Second to oil, the fashion industry is the second most polluting industries in the world. The fast-fashion giants have created a demand for disposable fashion. Once upon a time, we’d buy a dress, wear it once and leave it in the wardrobe, without a second thought. With over 7 billion people on the planet, if we continued this trend, our actions will have irreversible consequences on the environment. Consumers over the past two years have begun to wake up to the effect that cheap/disposable fashion is contributing to climate change.
So? What is the alternative? Instead of buying a dress, you should rent one. Fashion rental isn’t a new phenomenon (Rent the Runway pioneered this model in 2009). Fashion rental popularity is skyrocketing and it’s no longer just for event wear. With millennials becoming more conscious and opting for the circular economy over ownership, it’s easy to see why the rental market is booming. Fashion rental offers a more sustainable way to wear luxury brands. Renting fashion also fulfils a temporary fashion fix for clothing for children and women during pregnancy. So, what are the benefits of renting dresses/clothing over buying?
Renting is considered by most a more sustainable way for people to wear something new on rotation. Removing ownership means that a lot fewer people will be purchasing for own their clothing. This will lessen the demand for production and reduce the overall impact that fashion production has on the environment.
Designer brands being more accessible.
Millennials are often referred to as generation rent. Rent, weddings, saving for a deposit and general cost of living means we all have less disposable income. Our generation tends to value experiences over owning luxury goods. Renting offers a pay as you go option of temporarily owning a luxury item for a much more affordable price.
Restricting your wardrobe space to only owning everyday ware and renting dresses or other items for everything else will not only save the environment but will free up wardrobe space too. Most of us are looking to live a cleaner and more minimal way of living. Renting fashion over owning offers a less congested lifestyle.
We all have felt that pang of guilt when we purchased something we didn’t need or even had the money to buy. Opting to rent a dress over buying offers a guilt-free way to experiment with different brands and styles. Removing the burden of ownership allows people to have a more individualistic style and removes the feeling of guilt that purchasing to own can cause.
Style on a budget
Over the past 20 years, there has been a surge in the growth of fast fashion. Until the effects that fast fast fashion was having on the environment became mainstream most of us bought into this cycle unknowingly. Before fast fashion, on season styles we’re only attainable to those who could afford couture and high-end designer brands. Fast fashion made these styles available to everyday women by emulating and reproducing on season trends at a more affordable rate. Renting offers women the opportunity to have style on a budget without spending huge amounts of money and buying into fast fashion.