Rental clothing apps: reshaping fast fashion

March 2, 2023

As a girl, we all know the stress of trying to source an outfit for the multitude of Durham events across the year. Whilst the boys don’t usually have to give their outfit a second thought, with their biggest dilemma being which bowtie to wear, they simply bring out the well-used black-tie suit, girls are left in a state of panic. Instead, we are found sifting through our wardrobes, friends’ clothes and aggressively browsing the online market, trying to find something no one else will be wearing, yet within a reasonable price range and appealing. An almost impossible task.

Unfortunately, society has ingrained in us we cannot wear the same outfit twice. ‘Wore that to last year’s College Summer Ball? Ah, better not wear it to the upcoming formal or fashion show then.’ Whether it’s because we are scared of judgement, want to come across as fashionable or afraid of not being trendy enough; it’s time to shift the narrative.

In the last few years, we have seen a huge rise in rental clothing apps. From Hurr Collective to Endless Wardrobe and Hirestreet – these new apps are paving the way for Eco Fashion. DUCFS itself has partnered with the company By Rotation: offering students access to over 60,000 designer fashion items to wear to their shows at a hugely discounted price.

It’s clear to see the immediate benefits of these apps. With the fast fashion industry producing around 10 percent of annual global carbon emissions, a staggering statistic that is only growing, and sustainability becoming an increasingly prioritised. These platforms are a great chance to set-up your own side hustle as you earn back money spent on your previous purchase whilst also helping others make better choices for the environment.

Not only are these rental platforms combatting fast-fashion, but they also help make high-end brands more accessible for everyone, allowing everyone the opportunity to have a taste of luxury. When prices are slashed from £700 to £70 or an even deal of £215 to £15, the world of fashion is able to become so much more accessible and affordable. Suddenly, treating yourself to a new, one-off outfit for that event doesn’t seem so bad.

Nevertheless, these rental concepts still don’t full eradicate the stigma around the whole “new outfit, new occasion” debacle. Although renting is undoubtably cheaper and more ethical answer to the ongoing pressure of purchasing a whole new outfit for one evening of your life, it is still promoting the idea that your whole new outfit is necessary. What’s so bad about recycling outfits for different occasions? Does it really matter if your Instagram already features that same dress at a different occasion?

However, it’s definitely a step in the right direction. With the entrepreneurial benefits of offering up your finest outfits, in return for cash which could directly pay for a new rental piece in return, the deal seems too good to resist.

So next time you are faced with the dilemma of a new outfit – perhaps you are coming to DUCFS 2024 and at a loss for clothing inspiration – I urge you to consider downloading a rental clothing app. For the price of only three Woodgates, you could kit yourself out with a new, one-of-a-kind, rental outfit. Our generation will play a pivotal role in reshaping the fashion world; its platforms like these which will help slowdown fast fashion and spark conversation around the stigma of outfit repeating.

Josie Sherman