The Rise of Rental Clothing



The global online rental clothing market is expected to reach a whopping $1.836 billion by 2023, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.6 per cent, according to Allied Market Research. These numbers reveal a changing dynamic in fashion that has largely been dominated by consumerism. There are a variety of factors contributing to this massive increase in rental clothing.

One platform that has paved the way for this ‘sharing’ culture is Rent the Runway. The platform has created an opportunity for the masses to rent designer clothing. It’s a one-of-a-kind venture that has shifted the shopping habits of the most fervent of fashion savants.

More such fashion rental platforms have popped, like By Rotation, Hirestreet, and Onloan, to name a few. Clearly, there was a need for this segment in the fashion industry and for a good reason.


But How Does It Work?

Rental clothing is, well, what the name says, essentially renting clothes. However, the way it works can vary depending on where you’re renting the clothes from. Rent the Runway follows a membership model with different subscription tiers. Rotation, on the other hand, follows a peer-to-peer lending model, facilitating rentals between different parties.

At the end of the day, the process is pretty straightforward. You pay to use the clothes for a limited time and return them back. That, of course, comes at a price concession because you’re not ‘buying’ those clothes, only renting.





Accessibility in Fashion

The reality is that the masses cannot afford luxury fashion. With the middle class dwindling in the UK and many other Western countries, much of the population no longer even have the purchasing power to afford new clothes every week or month.

Clothing rentals are covering the gap between fashion and people’s limited income. By making designer and even luxury clothes, shoes, and accessories available for rentals, these companies are bringing fashion to the masses who don’t necessarily need to own the piece.

Accessibility has always been an issue with fashion, especially luxury fashion that has been reserved for the elite since time immemorial.


A Push for Sustainability

The strongest influence in the rise of rental fashion is sustainability. With the fashion industry being one of the top contributors to global warming, rental clothing may just be the solution we need to control climate change before it’s too late.

Thanks to growing consumer awareness, sustainability is gradually influencing people’s buying decisions, especially when it comes to fashion. Renting clothes is one way to reduce waste while keeping your wardrobe fresh.

According to an independent study conducted on behalf of Rent the Runway, the company has saved 67 million gallons of water since its inception. Although we have yet to learn more about the environmental impact of renting clothes, so far, it looks like a viable model to reduce fashion’s carbon footprint, at least to some extent.

If you’ve never tried renting clothes, perhaps it’s time you gave it a try. Not only is it sustainable but also convenient in more ways than one. For instance, you’d have fewer clothes in your wardrobe than you would if you just kept buying.


La Jolie

For Elemntz