The Ultimate Guide to Clothing Rental
Have the feeling that you need to wear something new to every event you go to?
A belief that you can’t wear something on Instagram more than once? Twice if you’re generous.
I know that feeling of having spent an arm and a leg on a piece of clothing only to wear it a few times. Complaining that “I have nothing to wear”, whilst my wardrobe overflows.
Yet I’m unapologetic about wanting to wear an outfit that really rocks my socks off. However sadly most of the designer one off pieces that gets my mouth drooling are far outside my price point…. until recently!
Fortunately the solution is sustainable for the world, and most of all my wallet.
Nation of poor shoppers
We Brits, as a nation, are termed ‘poor shoppers’. (‘Poor’ maybe after we’ve been to the shops and spent our monthly income in a day!).
This is unlike Parisian’s, who I saw first hand, shop those quality pieces that last a lifetime, leaving every Parisian girl with that endurable, and enviable style. (I’m certainly not a Parisian woman yet, despite spending a year and half there! )
But Brits, especially women are buying more clothes than others in Europe, with many going unworn. On average a British women has £55 worth of unworn clothes in their wardrobe - I certainly can relate! We all have 60% more clothes, and keeping them half as long as 15 years ago.
But with cultural pressure to wear something new to every event (a trend that isn’t going to disappear fast), it’s leaving so many of our clothes in our wardrobes going unworn. However there is a solution.
There is a solution: Clothing Rental
Here comes a revolution in the fashion space: rental. A concept that’s been around for a while in the US with the multi billion pound company Rent the Runway, however in the UK it is a business model that has been not taken off until recently. (Rent the Runway had a user base of 5 million , renting over $800 mil in retail value of clothing each year…. woweee that’s a lot of rentals!)
How Clothing Rental works?
Renting Others Clothes
It’s the equivalent of shopping online (with far cheaper prices) and having it from 7 days to a month or so. You place an order and it is delivered to you. After you’ve used it, you send it back. As simple and easy as returning an ASOS parcel.
Putting Your Clothes Up For Rental
Each of the below has slightly different terms. But I met Victoria, the Co-Founder of Hurr which uses a Peer-to-Peer model to discuss her exciting venture, and to put some of my clothes up for rental. You choose the items you want to rent, they take them and photograph them, and then you wait until one of your pieces is selected. You post it and await its return whilst having received an income from something that was sitting in your wardrobe catching dust!
Top Clothing Rental Platforms
Here are the rental platforms you need to know in the UK to solve all of those fashion panics, keep your outfits fresh, wear those designer pieces and ensure you’re being sustainable.
83% of waters in the world contain microplastic – one of the biggest polluters fashion.
20% of the water pollution in the world comes from the fashion industry.
The fashion industry is the third biggest polluter of water after oil and paper.
We all have 60% more clothing and keeping them half as long as 15 years ago.
Average of £55 of unworn clothes in the clothes in the wardrobe of British women
With a waitlist of over 2000, Hurr is the place to be (if you can get in) for clothing rental. Based on a peer to peer model, you need to be a member to rent clothes. It’s easy to use and can message the sender questions regarding sizing and fit. It hosts pieces of over £100 retail so choose from the likes of Ganni, Versace and Stella McCartney.
I am now officially a member and can’t wait to start renting and hopefully make some dollar renting my own clothes!
Having experienced the My Wardrobe HQ dressing room experience I can attest that MWHQ have an array of fabulous dresses to hire.
The AirBnB of fashion helps you rotate your wardrobe. With a whole host of dresses in the mid to up-market range there is something for all ocassions. I loved attending their Autumn event and seeing all the beautiful dresses that they have. Certainly my next rental stop!
The “netflix for your wardrobe” -Wearthewalk has a subscription based model starting from £149 a month where you can rent up to £1200 of designer clothes, or 4 pieces. With over 1000+ designers there are many to choose from. Never has your wardrobe looked to fresh!
Highstreet is on the cheaper end, showcasing high street pieces for that “only going to wear it once moment”. Rentals start from around £10 for 7 days. So simple and easy to use, and anyone can rent anything! I just rented a Rat & Boa dress for £22 for my sisters engagement party - bargain!
Based in London, Front Row offers a wide range of designer pieces to rent. Great for events, or any occasion, Front row is definitely a site that I will be browsing when I have an event coming up.
Armarium uses a global network of stylists to offer users a more bespoke service. No invite necessary but it has exclusive pieces to rent.
Sustain Sister are leading the way in Ireland in supporting conscious brands and vintage pieces. With Sustain Sister you don’t have compromise style for ethics. However it appears it is aimed at a slightly older demographic.
With Cinderella Me you’d hope not to lose a show but you can rent designer shoes. From Louboutin to Jimmy Choos, to those coveted Manolo Blaniks, you could be so Carrier Bradshaw with this platform!
Darpdecade is known as the ‘Tinder for closets’ - connecting fashion lovers to share their wardrobes with each other. It’s based upon finding another’s wardrobe that you like the look of and creating a relationship based upon clothes exchange. However, it relies on geography, and finding another person to want your clothes as much as you want theirs.
A global platform means wherever you are you can rent, buy of sell luxury handbags, shoes and clothes. Great news for those international travellers, or just a global market.
A premium destination to rent luxury fashion. This is the place to rent if you’re looking for something extra special.
Convert to Clothing Rental
It’s time to throw away, our throwaway mentality with clothes and start thinking about our wallets and the environment.
Now we don’t have to forgo our ethics for the ‘instagrammable’ picture as, clothing rental is the solution and a revolution!