Why rental has to be part of the future of fashion (and why brands are starting to understand this too)
29
May 2020

Tiffany Luckett
Tiffany is a lover of all things fashion and was obsessed with always having the latest clothing. However she realised that this was wasteful. She thought about how she could help everyone, including herself, have access to on-demand affordable fashion, without being wasteful, so she founded Style Collective. 

Their mission is to give everyone access to luxury fashion, whilst supporting brands and supporting the environment through a circular approach to buying.

When I started thinking about starting a rental fashion business 4 years ago, the conversation’s I was having with people were frustrating. Branding agencies, potential investors, self-proclaimed fashionistas – people understood it, but no one really got behind the idea of it fully. Fast-forward to 2020, not only do people acknowledge that rental fashion is the future, but whether they are a brand, a blogger or an investor, everyone really sees the value in the future of the rental fashion arena.

What started for me as a quest to find ways of monetizing my increasingly growing wardrobe (most of which just sat there for 95% of the year untouched) ended up becoming a 4 year lesson on why rental fashion wasn’t just a fun idea but why it was essential to reaching a sustainable future that ultimately still encourages the growth and promotion of new clothes and new brands, but in a re-usable, circular way.

Given the current climate, now more than even just 2 months ago, fashion is facing an unprecedented pressure to change. Not just from outsiders but from insiders too. Gucci’s recent announcement that it will be going ‘seasonless’, along with Saint Laurent’s pulling out of Paris fashion week, as well as the petition led by Dries Van Noten all spells a shift in the industry and a dedication to change. What is potentially the toughest moment in fashion’s recent history, could well become the most interesting and pivotal moment for fashion for a long time. 

Sharing clothing just makes sense in today’s world. It’s not rocket science, in fact it’s just pure common sense. With Instagram so heavily focussed towards newness and the constant push from influencers who receive products on their doorstep every day of the month, it only makes sense that the Instagram audience feel like they should be replicating the same. As girls, we all know that we buy a new dress for a special occasion that 9/10 won’t get worn again that year, or even for the next 5 years - if it survives that long in your wardrobe without being thrown away! It’s just not sustainable to live like that, plus it’s just not intelligent for your wallet either.

Whether it’s due to brand’s wanting to raise their sustainability credentials, or whether they are using rental as a way to target a younger, cooler demographic – rental can be an amazing way to achieve these goals and brands have woken up to that. For brands, partnering with a rental platform like Style Collective means a relatively risk-free approach to rental fashion, allowing them an amazing marketing opportunity and an additional way to acquire customers, as well as income.

Rental isn’t trying to achieve a replacement for buying fashion by any means. Rental should be used to supplement your fashion for the right reasons. As eco-warrior Clare Press recommends, as a conscious consumer before you buy any item consider the question – will I wear this item 30 times? I like to add in a supplementary question of my own – will this item last me 30 wears? Inevitably with low quality brands, you will certainly not be able to confidently say yes to the second question. If you do answer a resounding YES to both, buy the item! If you know you won’t be wearing that item more than 3 times, look for the best alternative rental option. Simple.

With COVID-19, it’s positive to see that a lot of people are seeing this time as a great time to slow down and re-think their current approach to sustainability. My personal view, and it is shared by most people I speak to in fashion, is that there will be an ever-increasing pressure on brands to think more sustainably. For both brands and their customers alike there are obvious ways to use the rental sector to their advantage. 

 

 Style Collective is a rental platform which partners with brands, to provide its customers with access to on-demand affordable luxury fashion, helping customers and brands become more sustainable and helping make fashion circular.

The Imperfect Blog

Contrary to popular belief, you don't need to have it all figured out in order to lead a sustainable lifestyle. In fact, it's better to make small conscious choices when possible, than none at all. We explore every topic under the sun around kindness to our environment, wildlife, other people and ourselves.


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