could literally see everything that they already own, so that they don’t unnecessarily buy other things? That just helps them to use what they already own better.”
“So, you’d have a personal stylist in your pocket that basically creates outfit upon outfit for you for any occasion.”
Fast forward six months and, at the end of 2019, before the pandemic took hold, Rangecroft, who originally hails from South Africa, booked three weeks of holiday leave, flew to China to pitch her idea at a sustainable fashion conference to potential stakeholders and, when people seemed genuinely interested in the concept, she quit her job and Whering was born in June 2020.
The premise is simple. Upload images of every piece of clothing you own to the app, choose the occasion you’re looking to get dressed for and let Whering’s AI function digitally style you. In short, Whering will help you to be smarter about being conscious, thanks to its catalogue of what you already have. When the urge comes to buy things you can’t remember whether you already have or not, you will be able to check your catalogue of clothes and make an informed decision to curb overconsumption.
“I want to create a conscious movement and push users to adopt better behaviours,” Rangecroft says. “I want to make sure we’re operating in a circular loop and showing people sustainable alternatives. Whering is literally the one-stop shop for your wardrobe.”
The demand for the service is clear, too. In the week that Whering launched in June 2020, it was downloaded more than 10,000 times and now boasts 250,000 registered users.
Plus-size slow fashion advocate Sophie Abdullahi has used Whering since spring 2020. “I have a habit of forgetting about most of the items I already have,” Abdullahi explains to Stylist. “So, I love that I can use the ‘Dress Me’ function when I have no idea what to wear and that the app encourages me to think about the different ways that I can style and re-wear the clothes that I already own. I feel even more fashionable now.”
But it doesn’t stop there. As the brand fast approaches the year anniversary of its hard launch in April 2021, Rangecroft is preparing to debut a series of new and innovative functions within the Whering app.
“The vision from the beginning has been about creating a circular marketplace,” she explains. “So, when somebody thinks ‘Where do I go to buy organic basics?’ I can do that on the Whering marketplace. ‘Where do I do chemical free dry cleaning that comes to your house and picks up your stuff?’ I can do it with Oxyfresh on the Whering services page.”
Resale will be launched later in the year, along with collaborations, and focusing on galvanising Whering’s community of conscious fashion lovers, all of which Rangecroft is ready and waiting for. “The most exciting thing about Whering is really looking at the lifecycle of a piece of clothing, and basically being able to use the app as a system that can transfer that ownership through people and through time.”
For anybody looking to break the unconscious habits of a lifetime, Whering’s services are simple and style-focused. Take the headache and guilt out of enjoying fashion.
by Naomi May
Images: courtesy of Whering.
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