Rental Fashion: what is it and why are you hearing so much about it?

rental fashion

Picture Credit: Retail Detail

According to Greenpeace, global production of clothing has doubled in the past 15 years, contributing to the £140m worth of clothing which is sent to landfill every year in the UK alone. While buying new clothes used to be occasional, shopping has now become a pastime in itself for many.

And this comes with consequences: overproduction, pollution, waste creation, exploitation. In short, the fashion industry has a devastating impact on the planet, people and animals.

Studies have shown that increasing the number of times we wear a single piece of clothing is the best thing we can do in terms of reducing the environmental impact of our wardrobes. So it’s not surprising that renting clothes is gaining traction. It allows people to try the latest fashion trends without the guilt of buying something new, whilst avoiding an overcrowded wardrobe and extending the life of these rented pieces.

What is rental fashion exactly?

A clothes rental service allows you to “rent” one or several items for an event (similar to hiring your gown and cap for your graduation). Some platforms allow you to rent from other people or from the retailer directly, which will usually stock a variety of brands. On these platforms, you can usually browse clothes by categories, labels, or style, so you can find the item that fits your needs and your budget.

Each rental company is different and will allow you to keep the items for varying lengths of time; you simply just have to return the item, usually in a bag provided by the company.

The costs of these services vary greatly, depending on the brand, the item, and how long you want to hire it for. Some platforms even offer memberships or subscription packages.

Rental fashion and sustainability

With growing pressure from consumers for a more sustainable and ethical fashion industry, it’s not surprising that alternative ways of buying clothes and managing our wardrobes are appearing. Rental fashion and clothes rental services have been gaining in popularity and this market is expected to reach a value of £2.08 billion by 2025.

Renting clothes that already exist slows down the fast fashion cycle and the relentless demands on low-paid workers in the supply chain. You’re also keeping clothes out of landfills, extending their life and discovering unique and special pieces along the way. According to Glam Corner’s Anastasia Pappas, the rental model can massively reduce the environmental impact of a garment.

“By sharing a designer item with 20-30 other women who would have otherwise purchased a single item to use once and dispose of, you can help to reduce the environmental impact of such a wear by up to 95%,” Explains Anastasia.

As we continue to see growth in this area, big brand names are also capitalising on the success of rental fashion. Brands such as Bloomingdales and Urban Outfitters are just a couple of the many retailers shifting their attention to rental. As this new area of fashion continues to gather pace, there remains no doubt that the industry is dramatically changing.

At Elite Labels, our team has supported trends, brands and fashion moments through this ever-evolving industry. We provide bespoke solutions for a wide range of products, working closely with our clients to meet the demands of new developments in labelling concepts. Our clients include some of the most prestigious names in fashion, much-loved high-street retailers and boutique stores looking to enhance their credibility. Contact us today for a no obligation quote from our sales team.