Fashion rental is a big trend in 2019


  • Style
  • Friday, 27 Dec 2019

An increasing number of clothing rental services could lead to an evolution in the composition of wardrobes.

The concept of old, forgotten purchases lingering in closets could soon be a thing of the past. It seems that 2019 is the year that fashion rental went mainstream.

Myriad companies now offer shoppers the chance to borrow clothing for special occasions, vacations or everyday dressing, as consumers seek to minimise waste and shop in a more environmentally-friendly way.

Rent the Runway (RTR), which is in many ways the poster brand for the movement, has had a particularly big year. The company kicked off 2019 with new luxury collaborations with Derek Lam, Prabal Gurung and Jason Wu, and in November it announced plans to expand the number of Nordstrom locations allowing RTR members to return items, increasing its ‘RTR Drop-Off Box Network' from five to 29 Nordstrom stores across the US.

This month, the company launched a partnership with W Hotels that will give guests the chance to hire a curated selection of fashion pieces for the duration of their vacations in select destinations.

Mainstream fashion retailers have also started to incorporate rental services into their business models. Examples include Urban Outfitters, whose subscription service Nuuly launched this summer in the US, allowing users to borrow up to six pieces for the price of US$88 (RM364) per month, either returning them after the rental period, or purchasing them.

The US department store Bloomingdale's also debuted the online subscription service "My List At Bloomingdale's" in September, charging users US$149 (RM617) a month. Banana Republic joined the fray this year with the launch of its "Style Passport" initiative, which lets US shoppers rent up to three garments per month for a flat fee of US$85 (RM352).

Fast fashion giant H&M Group is the latest company to jump on board. The Swedish behemoth announced plans to offer clothing rentals at its flagship store in Stockholm last month, giving shoppers who belong to its customer loyalty programme the chance to hire up to three pieces at a time for the duration of one week.

Now, the group's innovation department The Laboratory, its fashion label COS and the Chinese subscription rental company YCloset have teamed up to test subscription rental in China, for a period of three months. Could the traditional shopping spree be living on borrowed time? – AFP Relaxnews

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