Kahu Henare, proprietor of One Match Rent, dressed up within the Beca Plisse Set. Photograph / Equipped
Public Curiosity Journalism funded via NZ On Air
A Māori-owned clothes rental enterprise is paving the best way for change in plus-size vogue for wāhine.
Kahu Henare is the 24-year-old enterprise proprietor of One Match Rent, a clothes rental service offering high quality, event-worthy clothes starting from sizes 6 to 26.
Not solely does Henare run her personal enterprise via a Newmarket shopfront and a web based platform, however she’s additionally a full-time occupational therapist working in psychological well being.
The younger entrepreneur says she is obsessed with each traces of labor. Bringing what she’s discovered to the sensible aspect of her enterprise, Henare sees the crossover between psychological well being and plus-size vogue on a regular basis.
“I see it in on a regular basis folks coming in. I feel seeing the women’ confidence and even ladies coming via and being like “oh my gosh, I used to be simply having a breakdown at residence and now I’ve discovered this gown and I really feel so significantly better.”
“I at all times make a extremely massive deal to the women about how superb they appear as a result of I’ve solely met them for half an hour, I by no means know what is going on on for them. So long as they’ve had a lovable expertise discovering a gown”.
Henare began OFH 5 years in the past after a nasty procuring expertise looking for a faculty ball robe.
“I grew up at all times a giant woman since I used to be youthful and I grew up with ladies who had been smaller than me. I did not actually assume it was a giant deal till I went to my college ball in 12 months 13 and I could not discover a gown”.
The rental retailers had been a failure. Henare wasn’t capable of finding a gown that fitted her physique kind and says she was made to really feel insufficient due to it. With the expertise etched in her thoughts for the following couple of weeks, Henare realised, “oh wow, these retailers aren’t actually catered to my physique. I am like 17 and if retailers aren’t catering to my physique at this age then what’s on the market for people who find themselves greater than me?”.
With the shortage of good-quality, plus-size choices in New Zealand malls or by different clothes rental corporations, Henare’s mum urged hiring out the garments she already had to assist out different girls like her.
She says her drive is motivated by seeing how different folks deal with girls who’re over measurement 16. She believes that ladies are likely to get misinterpret when it comes to what they put on.
She additionally thinks that there is a stigma behind that for those who’re over measurement 16 you should not put on issues that present a little bit of pores and skin.
“I attempt to incorporate items which might be very “risque” to encourage different wāhine to really feel like they’ll put on no matter they need, it seems to be good and so they really feel good as properly. We talked about how choices accessible within the retailers do not actually mirror what girls must be carrying so if I might be that person who has a number of issues that ladies wish to put on that is a bonus for me”.
The enterprise’ social media presence is rising, with greater than 7000 followers on Instagram.
Henare acquired a store area earlier this 12 months via Fb Market on Newmarket’s Broadway alongside many standard boutiques. She says getting the store has modified all the things about her model as she’s now in a position to attraction to extra folks.
An extended-time buyer and mannequin of OFH, Angel Lerm, says that it is modified her life and has taken a large weight off of her shoulders.
“As a curvier woman it is not at all times simple to search out your measurement in each store you go to and even simply one thing flattering on your physique kind… She’s (Kahu) saved me from the fixed loops across the mall on the hunt for one thing to put on to an occasion, she’s saved me from ordering one thing on-line and being disillusioned as a result of it does not match proper”.
Lerm says these kind of companies are vital as a result of we’re not all constructed the identical, their inclusive vary has supplied a platform to remind girls that “all of us deserve to be ok with ourselves and believe with no matter physique we’re in”.
Henare made the transfer from Wellington to Auckland earlier than beginning her enterprise. She says that entry to nice high quality clothes for ladies could also be tougher somewhere else round New Zealand, particularly rural areas.
Tiana Foua, a buyer and proprietor of her personal on-line plus-size rental clothes enterprise Curvy Lady Rent, says there aren’t many shops that cater to greater girls in her hometown of Taupō.
“I at all times received nervousness going into a store searching for one thing to strive on simply to stroll out with nothing as a result of I could not match it! It should not must be a battle to rent clothes as a plus-size lady, we want extra retailers that do what One Match Rent and myself do,
we must be catering to all styles and sizes”.
With OFH’s Instagram full of photographs of consumers trying ecstatic of their employed outfits, Lerm says that it makes an enormous distinction for folks to see the clothes on an actual physique as an alternative of knowledgeable mannequin.
Henare says that social media can have a huge impact on folks’s psychological well being and affect girls’s views about themselves. As such, she endeavours to include physique positivity and self-love messaging on the corporate’s social media pages due to it.
When requested what change the nation must make to see the influence that she’s creating, Henare says that retail shops must be extra accessible, not simply on-line, and they should provide clothes which have the capability to suit a variety of sizes, not only one. Affordability and high quality type choices are additionally vital..
“I consider vogue is a real expression of your self, what you stand for and the way you are feeling and like, if folks do not get that then that type of interprets to self-confidence, then your psychological wellbeing, and all of it simply comes again to psychological well being once more, you understand?”.