People are not buying things and properties anymore, let’s face it. We are living in a virtual world in which we can stream music and watch films and TV shows online without buying the physical CDs and DVDs and owning them. The same goes for books – hundreds of sites and applications that allow you to read, sometimes even for free. Gone are the days of going to video rental shops, libraries, perhaps even cinema. So why not rent fashion?
The main reason is not of financial nature only – but it also touches upon the subject of the environmental crisis which has reached its breaking point. We have talked about pollution in some of our previous articles, but let’s just remind you that the need for sustainable fashion has grown 60% since 2018 as consumers are getting more and more aware of our polluted planet.
The cheap production leads to waste and bad materials, so why not rent your fashion pieces instead of adding to a huge landfill of clothes that will never be recycled and it will only keep suffocating the nature.
Access, Not Ownership
The idea of this concept is to rent for special events instead of owning pieces of clothing that you will throw or never wear again in the future. There is a huge problem of “ownership” going around as people prefer to have and possess, even the pieces of fashion they do not really like.
According to many fashion journalists and models, this is a guilt-free way of shopping for a new look. On the other hand, they agree that rental cannot always and neither should completely replace retail. You need at least basic fashion pieces such as jeans, t-shirts, footwear, underwear etc. that should not be rented to anyone else since it is not really hygienic. Websites such as rent4wear are emerging and changing the fashion world by allowing people with lower incomes to enjoy the sustainable fashion that is also very trendy.
It is human nature to want to have things and we do not have to cut it off completely.
The Environmental Benefits of Renting Clothes
Fashion pollution is having detrimental effects on the planet by polluting the water, nature, air plus exploits countries with bad economy for its manufacturing purposes.
It is expected that the CO2 emissions by fashion industry will rise to 2.8 billion while the adults in the UK and USA have reported that they wear only 40% of their wardrobe. These statistics show that fast fashion promotes impulse buying in consumers and it is influencing our primal instincts to have as many as possible instead of simply having only what we really need.
Erica Ström is a Swedish lifestyle blogger who has been bringing to attention sustainable rental fashion.
She believes that renting clothes reduces the burden of producing new clothes and instead of buying piles and piles of clothes you could just be creative and innovative and think better about what you really need.
According to life coach Jane Evans, while the rental fashion works on reducing the environmental pollution, it might create anxiety in young people who do not like to be seen in the same outfit more than one or they simply feel anxious wearing the same thing other people did in the past.
Social media is forcing young people to tag their outfits and fashion choices of the day, but that can work in the benefit of rental fashion – we should take care of mental health and ethics instead of just allowing ourselves to be shaped by media and mass production.
Many rental services avoid perchloroethylene, a dry cleaning solvent that’s carcinogenic, and classified as a toxic air pollutant by the EPA. However, some researchers claim that even the alternatives are not very “green” and that there is no such thing as a 100% environmental-friendly dry cleaning.
The 10 Best Clothing Rental Services
How many times have you found yourself ankle-deep in a sea of clothing in your room but still announcing that you do not what to wear? It happened to almost every woman, so is it really worth it? Here are 10 best clothing rental services that might change your mind about the whole rental business.
Nuuly is the service that lets you experience new looks and clothes each month for $88. You get access to a wide range of fashion choices and laundry and clothing repairs are also included in the price. You can choose 6 items per months and it is your call whether that will be six jeans or six dresses. Taking care of them like washing and repairing is part of the plan too. However, Nuuly also offers the option to buy pieces that you fall in love with. This is not a bad decision because it makes people come back and if they do not like something – it is a rental after all.
Rent the Runway Unlimited
This service offers a lot of pieces from brands such as Jason Wu, Tory Burch and Club Monaco. Whether it is a wedding you need to attend or a business dinner, Rent the Runway Unlimited has got you covered. You have got more than a hundred thousand options to choose from and you can browse the items according to your virtual wardrobe that you create on the site.
There are three plans:
- RTR Reserve - $30 per rental
- RTR Update - $69 per rental
- RTR Unlimited – you rent the runaway - $400+ per rental
The perks of membership include no return dates, so when you think you are done with a rented piece, you are done.
