Renting clothes and accessories has become increasingly popular in recent years. Especially millennials are great supporters of this movement. In fact, millennials use clothing rentals 3 times more often than non-Y millennials. There are many reasons for this behavior.
First, college debt and the financial crisis make it impossible for young people to buy designer clothes. This is how the clothing rental trend started. Instead of buying a trench coat, why not rent it for a month or two? But what about a dress for a wedding or an important event? Moreover, it can be rented!
The practicality behind this reason has gradually become a trend. Millennials see renting and second-hand buying as sustainable and economically beneficial. Problems such as the reduction of landfill waste are reduced. Many tenants also shop at second-hand stores. Buying used clothing makes it easier to resell instead of throwing them away when they are no longer liked. There is a constant trade.
There are two different types of tenants. Those who have an event and just don’t have a matching outfit or are taking full advantage of the rental trend. Many tenants use the rental service several times a month to dress for work or events. Most of the time things stay in the same circle and it is not noticed whether someone is wearing the same outfit every time. Dressing up for business meetings is another reason to rent rather than buy. Women and men want to present themselves and their company in the best way possible. Wearing an appropriate suit or dress can help.
It’s no longer talked about coming to a prestigious luxury event in a rented and unowned dress or tuxedo. A busy social life combined with the onslaught of social media has made re-wearing clothes or bags almost unforgivable and unacceptable. Therefore, in such cases, it doesn’t make much sense to invest thousands of dollars on one-time wear. Unless you’re a blogger gifting new clothes for every event, renting is exactly what to do.
The lure of ‘non-ownership’ now goes beyond housing and cars. Fashion and accessories are now two of the biggest rental industries on the rise. It makes a lot of sense for people who can’t afford luxury brands but rely on dressing well often. The new generation has multiple experiences and desires to be trendy and trendy without the permanent pressure of ownership.
Le Tote President Brett Northart said that clothing rentals are on the rise as consumers want flexibility in their wardrobes. In addition, the recession has made people less in love with owning things.
Even though we see many benefits for consumers, there is a downside to this. Small retailers and even larger ones have had to struggle with the rental business in the past. Now they have to adapt in order to compete. Many retailers have already launched a rental and clothing branch for their business. A new industry based on sharing or renting clothing, electronics and small appliances emerged from the ground up about five years ago and is a disruptive force for traditional retailers.
Advantages and disadvantages for interested parties:
Retailers: “Apparel will remain a priority spend,” Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at The NPD Group, told Retail Dive. “As young consumers seek and spend more on services and experiences than ever before, they compete for wallet share.”
Retailers need to start taking action and jump on the clothes rental train to customers. If your brand is not an innovative or popular Instagram/Social Media brand, sales will drop in a short time. Many large companies have already had to downsize and expand their clothing stores due to this shift in customer behavior.
Consumers: This new industry of sharing or renting clothing, electronics and small appliances is emerging and threatening the retailer. But what about the consumer?
Student loan debt and the Great Recession are almost forcing young people in our society to find a different way of wearing quality clothes. Sharing is a great alternative to possession. These behaviors have led to businesses like Zipcar, taxi service Uber, and home rental site Airbnb. Not only financially, the rental trend is also beneficial. Many millennials consider this option for the environmental and economic benefits. Less waste means a smaller burden on mother earth.
Despite all the leases, there’s still something Millennials buy and don’t share. Smartphones. According to Nielsen research, about 85 percent of people aged 18 to 34 have them, and devices are the gateway to the sharing economy. Online applications are the most important gateway of rental and online shopping sites.
These arrangements are beneficial not just for those who don’t have it. Renting your car or using it to transport people who don’t own a car is making the most of your investment. Making money with it is even better.
