The Cocoon site
A subscription-based handbag service for Londoners is touting itself as a smarter, less wasteful and more responsible way to be a luxury fashion lover.
Cocoon was launched in 2019 by Ceanne Fernandes-Wong, who said she spotted a gap in the market for bag lovers to “indulge in newness and variety” without making a long-term commitment.
“A significant and growing segment of consumers, interested in making smarter and less wasteful decisions, are actively seeking out more responsible consumption opportunities,” Fernandes-Wong says. “We’re seeing remarkable growth in the circular space in the UK, which is now considered a proven business model and we’re thrilled to be one of the first to market.”
The CEO refuses to compare her company to others in the market, saying they are highly specialized in their approach.
“We’re a subscription model, we’re bag experts, and we’re on the pulse. We also own all of our product, which means we can guarantee the selection and quality.”
The company launched with bags for “several reasons”, mainly being there are no sizing issues and so fewer limitations than with stocking clothing.
“We also wanted to focus on one category that could reach as many people as possible,” she added.
Cocoon operates by way of a monthly membership costing £99 ($120). Members can then choose one bag and keep for as long or as little as they like. One monthly complimentary bag swap is included. The company offers a range of styles, from vintage Fendi to the latest Bottega Veneta.
“We see sharing as a challenge to the environmental and economic cost of the luxury fashion industry,” says Fernandes-Wong.
Purses are hard to recycle; buckles, zips, rhinestones won’t decompose in landfills, meaning they’ll sit there indefinitely. The average American woman owns up to a dozen purses, so they make not an insignificant contribution to the world’s waste problem.
“£99 is equal to your monthly coffee spend,” explains Fernandes-Wong. “We’re the perfect solution for those who want to indulge in luxury in a more economical way. Our value-driven approach means members can enjoy the best brands and styles at an affordable price point.”
Companies such as Ivory Clasp, Bolzano Handbags and Vivrelle all offer handbag subscription services, however non are based in the UK.
Fernandes-Wong aims to stick to the bag business, for now, saying her focus is to be “the best”.
“At the moment, our members aren’t asking us for other product categories, they are asking us for more bags. Further, specializing in one category allows us to become an expert in that category.”
She added: “We continue to more than double our traffic week on week as our membership base increases at a similar rate.
“In this period of intense growth, we’ve noticed significant customer demand from markets beyond London and are so excited to have recently launched nationwide delivery to service the wider UK market.”
In the future, the company is planning to develop more membership tiers and expand internationally.
“Bigger than trends, bigger than product, we aim to pave the way for a new subscription model that advocates access and sharing,” Fernandes-Wong added.