Infinitely Loft offers an endless closet of comfy items that you will love. There are also wrap dresses and warm knits, in all sizes, including the maternity and plus size. When you sign up, you can browse the website in order to build your own wardrobe, and the more you add the smarter your search will become and offer your pieces according to your taste. For $64.95 you can rent as many pieces as you want and return them when you are ready. Sound like a bargain and the return policy is not difficult – simply send back your box using the pre-paid envelope. The laundry is free and you will pay less than the retail price if you choose to keep the piece.
Launched in 1998, LOFT has stores in Canada, Mexico and most U.S. states.
Banana Republic Style Passport
Banana Republic Style Passport is a clothing rental subscription service that gives customers access to endless styles for a flat monthly fee of $85 per month. The perks are: free dry cleaning, unlimited exchanges and free shipping and returns.
- Discover new fashion items every week and build your closet from dreams.
- Rent three pieces you want and you will get them delivered to your door for free. You can wear them as long as you need.
- When you decide that you are finished, send them back with the prepaid envelope, the return is free.
- Repeat this experience whenever you want for a monthly budget or simply keep the pieces you rented, for a discounted price of course.
As you can see, for a flat price you get a lot. You can wear some amazing fashion pieces and simply return them when you get bored with them.
Fashion to Figure
Fashion to Figure is a very similar service to Banana Republic Style Passport in a sense that they offer the same benefits.
You browse the online catalogue of endless fashion pieces, decide on three styles at a team, get them, wear them as long as you want, and then return them. For $54.95 per month you get free laundry, free shipping and you can also decide to keep the piece you rented.
What makes this service stand out, as you can guess from its name, is that it is made for women sizes 12–24 and XL–3XL.
Gwynnie Bee is a website that specializes in renting clothes for specific occasions. However, they cater to women sizes 10 to 32, so it is not really for everyone. There are many brands that you can choose from such as ELLE Eskakti and Calvin Klein.
The good part about this rental service is that you can go through a free trial before committing to pay a monthly fee of $69.95. After the free trial is over, the pricing will increase depending on the number of styles you pick – the priciest package is $199 for 10 items.
My List at Bloomingdale's
Are you interested in getting brands such as Frame, Zadig & Voltaire, Mackage, and Ba&sh for an affordable price? If the answer is yes, then make sure to check out this rental service. They operate as the others we mentioned in our list, but it offers over 75 exclusive brand pieces that you can choose from every month. For $149 per month you can choose four styles, build your wardrobe, get them shipped and later on returned for free. You also get free laundry, and the first month discount - $99 for the first month. Also, if you want to keep a piece, you can do it.
Vince Unfold lets you order four pieces at one time for $160 per month. The pieces you have always wanted but could not afford are finally within your reach. There is everything – linens, leather, velvet suits, and you can maintain up to ten styles in your virtual wardrobe.
If you decide to keep any, you will be offered a discounted price. The good thing is that you can wear them as much as you like and exchange them for as many times as you wish. Enjoy the limitless styles and models and keep your budget secure without spending too much money.
For only $7.95 per month you get to rent designer clothes from other people’s wardrobes. That is right, you heard it right. You can rent designer clothes, bags, outwear, almost anything. The brands include Emilio Pucci, Chanel, Christian Dior, and many more.
The low monthly fee might seem suspicious, but the thing is, you can rent the designer piece for seven days only and you cannot buy it. You can also sign up to lend your designer clothes to others.
Armarium is a service that works in a similar way like Style Lend. You rent by occasion only and the pieces are statement designer ones such as Marc Jacobs, Missoni, Erdem and many more. What makes it interesting is that you can schedule a one-hour appointment to try on the looks at the Armarium Fifth Avenue Showroom. If you do not want to, a designated assistant can come to your home, as long as you live in Manhattan! The fee is only $50 and it goes to your rental too.
Some of the most popular occasions that you can browse are: the New Year’s Eve, Holiday Soiree, Party Girl, Jet Setters and the Best Dressed Wedding Guest. The service also can connect you to a real celeb stylists and assistant to help you out, isn’t that amazing?
To conclude, we have talked about the benefits of rental fashion and we have also mentioned some of the most famous rental services that you might be interested in. The most important benefit of rental fashion is the reduction of waste and environment pollution by reducing the mass production of unnecessary clothes.
Have you ever rented any fashion piece? If not, would you? Thanks for reading and do not hesitate to share your stories with us or ask us any question.