Image via garments available can be found on the My Wardrobe HQ website as well as a pop-up space in the Harrods store in Knightsbridge, London.
“There have been many spectacular collections and standout pieces that haven’t had the chance to be seen or celebrated, so offering these pieces to our customers to rent for their next event is a way of giving these products a new life,” Lydia King, Harrods fashion director, explains to WWD. “Our fashion customers have more weddings, birthdays and other celebrations than ever before, and the joy of event dressing is back.”
The concept is attractive in terms of being wallet-friendly: dresses that would normally cost more than US$1,000 to buy can be rented for about US$20 a day, making designer fashion more accessible. For example, this gown by Maticevski has a RRP of £5,945 (US$8,196.72) but it can be rented for just £77 (US$106.10) a day. Or this ROTATE Birger Christensen Number 7 Midi Dress, which is usually £180 (US$248.34) but available to be rented for £6 (US$8.27) a day.
And, renting fashion has been somewhat of a hot topic within the industry as a solution to its infamous detriments to the environment.
However, renting clothes might not be as sustainable as it seems. Although it reduces the consumption of fast fashion in terms of buying and discarding, there are many hidden environmental costs, the main ones being packaging, cleaning the garments between rentals, and transportation. These impacts might be even worse than just throwing clothes away, one study suggests.
But the concept still has its potential. Companies that choose to rent out existing stock, instead of buying or manufacturing more for that sole purpose alone, would have a better grasp on the idea.