Want a new look for a special occasion but not keen on the environmental impact buying new clothes brings?
High-end clothes rental services could be the answer.
Fast fashion is a dirty word nowadays. Where once we bought new outfits with impunity, today it’s all about buying less and crucially making more considered choices about where and who we buy from.
For those who love a new look, charity shops, vintage stalls and swap meets where fashionistas trade their old threads, offer a swift solution. For a fraction of the price of an off-the-peg outfit, you can support a worthwhile cause by picking up some preloved and potentially one-off pieces.
And then there’s the green brownie points too - the reduction in waste and resourcefulness that repurposing old items brings.
Preloved and potentially one-off pieces
With the sharing economy becoming increasingly mainstream, hiring clothes provides a stylish solution to reducing some of the waste associated with fast fashion. Indeed, recently the market for rental clothes in the UK alone is said to be worth nearly £1bn.
Not only does it cut down on wardrobe space, it provides the opportunity to try new looks from aspirational brands at a snip of the price of the full-priced product. Already a trend in the US and more and more so in China after social influencer Jiang Chacha fronted rental platform YCloset’s campaign to drive subscriber uptake, hiring clothes offers a refreshed wardrobe in a more eco-friendly way.
If you want a silk wrap dress for an interview, there’ll be a site for it. A maxi dress for a summer wedding? It can be arranged. And even if you need a casual look, more and more platforms are branching out into everyday wear.
So before you head to the high street, why not try one of these brands. Here are the four coolest rental services in Europe right now:
1. Front Row
A London-only service, Front Row is as high-end as it gets. Come here for pieces by up-and-coming designers before everyone starts coveting them.
Or hunt out timeless looks from established fashion houses including Chanel, Fendi, Jenny Packham and Roland Mouret. As well as picking out a capsule holiday wardrobe, you can also browse trending outfits and rent the site’s most popular items.
2. MUD Jeans
Finding a perfect pair of jeans can feel like a Herculean task at times, but MUD Jeans could just win over the eco-conscious with its innovative leasing initiative.
Made from virgin organic cotton and the recycled cotton from old jeans, the company rent out their jeans for a one-off €29 fee, plus €7.50 a month for 12 months. Once the year is up, you can decide whether to keep the jeans or to trade them in for a new pair - in which case your previous pair will be repaired or recycled.
Another bonus is that MUD are part of the Fair Wear Foundation which seek to treat garment workers fairly and improve working standards.
The company is transparent about its ambition to build on and better the conditions for the people who work on its products and encourage shoppers to learn more about the story behind its denims.
3. Girl Meets Dress
A relative old-timer on the renting block, Girl Meets Dress was over 10 years ago by former Hermes publicist Anna Bance, who saw a gap in the market for a clothes hire service.
Once on the site, take your pick from Victoria Beckham dresses, Alexander McQueen styles and Stella McCartney classics and then choose your subscription package.
HURR claims to be the UK’s leading wardrobe rental platform and believes that keeping up with the latest fashion trends shouldn’t cost the planet.
The platform allows women to share their wardrobes securely and in seconds. Using real-time ID verification, geo-tagging and AI-powered fashion stylists, it's the tech that really makes us tick.
Co-founder and CEO Victoria Prew has been featured in Drapers 30 Under 30 and is building one of the world’s Top 50 retail-tech startups.
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