We had a lovely discussion with Anna Sillanpää, the CEO & Co-founder of ROBES Rental, about her inspiring work and sustainable fashion.


Tell us a bit about yourself and your background

I’m the little sister who always loved borrowing clothes from her older sisters. I imagined living the life of a Hollywood star every time I got permission to pick cool clothes from my sister’s wardrobe and wear them to school.

I worked in the IT industry for years. At the same time, I developed an interest in sustainable fashion as a hobby, which led to starting the "Muotipodi" podcast with my friends Tiina Nyman and Marika Nokelainen.


How would you present Robes in one-to-three sentences to anyone who isn't acquainted with the brand?

Robes is a shared wardrobe where you can rent high-fashion pieces from others at affordable prices — for example Chanel earrings 7 € / day or Katri Niskanen dress 5 € / day. You can also list your own clothes for rent and earn up to hundreds of euros per month.


How was the concept behind the idea born?

Sustainable fashion turned from a hobby into a career for me when I realized how many unused clothes fill our planet while new ones keep being produced. Our wardrobes are packed with stunning dresses, bags, and shoes that rarely get worn. I wanted to find an attractive way to maximize the use of these existing clothes. That's how ROBES was born—a shared wardrobe where you can borrow high-quality, fabulous clothes and accessories from others anytime.




What are some of the challenges that the fashion industry is facing today, and what are the opportunities you see?

Our planet is overflowing with good-condition, unused clothes—enough to clothe the next six generations. Yet, we continue to produce more.

I see massive potential in the clothes already made, both unused and pre-loved. We need to maximize their usage and minimize the production of new garments.

I would like to see innovations that fully realize the potential of used clothing. This includes technologies that marketplaces can use to streamline the secondhand shopping and renting experience, as well as advancements in maintenance and repair.


Why do you believe sustainability in fashion is something everyone should strive to learn about it?

Clothing and footwear rank as the second-largest consumer product category. This signifies that even minor shifts in consumption behavior could unleash a seismic impact on industry emissions. If we obtained half of our clothes through borrowing or buying used instead of new, the positive effects would be enormous.


If you had one sustainability wish granted in the fashion realm, what would it be?

Everyone would double the lifespan of our clothes.


Finally, where can our readers find you?

Find me on Instagram at @annasillanpaa or on the ROBES app Anna Sillanpää.


Thank you so much Anna for a lovely discussion!