t’s no surprise that clothes rental brands are popular right now. Sustainability is the hot topic on everyone’s lips right now. There’s been a particular focus within fashion as the industry is known for being one of the worst contributors to climate change, through its fast fashion endeavours and clothing waste.
As much as we love bagging a bargain, we have to think more carefully about how we shop. That’s where clothes rental brands and websites come in. New clothing no longer has to be brand new, period. It can be brand new to us but still not have the same drastically negative effects on the environment that buying new fast fashion will have.
Clothes rental brands and websites allow shoppers to still get new clothes and outfits – which is key for any fashionista, we understand. What it doesn’t allow for is the whole ‘one outfit per wear’ situation, where (and we’ve all been guilty of this!) customers buy an outfit for a particular occasion and then never wear it again. Fashion is the second worst polluter globally – but clothes rental brands and websites could potentially help change this. Charity shopping, buying second-hand off preloved websites such as Depop and eBay are also ways forward to get yourself a new wardrobe without (literally) costing the earth.
Hire Street is a website which stocks all of your favourite brands (think Topshop, Never Fully Dressed and Rat and Boa) but it also allows you to get your hands on lesser-available brands such as Runway the Label and Seven Wonders. For me, a fashion obsessive living in London, this is really useful as I love these Aussie brands and they aren’t as easily accessible in the UK. Pink your item of clothing and choose to rent it from anywhere between four and 16 days. Not the one to stock designer brands but perfect for those of you looking for high street brands at a more sustainable cost.
A really popular one over last year, HURR works on a peer-to-peer basis. What does this mean? You can get the latest trends from your fellow fashionistas as people from all over share their own wardrobes. It’s totally safe though as there’s real-time ID verification, geo-tagging and AI-powered stylists so it’s all trustworthy. Lenders are responsible for posting unless you want to use the HURR concierge service (but you’ll get less commission if you do). Check it out and wear designers such as Balmain and Erdem and your favourite high street loves, including Mango and Warehouse for a week or more.
Another peer-to-peer clothes rental service, By Rotation purely facilitate the lending of clothes and don’t list any newly-bought stock on the app. Oh yes, this one is purely done via the app – it’s free, quick and easy to use. Once again, the lender is responsible for delivery – either by Royal Mail Tracked or the app has its own courier-style service. But By Rotation also allows users to exchange clothes and money in person (if you want to save on costs). You can literally borrow an item for just one day if you want too! Zimmerman is one of my favourite brands to peruse on the app but there’s also smaller brands such as Been London.
Girl Meets Dress
One of the OGs of clothes rental websites, Girl Meets Dress ensures any girl is sorted with a dress for any occasion. You might have been able to guess that from the name. Needle & Thread and Amanda Wakeley always do great gowns and are on the site for you. Customers can rent their dream dress as far up to three months in advance – perfect if you know you’ve got an event in the future and want to find the perfect dress. You can also hire up to three days before you need your dress – there just might be less choice. There’s a minimum of two nights’ rental and it’s capped at a week but if this service is for you, there’s also a membership option. Perhaps not for you if you’re looking to rent more than dresses.
My Wardrobe HQ
You’ve got to be a member of My Wardrobe HQ if you want to rent clothes from this website. This one is a much more tailored service though, including a personal shopping consultation visit from a My Wardrobe HQ stylist to discuss what you want to get from your subscription. Isabel Marant, Kitri and Temperley are all available to rent (I’ve got my eye on some show-stopping dresses and jumpers, myself) and are yours for up to two weeks. You also have the chance to buy certain items at discounted prices…