“I like my money where I can see it – hanging in my closet.”

– Carrie Bradshaw

 

  She was clearly a woman of her word, with one of the most impressive fictional wardrobes in history. But, if we all followed her example, the environment would be in a mortally sorry state. Our society is becoming more sharable and people are educating themselves about sustainability, therefore making rental shopping a likely solution.

The rental fashion model is already in full swing with fashion bloggers and influencers. If you see someone post their latest outfit, chances are that’s the first and only time they’ll be wearing it; they’re probably on to the next thing before you can close the app. If we applied the same method to the way we shop, there’s less chance of falling behind trends or being bored of your wardrobe while you wait until next payday. Significantly, it’s also less wasteful. Bodani in an interview with Harper’s Bazaaar said , “ When you rent it out, you get it out of your system for just that one time. I think influencers have a lot to do with that.”

Journalist and author, Lauren Bravo in conversation with Elle said, “I think it’s a really great idea in terms of helping people transition from feeling like they have to own something, to realizing that they can enjoy something without necessarily having to possess it.”

There’s actually a lot to like about the idea of rental fashion as you get to dip your toes into a new trend without actually having to splurge your money on something that might otherwise be unaffordable and ultimately extending the lifecycle of the item is a plus.

Rental should be seen as one of the solutions to our ecological problems and not the entire answer. It will surely help us reduce the amount of clothes that we buy in the future but while we’re on the path of sustainability, we might as well consider wearing the garments that we already have in our wardrobes.

Where shopping sustainably once meant hours spent trawling charity shops, renting has positioned itself as the stylish solution; here’s how to wear the clothes you want, safe in the knowledge you’re keeping them out of landfill. Eco alternatives to dry-cleaning, such as steam-cleaning, and reusable packaging also help to keep the rental process as planet-friendly as possible. (Grazia)

Fashion rental is on the rise and not just for event wear. Today companies are renting customers everyday clothing, handbags, even trainers for one-off fees or via low-cost subscription. Designer labels, children’s clothes and maternity wear are also proving popular with consumers who are reluctant to invest in items they may not need for long or those who want to keep up with fashion without feeding mass consumption

“The benefits of renting fashion are wide-ranging,” says Samantha Dover, senior retail analyst at research firm Mintel. “Not only can renting clothes be a more environmentally friendly alternative to buying into fast-moving fashion trends, but consumers can also save space in their homes.

“Rental can be for fun. It’s a one-night stand. But you can look good with the virtue factor of knowing you haven’t done any damage to the environment.”

While more people are aware of the damage fast-moving, disposable fashion is doing to the planet, social media is encouraging consumption of clothing among some users. Environmentally and ethically aware consumers are increasingly seeking evidence of sustainable behavior on the part of companies they deal with. Plus, rental can be a way for brands to generate extra revenue from excess inventory.

Shika Bodani, founder of rental service Front Row, believes that education is necessary to remove the stigma associated with rental in some brands’ eyes. “A lot of them are still worried that renting will devalue their brand, making their products appear second hand,” she explains. “It’s about changing the brands’ perspective. Educating people is easier. Once they understand the process, they soon see the attraction of the sharing economy. The rise of the conscious consumer is something fashion brands can’t ignore.” (The Guardian)

 

Why renting clothes is a better option to shopping all your outfits:

  1. It saves money, time and space in your wardrobe:

We all have clothing items in our wardrobe that we’ve barely worn since we purchased. Renting clothes helps with this as we don’t have to spend a huge amount of buying garments that we don’t need for more than one occasion, therefore saving money and space.

  1. Renting clothes encourages a circular economy:

Fashion industry is one of the world’s major polluting industries, with fast fashion to blame. Renting clothes can help counter the negative effects of this by ensuring that garments are reused and repurposed, thus encouraging a circular economy which will reduce the waste that ends up in landfill.

  1. It allows you to wear new clothes for different occasions:

Ellen MacArthur Foundation reports that if you double the number of times you wear a garment, its environmental footprint is decreased by 44 per cent. But in the age of Instagram, where you’re posting what you wear on a daily basis, repeating outfits for important events can be embarrassing to some. Renting clothes can curb both issues i.e. decrease the environmental footprint of your clothes, plus provide you with new designs.

 Where can you go for rental shopping?

  1. Stage 3: They believe that wearing gorgeous clothes should be easy and fun. It should leave you happy and good-looking, with money in your pocket. At Stage3, men and women can rent the best and the latest in fashion at an affordable price. Stage 3 noticed a huge gap in the designer wear market because access to such clothes comes with too much work and stress. They are creating an easy passage to your dream closet and their customer experience ninjas are here to make all your dress up dreams come true.

2. Luxépolis: It is recognized as a game changer in the Indian luxury industry and is playing a significant role in shaping the future of India’s upscale lifestyle goods industry. Luxépolis is trusted by millions of high spenders in India and clocks higher average sales per order. It is at the top of the traffic chars amongst all upscale fashion platforms in the country. It provides its customers a wide selection of authentic upscale products exceeding 47,000 new and certified pre-owned branded products, covering over 500 Indian and global luxury brands like Rolex, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Dior etc.

