We are trialing the future of rental fashion and embracing the idea of renting out your wardrobe.
In a world where Uber was just starting out, you may have felt weird catching a taxi with a stranger. And before Airbnb started to become a common thing, sleeping in a stranger’s house may have been something you’d never dream of doing.
The concept of sharing in today’s day and age isn’t so unfathomable. Fashion has carried the name of one of the ‘most polluting industries’ in the world due to increasingly high demand for clothing. With that in mind, sharing our wardrobe for our planet’s sake sounds a little less daunting.
Undoubtedly, the rental services are an appetite for sharing in the fashion industry. For example, Rent the Runway is a fashion rental platform pioneer. They have been in operation for over 10 years and were valued for a billion dollars last year. Renting out clothes is already a developing practice across Australia, US and has dominated the Asian retail market. Now, they expanded its place in the UK.
Another rental site, HURR, does things a little bit differently. They provide a peer-to-peer service where customers can submit their request and a lender can accept or decline. It’s like a social sharing app that allows you to chat before the transaction is finalised.
“There’s a similar shift in people not eating meat and being more conscious with the veganism movement. It’s infiltrating beauty with clean living and it’s happening with fashion through rental. It’s more of a movement now than a trend,” said Victoria Prew, co-founder of HURR told Bazzar.
Saving our planet
Sustainable fashion is not about wearing earth tones and continuing to shop at fast fashion stores, this misconception is not making the industry greener. Buying less is one aspect of sustainable fashion practices. Thus, sharing or renting fashion can minimise the risk of panic buying or one-occasion garments.
According to Greenpeace, the production of clothing has doubled in the last 15 years. Between 2000 and 2015, the number of times that clothing was worn before it was thrown out decreased by 36%. Furthermore, more than half of the clothing given to charities ends up being sent to landfills or is incinerated.
Can millennials work for the future?
Shopping behaviours among the youth is generally more conscious of the relationship between fashion and environmental issue. When it comes to sustainable fashion, they contribute by shifting their consumption pattern. During the pandemic, uncertainty is also teaching them to lean more towards saving their resources rather than investing in ownership.
“Renting apparel also appeals to those who are more conscious about their fashion footprint and affordability. In comparison, older generations who are usually less fashion conscious and more wary about hygiene are less likely to partake in this trend. The younger generations are more trusting of the sharing economy and this shows in the market growth of the clothing rental market,” Associate Professor Garg told newsroom.
Although the current rental fashion market is niche, it may be impossible to make it to the mainstream. All we can do is try to make the sharing economy more successful.
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