A Passion Ignited: The Early Years
From a young age, Rosie Gunn had a deep-seated passion for fashion. She had a natural flair for style – found joy in dressing up, experimenting with textiles, and exploring the art of style. Her early experiences were formative, with her first job at a female-founded women’s boutique leaving a lasting impression. The two inspiring women who ran the boutique played a pivotal role in shaping her entrepreneurial future. Rosie was drawn to the allure of fashion, a realm where creativity and business intertwined seamlessly.
Education and Career: The Path to Becoming a Fashion Buyer
Determined to pursue a career in fashion, Rosie crafted her educational path carefully. She combined textiles with economics and business in her A-levels, setting her sights on the esteemed Fashion & Textile Business degree at The University of Manchester. Her university years were marked by internships, working on shop floors, and a relentless pursuit of knowledge. It was only a short time before she secured an entry-level buying position at the iconic Marks & Spencer in London.
At M&S, Rosie’s journey through the world of fashion buying was diverse, covering kid’s wear, women’s dresses, and lingerie. Her work extended to fashion collections, including the famed Rosie Huntington-Whiteley range. Rosie’s time at M&S was a dream come true, a testament to her passion for the fashion industry and her commitment to excellence.
A Vision of Sustainable Fashion: Endless Wardrobe in the UK
As 2018 drew to a close, Rosie identified a gap in the fashion market that she felt personally and urgently. It was a gap for sustainable fashion rental, distinct from the traditional prom dress rentals. Rosie’s conviction about the future of fashion led her to leave her stable job at M&S in January 2019 to set up Endless Wardrobe, the first fashion rental and resale platform in the UK.
Rosie’s vision was simple yet revolutionary, “if you’re going to wear something once or twice, rent – and if you’re going to love and wear something endlessly, you should buy”. She aimed to make shopping in more circular ways just like shopping new. It arose from her dislike for fast fashion, cheap goods that soon fell apart due to their poor quality, with a negative impact both ethically and on the planet. Yet, she craved the feeling of wearing something new for every social outing. Renting from high-quality brands offered her a solution that was both sustainable and budget-friendly – it just made sense.
Endless UAE: Bringing Sustainable Fashion to Dubai and the UAE
Rosie’s connection to the UAE through her family, with relatives residing in Abu Dhabi, provided her with a unique perspective on the region. It became her haven, a place where she could retreat from the chaos of her life in the UK and find a sense of peace. Her time in Dubai was equally significant, and she eventually decided that she had to make this vibrant region her permanent home.
During her visits to the UAE, Rosie noticed something intriguing, the market was vastly underserved in terms of both resale and rental fashion – and so, following the success of Endless UK, this observation sparked an idea. In early 2023, Rosie relocated to the UAE where she re-established Endless here in the Middle East. Her vision for Endless UAE is ambitious and exciting to bring circular fashion to UAE in a big way.
Overcoming Challenges and Gender Investment Barriers
Being a young entrepreneur and fashion tech founder at the age of 26 Rosie faced numerous mental, physical, and emotional challenges during her business’s early stages, which were added to by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite these tough challenges, she managed to raise over £1 million in investment as a first-time female founder, which was a huge achievement as statistics show that female-owned businesses receive only 1% of venture capital funding. Yet studies show that women-founded businesses deliver higher revenue and perform 63% better in terms of return on investment than male-founded start-ups. Despite the struggle, Rosie is proud of her accomplishment and urges the need for more discussion and change around the gender gap in achieving investment in all sectors.
Personal Style: Living the Endless Ethos
Rosie’s style aligns seamlessly with the ethos of Endless. She believes in renting when you’ll wear something once or twice and buying when you’ll cherish and wear it endlessly. Her wardrobe primarily consists of neutral colours – whites, blacks, creams, and browns which some might perceive as conservative. However, Rosie finds this palette quick and easy to create effortless daily combinations.
Her style preference leans toward timeless and classic shapes that stand the test of time. Rosie isn’t one to chase fashion trends, she thrives on understated elegance and simple yet flattering silhouettes. Of course, she’s not immune to the allure of standout pieces and vibrant colours, which she readily rents for special occasions, such as weddings, parties, and events.
What sets Endless apart is its comprehensive approach and the only platform in the UAE that offers both rental and resale services. The platform collaborates with individuals looking to clear out their wardrobes as well as with brands directly. Endless accepts a diverse range of brands, from high-street favourites like Oh Polly and House of CB to luxury designer labels like Prada and Chanel. To ensure the authenticity and quality of designer items, Endless professionally authenticates them, giving users peace of mind.
Sustainable Fashion’s Future: Endless and Rosie Gunn’s Vision
Rosie Gunn’s journey from a passion for fashion to founding and expanding Endless in the UK and now the UAE showcases her dedication to sustainable fashion and her commitment to providing women with environment-friendly and affordable clothing options. Endless UAE is more than a fashion platform, it’s a movement, and Rosie Gunn is at the forefront, leading the charge towards a more sustainable and stylish future for women in the UAE and beyond as Endless continues to grow.