  1. Flyrobe: Flyrobe company model is based on renting the outfit to the customer for a certain period of time i.e 4 and 8 days. It’s not like the other e-commerce company’s who sold off their dresses. The idea of renting outfit is very unique, though it is a startup so need to work a lot to get things done and something people can assure of it. The co-founder of Flyrobe is Shreya Mishra and Pranay Shurana, they have started this company back in 2015 on the spectacular idea of renting the outfit rather than owning it, to the customer for mere a small rental price as compared to high cost of branded and designer outfit. Flyrobe has a free cost service of custom fitting the outfit, delivering and picking from the customer.

  1. The clothing rental: Started in 2005, The Clothing Rental has been a secret destination for the film and media industry professionals. A favorite of top stylists, celebrities and fashionistas The Clothing Rental has dressed the best names in the country. A decade later they have opened their doors to consumers and making every attempt to bring you an extensive variety of fashion at a fair price. With prices on the rise and quality on a decline, they are taking a shockingly different approach; they strive to bring the highest in quality at the lowest of prices. One can rent original brands sourced from their New York Buying Office. The clothing rental specializes in Indian as well as Western wear for Women and Men.

  1. The style ease: Stylease is a fashion e-commerce platform with a serious sense of style bringing the best of high-fashion right from the runway to your closet. Buying, storing and owning high-maintenance couture with the guilt of having to use it over and over is so last decade. Stylease struts into the season with palpable poise and versatility so you never have to do boring again.With a collection from lust-worthy lehengas to Ridhi Mehra’s easy separates, from Mahima Mahajan’s sultry silhouettes to Prerto’s perfect accessories – Stylease has your every ethnic impulse covered.

 

Sustainability of Rental Fashion: 

The crucial call-out is the lack of actual data, or quantified research, regarding the sustainability of fashion rental schemes. People can speculate on the benefits, however, much of this tends to come from the fashion rental companies themselves.

PROS

  1. Reduced Waste: On the face of it, a rental service where clothes are reused seems like it should help reduce textile waste. Companies like Rent the Runway stress that the ‘sharing clothing economy’ is driving a reduction in landfill waste.
  2. Overproduction: The apparel industry generates 3 billion tons of CO2 every year creating garments. Vast levels of overproduction result in a significant amount of this clothing ending up in a landfill without use. A widely adopted rental service would help ensure all clothing produced is actually worn.
  3. New Sales Channel: My Wardrobe HQ claims that fashion rental can provide a sales channel for garments that didn’t make it into full production (samples etc), along with those items left at the end of each season.

CONS

  1. Dry-cleaning:People renting clothes expect them to arrive in pristine condition, thus every item will be dry-cleaned after rental. While many dry-cleaners now avoid harmful solvents, the high levels of water and power required for dry-cleaning will have a significant environmental impact vs regular washing of clothes.
  2. Shipping: With fashion rental schemes driven through eCommerce, every single rental will require both outbound and return shipping. In a world where we are beginning to wake up to the potential environmental impactsof a high return rate, having vast volumes of clothing items transported across considerable distances for only one wear is concerning.
  3. Packaging: As with any eCommerce order, items are packaged to protect them during transportation. New packaging is used for every rental and return, compared with only single-use for regular eCommerce purchases.
  4. Clothing lifespan: A paying rental customer, while understanding items have been previously worn, will expect clothing to arrive in an ‘as-new’ state. It’s also fair to say that people are less protective and careful with items they do not own. Initial research would therefore, suggest that rental garments have a hugely reduced lifespan when compared to ownership.

By Vasavi Mehta

 

References:

 

https://www.theclothingrental.com/About-Us-pid-209075.html

https://www.thestylease.com/

https://www.theclothingrental.com/

https://www.stage3.co/

https://theecobahn.com/ideas/sustainable-fashion-rental-model-hack-your-closet/

https://theecobahn.com/ideas/sustainability-of-rental-fashion-ecommerce-subscription/

https://www.elle.com/fashion/a29536207/rental-fashion-sustainability/

https://inc42.com/features/fashion-rental-startups-are-booming-in-india-but-is-it-a-bubble/

https://yourstory.com/weekender/renting-fashion-branded-clothes-stage3

https://www.vogue.in/content/benefits-of-renting-clothes-online-designer-sarees-lehengas-sabyasachi-sarees-bags-on-flyrobe-stage3

https://graziadaily.co.uk/fashion/how-to/sustainability-clothes-rental-services/

https://ecolookbook.com/ethical-sustainable-rent-swap-fashion-brands/

https://www.harpersbazaar.com/uk/fashion/fashion-news/a22611439/rental-fashion-help-us-become-more-sustainable/

https://www.elle.com/uk/fashion/trends/a30650833/renting-clothes-sustainable/

( Picture credits : Google images , Pinterest )