Fighting fast fashion with entrepreneurship

23 Aug 2022

Some people get to university and, during their degree, they discover what it means to be an entrepreneur.

For others, like UQ Bachelor of Advanced Business (Honours) student Lara Berge, the entrepreneurial spirit emerges much earlier.

By her second-last year of high school, Lara had already identified a need and a niche in the fashion industry – and designed a business idea to address it.

Lara’s first foray into entrepreneurship

A passion for fashion might not be uncommon for a teenager. But having the vision and drive to derive a startup out of this love… well, that’s something special.

“I started Only Once in my second-last year of high school when I observed the phenomenon of peer-to-peer rental platforms starting to blossom,” says Lara.

“I could see that a large part of a platform’s success was how the clothes were photographed and marketed.”

“I decided to put this passion of mine to the test, in combination with my love for sourcing unique garments.”

While initially developed to meet customers’ needs, Lara soon recognised that the business model also had much broader benefits.

“After its early success, I started to realise the benefits garment hiring could have on the environment, while still servicing young women’s desire to not ‘outfit repeat’.”

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