The fashion industry is known to emit 10 per cent of the world’s carbon dioxide. This is more than the carbon dioxide emitted by international flights and maritime shipping combined. One of the ways these emissions can be reduced is by doubling the number of times a garments are worn, says a Sifted report. It states, doubling the number of times an item is worn can reduce its carbon emissions by almost 44 per cent. This number can be further increased to 70 per cent if consumers lease their garments instead of buying them. Over the years, well-known startups like Rent the Runway have emerged to help US consumers rent their desirable clothes. Clothes leasing platforms like By Rotation and La Mas Mona have also been helping UK and Spanish consumers explore the fashion rental market.
White label services for warehousing and logistics
To cash in on this growing $1.26billion fashion rental market, fashion startups are launching white label services to help manage the washing, dry cleaning, repairing and reshipping of clothing items. One such white label fashion rental platform launched in the UK is Zoe.
Launched by entrepreneur Isabella West, Zoe provides the complete rental services for brands including warehousing, reverse logistics and managing wastes. The platform charges a commission for these services depending on the number of services employed by brands. Zoa currently services two menswear retailers; Rathbones Tailor and Cameron Ross besides also working with UK-based reverse logistics provider ReBound Returns.
US startup CaaStle provides fashion rental services in the UK in partnership with men’s suit maker Moss Bros. Similarly, Infinite Play Rental leases technical sportswear in France. Launched by athleisure giant adidas, the platform used software from Paris-based startup Lizee. The company provides rental technologies such as RFID tags to both retailers and logistics providers.
Rentals help retailers profit margins
According to France-based logistic e-commerce provider Lizee, fashion rentals boost retailer’s profit margins. It enables them to earn almost €300 by renting a garment eight times at a third of the price, it adds.
Providers of SaaS services are urging rental service providers to convince big retailers to venture into the fashion rental market. Other factors supporting the growth of fashion rental is the increasing demand for sustainable fashion amongst consumers, says West. Sixty per cent consumers are opting sustainable garments while 36 per cent have already shifted to online shopping, she adds. West expects the fashion rental market to grow 250 per cent in coming years.
Brands can also explore fashion rentals through the SaaS software, says Anna Belez, Co-Founder Lizee. The software enables brands to learn many new things about their products and materials. However, its adoption involves a complicated process of quality control, merchandize planning and innovative software solutions, adds Linda Ahrens, Co-founder, Unown-a German fashion rental platform.
Belez believes, with their innovating thinking Gen Z can help speed up adoption and change perception towards fashion rentals.