Since 2019 there has been a surge in the numbers of fashion rental sites. These are companies that provide the consumer access to high-end clothing, at a subsidised rate, for rental over a period of time. While this has been a custom by many celebrities for red carpet appearances and special events, it is now branching out its popularity in the everyday consumer. The chance to regularly update your wardrobe without the commitment to the new clothes is something that benefits the planet, the space in your wardrobe and your pocket.
It is no hidden fact that the fashion industry is the second largest global polluter. It is responsible for £92 million of waste each year and emits 1.7 billion tonnes of carbon into the air. This is where fashion-rental comes in, the solution to the huge amount of waste by producing a circular product line, where the item is returned to the sender, to then be rented to another consumer. This extends the shelf life of clothing and reduces the amount of pollution used to continually generate new items as well as reducing the amount going to landfill.
Furthermore, a lot of these sites choose designer and luxury products to rent as not only are they more eye-catching, but the quality of the clothes are much higher and consequently they can be worn more than once. Wanting to impress at a wedding and not having enough cash for a new outfit is a problem of the past now fashion-rental is making its mark.
It is no surprise this business model is doing well. Firstly, because everyone is becoming more and more economically focused, to which fashion rental gets the thumbs up, but also because the millennials are the Generation Rent. The emergence of services such as Uber, AirBnb and Borrow My Doggy show that now borrowing or renting something from a stranger has never been more normal.
As the fashion rental industry has grown, the emphasis on the rental clothing only being for occasional wear has depleted, sites such as HURR and By Rotation want the clothing to be used for all occasions, as an alternative to purchasing new clothing at a lower quality. These websites are peer to peer run, much more like the process of AirBnb and Uber, you communicate directly with the person whose wardrobe you are borrowing from.
The only snag for us? How do you rent swimwear?
Obviously, for hygiene reasons it is not recommended to share and rent underwear or swimming costumes through these sites. We strongly believe that retail purchasing will not be lost all together as a result of the boom in fashion-rental. There are staple pieces that everyone wants to keep as their own, especially lingerie and bikinis. The trick with these purchases, if you remain sustainably focused like us, is to make sure you are purchasing high quality, sustainably sourced bodywear that will retain long lasting life.
If you are managing to be cost effective through renting your luxury accessories and clothing, treat yourself by putting a little bit more into your swimwear. The better the quality, the longer the wear and as sustainability can be costly, it is more likely that if you spend a little bit more on price, you will receive an ethically made swimsuit that can last a lifetime.