We met with Bianca Rangecroft, founder and CEO of the Whering App. To discover how 'your wardrobe in your hands' not only save time and money but also reduce consumptions.
The Whering App has launched! Tell us a bit about the inspiration behind the business and how you turned your idea into a reality.
The ‘I have nothing to wear’ dilemma feels universal and that sensation of being trapped in indecision only too familiar. For me, part of the problem isn’t having nothing to wear, but having nothing new to wear. We keep buying because we think that just one more item will unlock our ideal wardrobe – but how can it if we have no accessible inventory of what we own?
For me the system was broken; the vicious cycle of not being able to see what you own, impulse buying (never getting it quite right) and the lack of inspiration in the styling process meant only one thing, we had to take it digital and harness the power of machine learning to hyper-personalize our fashion experience. I really just wanted to make my mark on improving access to products that help us reuse what we have- a space where you could make your closet work for you (and the planet).
Having studied History and Politics and started your career in Banking, what prompted you to make the switch into the world of fashion?
I absolutely loved working in the Consumer and Investment Management Division at Goldman Sachs - and still manage my own portfolio - but I founded Whering in June 2020 out of a profound desire to democratize the personal styling landscape (after having worked on the Stichfix IPO whilst at the firm). I felt we fundamentally had to change the way we interact with our clothes (i.e. upend the throwaway culture) and thought the timing was perfect to bring to life Cher Horrowitz’ Clueless wardrobe app.
How does the app offer styling solutions tailored to individuals? Do you work with stylists behind the scenes?
We’re using machine learning to offer tailored styling suggestions that enable you to view your wardrobe entirely differently, receive outfits ideas you’d never have thought of and get that jolt of novelty not dissimilar from buying something new. Our aim is wardrobe zen; and a good half of that is item cohesiveness. We help you identify what you really need and what pieces can unlock combinations you had no idea existed.
Being the founder of your own business isn’t easy - how do you unwind?
I love yoga - the Life Centre in Notting Hill is my go to. Otherwise long baths, good reads and phone calls with my girlfriends when I need a pick me up!
Which is your favourite Oramai piece and why?
Amalfi Long in Klein Blue (or white!) - I just love how versatile and effortless it is. The linen is such great quality that the piece feels durable - a perfect wardrobe staple!
What are your top tips on how to lead a more sustainable lifestyle?
1. Refocus: Make yourself a wishlist - sleep on it, debate it, fight it and if you still come back to it, it deserves to find a place in your wardrobe. I've learnt over the years to negate the cheap and easy buys by looking inwards first (aka your digital wardrobe: hint Whering), evaluating what I really need and will bring be continuous joy (for the longest possible time) as well as identifying and saving up for dream pieces that will serve me in my journey. Shifting your mentality to investing in quality creates a special relationship with a piece and fundamentally makes you fight harder to take care of it, style it differently and possibly resell it (circularity is a thing guys)
2. Normalise: renting, thrifting and swapping (soon on Whering) are the greatest ways to step away from over consuming for the wrong reasons and shift into a more playful (yet circular) relationship to clothes. For me, this step is all about upending the 'buy, use, dispose' model many of us (myself included) have lived by in the last two decades. Allowing yourself that freedom to experiment with fashion by renting pieces you wouldn't want to own forever (for any occasion not just a wedding), buying preloved pieces on depop or vestiaire usually allows you to buy better quality for cheaper and borrowing pieces (sharing really is caring: for people and planet) is a no brainer if you want to channel your friend's awesome aura for a day/night
3. Unlearn: break your bubble and diversify your feed. Again, slightly biased because my personal mission is to get us to reuse what we own - but - by removing the constant subliminal messaging from the wrong brands, influencers and communities and focusing instead on following accounts that empower with their mission, educate and tell real stories about what they do we consume less and better. Connecting with smaller designers, slow-production brands and ecosystem stakeholders is a powerful way of helping you identify what 'things' you really want and need and what else is just white noise we're all overwhelmed by. Good On You also has all the goss on brand ratings - so look em' up before you follow.