In a bid to tackle the issue of fast fashion, clothing rental sites are becoming increasingly popular. Rental fashion has actually been around for a while, Rent the Runway, has been on the scene for over ten years. But as sustainability in fashion comes to the forefront of people’s consciousness, hiring clothes is becoming more widely used. My first experience with renting clothes was with Reason to Rent at the end of 2020. Full disclosure, I had a promo code which entitled me to a free months trial. Although I have not been asked to produce this blog in exchange, I just wanted to share my experience for anyone who is curious about renting clothes.
Fashion and the Environment
Fashion, particularly the likes of fast fashion, has got to breaking point. The fashion industry accounts for up to 10% of the global carbon emissions per year and nearly 20% of the wastewater produced. Even the energy used whilst creating garments uses more energy than both the shipping and aviation industries combined. It has been estimated that filling landfill with clothes and textiles costs £82 million every single year. And that’s just the figure for the UK. Can you imagine how much it’s costing the entire world to send unwanted clothes and textiles to landfill? The overconsumption that we’ve been encouraged to consume when it comes to fashion, has become a global problem and more eco-conscious business and individuals are looking for alternatives to fast fashion. Which is where clothing rental sites come in.
Why Rent Clothes?
Yes, fashion does have very extreme environmental impacts, but it also does wonders for the economy. According to research from The British Fashion Council, fashion contributes £28 billion to the UK economy. And globally this comes to a staggering £1.9 trillion. So why not turn the money we spend on fast fashion and use it elsewhere within the industry? By renting clothes you reduce waste. Reason to Rent explained it likes this, “Instead of 10 women buying the same dress and wearing it once, renting allows those same 10 women to share one dress. Meaning the dress gets more wears, fewer dresses need to be produced and therefore less waste is created”. Many clothing rental sites also like to rent garments that are made to last. Items for their catalogues tend to be made from good quality fabrics, that are made to be worn numerous times.
Who is Reason to Rent?
Reason to Rent is a small clothing rental company based in the UK. Currently, they are only offering one type of plan, with only clothes available for women at the moment. The update plan costs £59 per month and it allows you to rent 3 items per month, which you can then keep for 28 days. The returns are free and easy, plus cleaning insurance is included. All rental items arrive in recyclable packaging, which you can return to them so they can take care of the recycling too. In terms of brands that Reason to Rent work with, they’re all committed to sustainable fashion and ethical practices. There are over twenty brands on their books at the moment, all varying in styles. With more clothes and brands being added frequently.
My Experience With Reason to Rent
Having never rented clothes before, I didn’t quite know what to expect. But signing up to RTOR was super easy to do. In case you were interested in what I rented, I went for the Sines Trousers, a Sorrel Polka Midi Skirt (something that I have always wanted to try) and a trusty Linhares Cardigan. They arrived by courier quickly and each item was individually and carefully wrapped in tissue paper. All items are professionally cleaned and steamed after every use, and you could really tell how clean they were from the lovely laundry smell! And returning is simple, just as they describe. Just take the provided QR code to your nearest DPD store, where they will print the label and return the package for you. All for free. It was a great first experience in renting clothes and one I would happily pay for and use again.
Renting clothes isn’t for everyone. But it is a fun way to experiment with new styles, whilst avoiding contributing to the environmental impacts that fashion causes to the planet. If you do end up trying out a clothing rental site, do let me know! I would love to hear about your experience. If you enjoyed this post, do check out some of my other posts about sustainable living. Including how to make your home more eco-friendly and some of the best apps to help you live more sustainably.
Until next time.
*NB* My first-month trial was free thanks to a promo code shared with my by Reason to Rent. I was not required to write this blog post in exchange for promotion, I am doing so because I wanted to share my experience. Please note that all views of the products are my own.
Image Credits: Reason to Rent