Harth: Rental Furniture Platform Shaking up Luxury Retail
Spurred by a lack of resources and real estate, consumers are choosing to ditch home ownership in favour of subscription access to shared housing, communal offices, pooled transport and hired goods. Harth is a luxury rental service for designer homeware that’s shaking up retail to cater to transient, 21st-century lifestyles.
Harth connects users and brands with other users looking to decorate their home or event for a specific period of time. Users can make money renting out pieces that are in storage or not in use, while enabling others to dress up transitory spaces without committing to the full price or taking their belongings with them if they move.
Harth was founded by in-the-know creatives Henrietta Thompson, editor-at-large of Wallpaper* Magazine; and her husband Edward Padmore, an experienced corporate entrepreneur. The couple’s collective experience in the design industry promises to explore how the shared economy can best serve makers and clients, while advocating this system for the high-end market.
Still in the pre-launch phase, customers can sign up to Harth by filling out their details online and completing a short phone interview for security purposes. Once a member, users can choose from a catalogue of one-off vintage and new-range product, which is then installed by Harth’s logistics team.
Goods designed for shared environments are becoming more widely accepted, with co-living being acknowledged by influential furniture brands – see the communal sofas from Milan Design Week 2018. However, rental formats have been slow to infiltrate the luxury market. Brands need to embrace more fluid and forward-facing approaches to ownership to future-proof their services and win over sustainably conscious consumers.