Economics: To understand the scale of the trade and rental business, let’s look at the numbers from one of the largest clothing rental sites on the market. Hyman, CEO and co-founder of Rent the runway, said subscriptions currently make up about a third of Rent the Runway’s revenue. It also says the company raised $100 million in revenue in mid-2016 and raised more than $190 million in venture capital in six rounds. The most recent injection of $60 million, led by Fidelity Investments last year, pinned the company’s valuation to a “significant increase” from the $520 million mark it set in 2014, Hyman told Recode at the time.
Clothing and accessories rental has created a rapidly growing new market. While most of the websites offering these services are newly established, more and more large companies are starting to enter the market. For example, Amazon, which is not yet on the market, may appear soon. Go-to-work-wear brand Ann Taylor launched a $95 subscription service earlier last year, threatening smaller startups.
Environment: The fashion industry is a heavy burden on our environment. Especially fast fashion, which generates billions of dollars in clothing every year and is often thrown away without being recycled, leaves a heavy carbon footprint on the environment. Many clothing rental companies are trying to work against this waste. They team up with designers who want to make clothes more sustainable, and they rent clothes rather than over-produce them. By renting for special occasions rather than buying and selling, incineration of fashion waste can be reduced. Reduced waste leads to a cleaner planet and greater sustainability.
Many founders of clothing rental companies hope to bankrupt fast fashion companies like H&M. This environmental thinking is one of the biggest reasons, besides money, that young people are so interested in the rental trend.
Fashion Rental Services:
renting clothes online
Rent the Track:
The online rental service offers designer clothes to rent. As the first rental store for gowns and evening wear, Rent the Runways marked a major milestone in shopping. The store operates on the value of the rented piece, not on a monthly subscription. It is usually 10-15% of the retail price.
Rent the Runway, which made more than $100 million in sales last year, said in October it aims to “put Zara and H&M out of business.” For $159 per month, RTR members can now borrow unlimited clothes and accessories, from blouses and dresses to coats and purses, and up to four items at once. The goal is to be the client’s full-time wardrobe.
Rent the Runway has opened several physical outposts in places like Woodland Hills and San Francisco.
These stores are far from traditional stores, rather than acting like showrooms that are an extension of subscriber lockers.
This online rental service works on a monthly subscription basis. Instead of paying for each piece they rent, subscribers pay $59 a month to deliver 3 outfits and 2 accessories unlimited times a month. This service is ideal if you need to constantly buy new clothes, for example if you are pregnant. Le Tote offers a great selection of maternity clothes. You can choose the clothes you want delivered.
Gwynnie Bee is another monthly subscription service. For $49 per month, the store offers a great selection of plus sizes where you can choose up to 10 items per month. Not only is this a great offer, but the page has created its own communities where members can share stories about their outfits and promote body positivity. At Gwynnie Bee, casual wear is the focus, but they also offer gowns and evening wear.
Glam Corner is plus size equivalent to Rent the Runway. Here, subscribers can rent designer dresses and gowns for a monthly fee. A special treat from this company is to offer inclusive sizes for all body types, this includes bump-friendly dresses.
Here’s a quick rental store! Style Lend promises the customer 2-day shipping nationwide and same day shipping in New York. If the dress is not what you are looking for or does not fit the dress, Style Lend promises to replace the dress before your event or get a refund. The price, which varies around $25 per rental, is not bad either.
For owners, the sharing economy transforms property into income streams by ensuring that items are always useful: Someone who only uses their car for commuting every day can rent it out to other drivers in the meantime. For customers, the sharing economy offers convenience, value (it’s cheaper to pay to use something for a short time than to buy it outright), and a greater choice of products and services. It also offers access without ownership – something that resonates with millennial consumers who are of age in a recession, economically minded, and value experiences over material goods.
While other areas in the rental market are already booming and growing rapidly, the fashion rental industry is growing more slowly due to logistical issues. Companies are working on solutions to these problems to make the garment rental and return process easier and more convenient for the consumer. In the next few years, clothing and accessory rentals will beat fast fashion and toxic waste by disposing of clothing.