The idea of renting clothes always reminded me of these comedy movies where a groom and his best man go to a tacky smoking rental store where they try on embellished oversized suits and shirts with frills.
I didn’t think about it as a real life thing until I got into sustainable fashion and I saw all the possibilities. I even included sustainable clothing rental services on this post about the different forms of sustainable fashion.
Think about all the times we buy stuff we only end up using once. All that waste (of money and resources) just disappears when we rent instead of buying *puff*.
Just a few examples:
Like ski clothes and ski equipment, scuba diving stuff,… I know people who have practiced these sports once during a holiday on the mountain or the seaside, yet they own the whole equipment.
To each their own. But wouldn’t it make more sense to just rent things we know deep down know we’ll only use once or twice? For the sake of money, closet space, and – well – the environment.
Fancy-ass dresses that WE KNOW we’ll only wear once, yet we insist on buying year after year for a wedding, a ball,… and then they sit on our closets. Mocking us.
Been there, done that.
The same goes for New Year’s Eve clothes. Those shiny dresses, tops and skirts that we all have but never wear twice because,…well…glitter and sequins MIGHT not be a work-appropriate attire, or your outfit of choice to have brunch with your girls.
It’s a fact: if you buy a Halloween costume, one of those made of cheap and flimsy material, you’ll only wear it once.
They’re unoriginal, and if they’re not broken by the end of the party, chances are you won’t repeat the same costume next year. So either way, these costumes are a waste.
There are many many alternatives. You can rent them, but you can also DIY them, or use things you already own.
Certain luxury items
That one luxury item you got that is more expensive than your rent, and now you hate because it sends you on constant guilt trips.
Using rental services, you can get your own Valentino dress, or a Prada bag without having to commit.
Turns out having children is expensive (like, who would’ve thought??). And maternity clothing is, of course, a part of the expenses.
You need to feel all snug and comfy AND fabulous.
That’s why many clothing rental services offer maternity gowns, dresses,… You deserve it, you’re growing a human.
So I did some research, and these are the most sustainable clothing rental services that will save you tons of money and A LOT of space in your closet. While you help save the world, that is.
NOTE: Even if clothing rental is a more sustainable option, not all companies seem to have sustainability as a priority. So these are the ones that really are committed to making a change. There are many other renting services, but you’ll see that renting doesn’t always equal sustainability.
The most sustainable clothing rental services
With Rent the Runway you can either rent clothes for that one special event you have coming up, or start a membership and receive clothes every few weeks. Once you return the clothes you rented, you can choose new ones, so your wardrobe will be in constant evolution.
I love that they include the retail price and the price of renting. It really gives perspective on how much money you’ll be saving.
They do have brick and mortar stores in the US where you can book an appointment. This can be very convenient if you live closeby and you want to pick up and return your clothes there – this would reduce the carbon emissions of your rental even more.
- Through their business, they encourage women to participate in a circular economy model to avoid waste and reduce the impact of the fashion industry on the environment.
- When clothes cannot be rented anymore, they do their best to extend their life cycle and donate them to NGOs like Dress for Success.
- They use their very own reusable garment bags to reduce the impact of packaging as much as possible.
- They do use plastic covers to protect the clothes and give them a longer life, but when those covers are returned to them, they are recycled and converted into building materials – mind-blowing, isn’t it?
- They phased out animal fur in 2017, so you can be sure that your ethical values are safe with them.
- They use responsible dry cleaning without any toxic substances.
What makes Switch unique is that they exclusively work with jewelry rentals.
You can choose the plan that best suits you out of their three membership plans, and then choose the jewels and styles you want to receive.
Once you don’t want the pieces you received anymore, you can just send them back and choose new ones. That easy.
I can imagine this is super convenient for those statement jewelry pieces that we all love but don’t dare to buy. Now we don’t have to commit. Rent it, try it, pass it on!
Read more about jewelry and sustainability in this post!
- Do you know that jewelry production can have terrible environmental and human consequences? If you didn’t, check this post! So by renting jewels instead of buying them, you’re avoiding all this impact – and if you rent pieces from sustainable designers, even better.
- Mining for precious stones and minerals pollutes water flows and promotes deforestation. By renting jewels and passing them on to other women to use, you’ll be reducing your environmental impact ENORMOUSLY.
Glam Corner is an Australian company that offers clothing and accessories for different occasions, for all styles and from all the best designers.
You can rent only once for a special event, or start a membership.
They even have stylists to help you out. You also have a fit guarantee – if the dress doesn’t fit or you just don’t like it, you can send it back and get a backup dress, no hard feelings.
- They are B Corp Certified – should I even say more? This means that all their efforts in the sustainability department are not just promises or hopes, but a real compromise.
- They have all your ethical concerns covered, as you can read on their supply chain policy. From no discrimination and respect to women’s rights, to animal welfare. We love a good ethical boss-brand.
- They make sure that all of their suppliers comply with national environmental laws and that they can manage and minimize their environmental impact.
I found this brand scrolling through Instagram. And when you see how GORGEOUS the inside of their London location is, you’ll understand why it got my attention.
How does it work? Very easy.
You can both lend your clothes, or rent other women’s clothes. If you decide to lend them, it’s up to you who you want to lend them to: you’re in charge but they make the process easier for you. You approve the renting requests, you decide whether you’ll use a mailer service or hand the clothes over yourself, and then you get paid. Voilà!
- As you can see on their sustainability page, they’re well aware of the fashion pollution problem, and they’re all in for a circular fashion model and for extending the life of luxury fashion items – that’s why they have partnered with sustainable companies from different sectors to make the whole rental process as green as possible.
- All their products are delivered with eco-friendly packaging
- They dry clean the clothes, making sure no harmful chemicals even get close to the clothes.
- They use a sustainable courier service for the London area! So you can get your fab goodies in time and sustainably.
- Aside from the high fashion and luxury brands we all know and love, they offer a section exclusively for sustainable brands.
Have you tried any of these sustainable clothing rental brands? Tell me about your experience!