The Life-Changing Magic of Renting Clothes

Clothing rental is the future of fashion , here’s how it works and what it costs.

Innika Choo rented from ByRotation

Innika Choo rented from ByRotation

Would you ever rent clothes? 

It seems like most of our economy is shifting towards a sharing economy with companies like Uber, Aibnb, Lime, BlaBlaCar, WeWork and many more taking over for traditional companies in the sector (eg. hotels, taxis, corporate offices). Why? Because as a collective group of people we have everything we need already and instead of creating new of the same so that a rapidly growing number of population can have even more things (and create even more waste), we share. It’s both more sustainable for the planet and our wallets. The fashion world has of course been experimenting with it’s own sharing platforms designed to rent out your clothes or rent someone else’s. 

I thought I’d share a few stats to show why the #RentalRevolution is so necessary :

  • £140 million worth of clothing goes into landfill each year. (WRAP, 2011)

  • In the UK, the estimated average lifetime for a garment of clothing is 2.2 years, or just under two years and three months. (WRAP 2011)

  • Less than 1 percent of material used to produce clothing is recycled into something more.

  • A McKinsey (2016) report revealed that three-fifths of all clothing items will end up in an incinerator or landfill within a year after being produced.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been able to trial UK-based peer-to-peer rental platform By Rotation and even took a few romantic dresses on holiday with me! What I’ve found so amazing about it is that it’s personal - you can meet up with the person the clothes belong to or that you are renting your clothes to, which establishes a level of trust and familiarity. I’ve heard a few people say they think it’s weird to wear someone else’s clothes (which I think I overcame by buying mainly second-hand in the past years), but getting to know the person literally feels like you are borrowing from a friend. By the way, if you’re pressed for time you can also opt for a bike courier service or send per mail. I’m sure people used to think Aibnb was totally bonkers, making strangers sleep in your bed, which is even more personal, but really - can you imagine travelling without Airbnb now? I can’t. 

Gül Hürgel rented from ByRotation

Gül Hürgel rented from ByRotation

You might just want to list a few items you don’t wear everyday or only come out of the garment bag for special occasions instead or list your whole closet as some users with impressive, curated wardrobes have done - it’s entirely up to you :)

The platform is completely free and you can just sign up and give it a browse to get an idea, before committing to listing your clothes or renting from someone else’s. I fell in love with this Innika Choo dress that I saw on their Instagram (it retails at £365 and is rented out for £10 a day for a minimum of three days) and this Gür Hürgel dress (it retails at £600 and is rented out for £15 a day for a minimum of three days). At the moment I have my eye on a few Realisation Par dresses that are available for £5 a day and will definitely rent one that when back from holidays. 

Let me know in the comments below if you’ve ever had any experience renting clothes and what you thought - genuinely would love to hear!

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Jil Carrara