WWhen preparing her outfit for an upcoming awards ceremony, Lily Murphy was wary of two things: how much she was spending on clothes and the impact on the environment. The solution was to rent a dress from someone who had the style and fit she wanted.
“I really became aware of my overconsumption of fashion over the years,” says the 26-year-old public relations manager. “I also realized how much money I spent on clothes and how often I wear a new outfit, and then I lose interest in wearing it again. I think that’s typical of young women, especially when you’re buying something with an event in mind.
Using an app called Hurr, Murphy rented a dress from London designers Rixo to attend his black tie event, paying just under £ 65 to borrow it for four days.
Renting clothes online is nothing new – Marks & Spencer last week offered a range of women’s clothing for hire – but her outfit was from another woman’s wardrobe.
As a younger generation of consumers take a more sustainable approach to what they wear and also demand a new look for their social media posts, networks that connect buyers and sellers have emerged.
By Rotation, a London-based company, was started in 2019 by Eshita Kabra, who was concerned about the high levels of textile waste she saw on her honeymoon in her native India. Kabra says most of his users are Millennials and “Gen Z” – that is, those under 40.
Users can borrow or lend designer dresses and bags by the day, with the option to view or collect the item. Loans typically last three to four days – to account for the time it takes to return the item. Each party pays a 15% fee and there is an optional fee for cleaning set by the lender.
In one example, a designer dress is offered for hire at £ 10 per day – £ 30 for three days – with a cleaning fee of £ 10, plus a 15% charge for the business of $ 6. £ which brings the bill to £ 46. Dresses can be rented for one day, but the company recommends lenders set a minimum of three, with the dress received on the first day and returned on the third.
Hurr, used by Murphy, works the same way. The parts must be less than two years old and in “excellent condition” according to the company. An algorithm calculates the suggested rental charge, based on the coin’s retail price, and the charge is 15% for both sides. Murphy’s bill for four days’ hire has been broken down into £ 34.30 for clothing, a service charge of £ 5.15, a dry cleaning charge of £ 10, a shipping charge of £ 10 and a damage protection fee of £ 5, which is optional.
Bought new, the dress would have cost £ 270, and Murphy says she may not have worn it more than once.
If anything is damaged, homeowners can bill the borrower on a rotational basis. If they refuse to pay, the borrower’s contact details can be passed to the lender to pursue the case in small claims court, although this has not yet happened, Kabra said.
Hurr founder Victoria Prew says borrowers are asked to pay market value if an item is damaged beyond repair.
In addition to wanting to reduce their carbon footprint, young consumers often want to wear something new to an event – and update their social media feed.
. “They don’t just think of the days when they wear the clothes – they think of the Instagram photo and the moment that will last forever,” says an industry figure who works in venture capital.
“She wants the photo in this dress that will stay on her Instagram and stay on her feed forever. People are investing in that.
What you won’t find on the new generation of loaner apps are premium brands like Zara and H&M, where buyers can buy coins for the same amount they would pay to rent a top coin. range.
They can, however, be found on an application called Nuw. Aisling Byrne created it in an attempt to tackle the problem of the large amounts of waste in the fashion industry, which often ends up in developing countries.
In what is described as an “online exchange store”, users can upload photos of their clothes – designer or street – and earn coins, which can then be redeemed for items other users have. propose.
Coins are received when the item is uploaded to the site, with a trademark earning a silver coin and a designer coin a gold coin, which can then be redeemed. The person who receives the part pays a fee of 99p and postage.
While there are designer clothes on the site, all of the top 10 sources of items are from big box stores, Byrne explains.
Renting wouldn’t work for casual, cheaper clothes, she says, or sell them second-hand because they’re already so cheap in stores. But by removing the choice of having to put a price on clothes, there is now a much more efficient way to get them around to avoid landfill.
“These clothes are always valuable, they’re in perfect condition and people want them, but they’re not going to buy them second-hand at the same price they sell first-hand,” she says. Some 22,000 items have been exchanged over the past year.