You don't have to shop to look glamorous, rent instead

  • Style
  • Saturday, 18 Jul 2020

Fashion rental services enable users to play with the looks of the moment without needlessly filling their closets. Photo: AFP

Online clothing rental platforms, offering temporary enjoyment of ready-to-wear pieces from high street brands and fashion houses, are expected to explode on a global scale in the months and years to come.

A recent report from Technavio suggested that it is set to grow by US$ 801.03 million (RM3.4 billion) during the period 2019-2023. We look at why many consumers are turning to such services. – AFP Relaxnews

Fast fashion vs slow fashion

How many items end up in the back of our closets without ever having been worn? Today's frenzy of ready-to-wear collections invite us, every season, to entirely rework our wardrobes.

As a result, we end up with mountains of clothing we're not quite ready to give up ("one never knows...") but that ultimately we hardly wear.

Hence the eternal refrain of "I've got nothing to wear!" Only the basics, those classic items which transcend seasons and trends, are truly indispensable.

Read more: Why is the fashion industry so enamoured with the capsule wardrobe trend?

This is where rental services come in. They enable users to play with the looks of the moment without needlessly filling their closets, thus limiting waste. It's also environmentally more sustainable, especially given that in this way, the manufacture of one item can end up serving dozens of individuals, leading to reduced production.

It's one response to the environmental challenges confronting the fashion industry, which is one of the world's biggest polluters.

A subscription for everyone

The number of companies proposing clothes for limited amounts of time continues to grow. From streetwear-focused platform Seasons to established service Rent The Runway, which offers selections from premium designer labels, there is something for everyone.

Not forgetting Stitch Fix, which targets families, as well as Nuuly, known for its garments with fun prints and original cuts. Other similar services also focus on basics, workwear, athleisure, accessories or going-out attire.

Read more: Why and whatever for? 3 'ugly' fashion items the runways seem to love

While some platforms offer rental for individual items, others have created monthly subscription services which allow for an unlimited number. They often include services such as round-trip shipping, dry cleaning, and reimbursement for unworn items.

It's a whole new playground for those who love to frequently change up their looks without going bankrupt.

Luxury for everyone

Not only do clothing rental services allow you to follow the trends without upsetting your banker, they also allow you to enjoy designer items that may be unaffordable otherwise.

At Une Robe Un Soir, a French company shipping to other countries in Europe, it's possible to rent a handbag or clutch from Saint Laurent for four days for less than €150 (RM731), Aurelie Bidermann earrings for less than €135 (RM658), or an Isabel Marant dress for less that €170 (RM829).

Read more: Has luxury fashion truly become more accessible to everyone?

Just think long and hard about it. This can eventually add up to a generous budget, but it's very far from boutique prices, allowing access to pieces that are sometimes the reserve of much wealthier fashionistas.

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