Some would say great design is great because it’s limited.
Manufacture, attention to detail, time, process, expensive material, hours of craftsmanship – all these things add up to great design, and can often add up to price. But the clever thing about a lot of the brands Onloan works with (and what Motley does) is taking that purity of idea, and thinking of new ways to make it accessible – through different metals or different models. The Bauhaus school of design says that great design shouldn’t be dependent on expensive materials and should be valued for itself.
I think the fashion industry has a lot to learn from jewellery. We work with incredible designers where there is a design process with integrity and sustainability at its heart. But there’s also product out there without that same integrity.
We collaborate with a family of designers who want to create items that are cool, and primed for that wow moment on instagram, but that can ultimately also stand the test of time.
I think how we judge affordability today is also too low. I was speaking to my boyfriend’s mum the other day, and she was telling me about how she used to save up for months to get herself a dress. Clothing and jewellery was seen as something you make yourself, or work hard to save up for. We’ve gotten so used to having fashion on tap that what’s affordable to us needs to change.
That’s where the rental model comes in. It may not be something you’ll wear a thousand times, but you can rent clothes you will really enjoy and love wearing, before passing it on to someone else to enjoy and love.
We all grew up with that constant feed of new stuff at very very cheap prices. Something we’re trying to do with Onloan is shift people away slightly from that transient nature. There’s a reason we do a monthly loan, not just a one-off day. We spend a lot of our time talking about the detail and craftsmanship of each piece, and we really want to show our customer what makes the piece amazing. We are in a situation where everyone gets bored quite quickly, but we do think it’s valuable to remind people that each item was carefully crafted and deserves some love.