You might rent your home. You might rent a car. You might have rented DVDs in the 90s. But would you rent a pair of jeans?
Selfridges is the latest, and perhaps most high-profile, store to launch an online clothing rental service. And just in time, too. Fashion rag Grazia predicts renting your wardrobe will be ‘2021’s biggest trend’.
It’s pitched as a way to shop more sustainably – an alternative to fast fashion that’s still, well, fast. So would you swap high street clothes shops for a Blockbuster for blouses?
Not just for weddings
Renting clothes for special occasions has been around for a while, of course. You may have rented a morning suit or a fancy gown to watch friends or family tie the knot, for example.
But this trend of renting everyday wear is inspired by environmental concerns. The fashion industry is a major polluter. Buying and discarding cheap garments is bad for the planet. Expensive designer clothes can be more ethically made and more durable, but here’s the problem: they’re expensive.
The selling point of these new clothing rental services is that they give you access to fashionable clothing at a lower cost, to the planet and to your bank account. When your rental period is up, you send them back, they’re cleaned and rented out again. Nothing goes in the landfill.
But maybe just for weddings
At the moment, the downside is that some of these websites are still quite pricey. Since many of them focus on designer pieces, the lower price point is still far higher than, say, Primark or your local charity shop.
And then there’s the T&Cs around damaging or staining the clothes. You might have to pay full price to replace damaged items. Not ideal if you’re renting them to save money.
Tell us your story
We want to hear from you if you’ve rented clothes before – whether just for special events or for daily life. What inspired you to do it, and would you recommend it?
Even if you haven’t, is this kind of library for linens something you’d consider?
Let us know in the comments.