How Clothing Rental Service Startups Is Setting a Trend in the Fashion Industry

How Clothing Rental Service Startups Is Setting a Trend in the Fashion Industry

Can’t find anything from your closet to wear again? Enter clothing rental service.

Fashion is one of the many ways with which you can express yourself. From vintage trends comebacks to the emergence of more inclusive clothing brands, like SKIMS, and fashion tech, the fashion industry continues to evolve and makes shopping for garments fun—but not for the environment. The apparel industry accounts for 10% of the world’s carbon emissions and consumes 1.5 trillion liters of water (about 400,000 Olympic swimming pool) each year. If you love fashion but don’t want to be environmentally-conscious with shopping, you might be interested in jumping on the bandwagon of the fashion sharing culture. Fashion sharing, or fashion renting, allows us to rent clothes offered by the host company for a couple hours or days.

Over the past few years, there are more and more companies specializing in clothing rental services. They provide a marketplace for people to pay to subscribe and rent pre-loved luxury clothes and designer bags. In doing so, the companies are integrating the sharing economy (think about bike sharing businesses) with the fashion clothing industry. 

Let’s take a look at how fashion rental startups are transforming the fashion industry. 

Sustainability in the fashion industry

Fast fashion has been a pressing concern in the fashion retail industry for a long time. It mainly focuses on getting runway trends to the market and letting the customers purchase them as soon as possible. Since these clothes are meant to follow trends, many of these clothes are dumped and sent straight to the landfill once the trend cycles change. The speed of producing these clothes has led to a problem—environmental pollution. For instance, the fashion industry, which is responsible for 10% of annual carbon emissions, emits more carbon dioxide than all international flights and maritime shipping combined each year. 

With the grave environmental impact of the fashion industry in mind, fashion rental companies focus on sustainability. Take one of the fashion rental startups, Style Theory, as an example. Style Theory aims to create a new norm to promote renting clothes to create a more eco-friendly lifestyle. The Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Style Theory, Raena Lim, wants to help propel the idea of sustainability in the fashion industry. To achieve this goal, Lim established her company by providing people an “infinite wardrobe stored in the cloud” where people can rent over 30,000 items, including apparel and accessories. Since these clothes are rentals, they wouldn’t end up in the landfill even if the customers stopped liking to wear them anymore. This echoes the concept of sustainability in the fashion industry, which has become a priority for the public. 

Personalized closet 

Choosing what to wear every single day while staring at your closet is a common struggle that nearly everyone faces. Besides allowing customers to rent clothes, clothing rental service sites are also expanding their service to personalize style for their customers. 

For example, the fashion rental site Armoire learns the unique style of each customer to help them save time on shopping. To do that, Armoire’s AI-powered recommendation engine will build a closet that suits each customer’s preferences by analyzing images of outfits the user usually wears and asking them direct questions on their fashion style. Then, customers receive a curated collection of designer outfits which they can rent. Customers can also rent the looks that are created and shared by other members on the site. With fashion rental service sites providing style recommendations and customized selections, there will be less frustration from picking your outfits.

Moving forward: more inclusivity in fashion-sharing 

Apart from a personalized closet, inclusivity is also a crucial factor to consider when shopping for clothes. Plus-size women often have to resort to fast fashion because many clothing rental platforms only provide limited options for women above the size of US 12 or UK 16.

Given the fashion sharing economy is positioned to be more customer-oriented, it has the potential to effectively push for inclusivity and diversity in the clothing industry. To make sure the clothes are actually rented, fashion-sharing startups have to cater to the needs and sizes of customers. That, coupled with the massive growth potential of the plus-size fashion market, which is expected to rise from US$481 million in 2019 to US$697 million by 2027, will prompt fashion sharing startups and fashion industry as a whole to become more inclusive.

Some examples of plus-size clothing rental services include Nuuly (which offers clothes up to size 40), Gwynnie Bee (sizes 0-32) and Fashion to Figure Closet (sizes 12-24 and XL-3XL). Apart from sizes, garment rental platforms, such as Loanhood, branded itself as gender-inclusive to empower people across the gender spectrum. With these pioneers in the scene in play, we can be optimistic about seeing more inclusive fashion rental startups in future.

Hopefully, the novelty of the fashion renting trend will induce a radical change in the fashion industry and how customers purchase clothes. With fashion rental possessing various advantages, let’s try to embrace eco-friendly fashion and support those who are making strides to improve the fashion industry for the better.

Also read:

Header Image Courtesy of Freepik

SHARE THIS STORY

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

RELATED POSTS

How Organizations Can Cope with Change

How Organizations Can Cope with Change

It is almost inevitable that you will experience some changes in the workplace during your career. Be it through digitalization or employee restructuring—businesses need to keep themselves ahead of the curve by quickly adapting to change.

What LaMDA’s “Sentience” Means for AI

What LaMDA’s “Sentience” Means for AI

With the advent of self-driving cars and artificial intelligence (AI) artists, AI is getting closer and closer to replicating human capabilities each day. However, there is one thing that separates humans from AI—emotional intelligence or sentience. Or, at least, so we thought.
In June this year, Google software engineer Blake Lemoine came out with the claim that Google’s AI chatbot LaMDA (short for language model for dialogue applications) had become sentient.

PLC Ultima A Cryptocurrency for Mass Use or a Scam

PLC Ultima: A Cryptocurrency for Mass Use or a Scam?

In December 2021, a new contender entered the cryptocurrency market. Going by the name PLC Ultima (PLCU), the currency was just valued at US$0.10 when it first came into existence. To put this into perspective, 6000 cryptocurrencies had been launched in 2021, taking the total number of cryptos in the market from 10,000 to 16,000.

Budget Southeast Asia Getaways for Entrepreneurs

5 Budget Southeast Asia Getaways for Founders

As an entrepreneur, you’re always on the go, pushing yourself to the limits and working hard to achieve your goals. While starting your own business can be incredibly rewarding, you need to take some time off from time to time. Not just for your mental health—though that’s important, too—taking a break from having to constantly juggle life, work and family obligations 24/7 also helps keep those creative juices flowing.

Top 7 Luxury Watches to Invest in 2022

Top 7 Luxury Watches to Invest in 2022

This year, luxury watches overtook Bitcoin and vintage cars to become the most coveted investment option among the three. Though watch prices have fallen since the infamous crypto crash, they are still significantly up from their prices in 2019. In fact, during the pandemic, people used their saved up money to invest in watches, including Rolex and Patek Philippe. Renowned watch brands caught everyone’s attention as their resale values surged.

Art Theft The Disturbing New Issue on NFT Platforms

Art Theft: The Disturbing New Issue on NFT Platforms

The dark side of the non-fungible tokens (NFTs) market started to reveal itself after NFTs became mainstream last year. Previously, we have explored how the NFT marketplace is riddled with scams, such as artist impersonations and insider trading. Not only have such hoaxes become a big issue for buyers hoping to get their hands on genuine artist works but also for the artists themselves.