“I’m not wearing that old thing – I’ve already worn it and posted it on Instagram.” How many times have you uttered these words before choosing what to wear for a night out? It’s a common thought that has led to a sometimes wasteful approach to fashion. According to Clothes Aid, roughly 350,000 tonnes (that’s around £140 million worth of used but still wearable clothing) goes to landfill in the UK every year. This equates to more than 30 percent of our unwanted clothing currently going to landfill.
It’s no secret that the fashion and textiles industry is a major player in our global waste problem. But fear not – clothing rentals have taken the fashion industry by storm in recent years. The future of fashion is the community closet, and there are now multi-brand clothing rental websites and apps at every price point. We still have quite a way to go if we want to close the loop on circular fashion, but the growing fashion rental economy is helping to push our consumption in a more sustainable direction.
In the past few years, the fashion rental economy has grown at an exceptional rate and in turn has altered our attitudes to waste and sustainable fashion. American company Rent the Runway was one of the first big names in the rental business, and it’s still going strong a whole decade later. Since then, the UK has followed suit with dozens of fashion rental websites and apps, specialising in everything from certified vintage gems to peer-to-peer lending, designer clothing rentals, and even niche companies like Cocoon, which only rents luxury handbags.
However, there’s still a greater need for size inclusivity within the clothing rental market in the UK. When the clothing rental market first started to take off, plus-size options were extremely limited. In the last year, we have been seeing some slight improvements, but it’s still a large part of the conversation.
Read ahead to find the best inclusive fashion rental websites and apps in the UK that will elevate your wardrobe.