"As the fashion industry warms up to the growing trend of sustainability, concepts of reusing and recycling are gathering momentum. However, it will be a while before these are universally adopted. The trend of fast fashion has increased overall consumption. This needs to change if we wish to make positive environmental change."
As the fashion industry warms up to the growing trend of sustainability, concepts of reusing and recycling are gathering momentum. However, it will be a while before these are universally adopted. The trend of fast fashion has increased overall consumption. This needs to change if we wish to make positive environmental change.
Brands are setting up return schemes, such as TheRealReal x Stella McCartney, with the trend of swishing’ clothes sweeping through the industry. Some brands are also extending the lifespan of their clothes by offering them on rent. This enables them to be innovative in today’s difficult retail climate.
Renting allows data collection on popular products, consumer trends
As fast fashion relies on brands for introducing runway looks to the high street as soon as possible, companies do not have time to gauge customer demand leading to oversupply and other issues related to the destruction of this excess stock. Renting clothes allows companies to gather data not only on the most popular products but also changing consumer behavior. This allows them to make changes to colors, cuts and prints without overproduction. The rental model also allows brands to ensure consumer awareness and loyalty by getting their pieces worn by real people, which is cheaper and more genuine than using influencers.
The rental model is not limited to only established luxury fashion brands and/or specific occasion wear. Companies ranging from Danish maternity and childrenwear brand Vigga to US label Nudie Jeans have also started renting clothes. Rent the Runway has launched an ‘unlimited’ service, which rents out ‘daily’ outfits for a monthly subscription. Such is the perceived success of renting clothing and accessories that Rent the Runway recently acquired a funding input of $20 million from Alibaba’s investors, putting the company’s value at $800 million, according to Allied Market.
Increase in valuation of global online rental brands
Companies following this model rely on the underlying value of brands that they stock. This new model, alongwith innovative technologies to manage storage and cleaning services is allowing brands to access new consumers. The total valuation of global online clothing rental brands, estimated at $1,013 milion in 2017 is likely to reach $1,856 million by 2023. If this trend continues, the future for fashion looks bright for both established and new brands. Brands now only need to introduce innovative schemes to lure customers.