It’s 2019 – or, more aptly speaking, the last few days within this decade. We meet the potential loves of our lives on apps, get food delivered via our phone and, quite rightly, we want our cake (and fashion!) and we want it delivered too. The concept of renting fashion (to save ££, to be kinder to the planet, to stop buying clothes we don’t need…the list of reasons is endless) is established in the US and has made its British debut too. With new apps such as By Rotation, Rent on Trend and RetellYouStory and established websites such as Hurr, the world of rental is emerging rapidly and no longer seen as a rare activity (like hiring a suit for a special occasion, for example) but a regular habit with its own designated app sitting pretty on our phone alongside Instagram, Uber and Deliveroo.
Starting with By Rotation, their concept is simple – what’s mine, is yours. With a variety of clothes and accessories (think your classic Gucci, Chanel and YSL alongside cool girl brands like Rotate Birger Christensen, Shrimps and those Jacquemus mini bags), money off your first rental when you refer a friend and the prestigious Eco Age Brandmark, this app has that new kid on the block charm. Emergent? Certainly. Yet, with their already established influencer cult-following and gorgeous listings from founder and tech-business queen Eshita Kabra-Davies, this rental app won’t remain a newbie for long.
Then, there’s the all important environmental factor – millennial consumers have challenged excessive plastic use, reconsidered their diets and, as a result, it is inevitable that our fashion choices are also going through a form of re-assessmnent. RentonTrend pledges to plant a tree for every new product listing on the website – in this way, not only is the world of rental mitigating the effects of fast fashion, it’s actively kind to the planet too and responding to a growing millennial dissatisfaction with the shocking quantity of barely worn clothes ending up in landfill every year (300,000 tonnes according to The Times FYI).
Now, I admit that, as a somewhat slightly spoilt young child, I am guilty of heavily subscribing to the What’s Yours is Mine and the What’s Mine is Mine concept but realise that for the good of the planet (and my friendships!), it’s time to change that. While I vow to take a good look at my fast fashion habit in the New Year, I realise the festive period is the perfect time to start renting. Christmas parties, occasions, nights out… renting a statement piece to complement my (mostly!) all-black wardrobe is not only lighter on the purse and kinder to the planet but more in line with my principles and the perfect antidote to those panic-induced Miss Guided Shopping Trips. I know, sue me and that bloody £1 bikini….
Ultimately, whilst a little sceptic (read – terrified) of listing my treasured bags and starting my rental journey, I can’t think of a single point against rental. It’s entrepreneurial (platforms like Rent on Trend allow users to list items from £80-100 and upwards), it’s sustainable and it allows for experimentation with statement pieces which wouldn’t be worn past a season. Ultimately, even if you’re not interested in the ethical aspect (which you kind of should be, in my opinion), it allows for some good old fashioned try before you buy should you be considering to part yourself with your hard earned pennies for the It Bag of the Moment.
So, this Christmas season, why not pledge to be a little more eco-conscious with our wardrobe choices? A donated bag of clothes we don’t use here and substituting rental clothes with a new purchase there may not make us eco-saints but, hey, if that Jacquemus bag is still up for grabs (albeit, a rented one), going to fashion heaven (with a clean conscience!) is still a possibility, after all. Oh and if you’re looking for a local rent platform, we hear that Minnie May Closet has a variety of offerings for the Christmas season – as they say: rent, return, repeat.
The Squiggles Team