If you hadn’t heard already, clothing rental is in. And there is good reason…

Emily wearing rented Malene Oddershede Bach from MY WARDROBE HQ

Clothing rental is a revolution in how we use our clothes – it could call an end to those disposal clothing purchases brought solely for a single event, where a photo on Instagram means that the dress never sees the light of day again. Clothing rental is a solution. It’s time to rent a dress, or two. 

Empowering Women

The modern woman is empowered through fashion. Fashion creates our identity; an expression of who we are, and who we project ourselves to be. With each event and party, brings an opportunity to show the world who we are as women. 

Temptation of Fast Fashion

With this has come an endless choice of pieces, paraded to us in shop windows, discounts galore, the tempting walk down a high street, or purely in the comfort of our home, it’s hard not to spend money on fashion when we see influencers, and celebrities wearing the latest designer pieces that we only hope will look half as good on our bodies. 

Yet the endless shopping is taking a strain on our bank accounts (the dreaded fear of looking at one’s balance after a shopping spree online the night before… is an experience that is far too common for women like myself). British women have 60% more clothing and keeping them for half as long as 15 years ago; wardrobes filled with both fast, and/or designer fashion.

Fashion’s Impact on Women & the Planet

And while fashion is a source of freedom for many women, the creative expression of their clothes is an oppressor for the women making the clothes. Fashion Revolution has brought light to this through the campaign #whomademyclothes and is asking consumers to ask these questions. 

Stacey Dooley stands where there was once the Aral Sea
BBC/HELLO HALO/OLIVIA STRONG

There are also bigger environmental problems as a result of fashion. Water the source of all life for the world is being put under pressure for the constant demand for cotton and other materials. Stacey Dooley’s documentary ‘Fashion’s Dirty Secrets’, and its exposé on the Aral Sea that has lost over 80% of its water proved just have threatening the fast fashion industry can be. 

Fashion & Water

The fashion industry is the third most polluting industry of water on the planet after oil and paper, communities are left to use toxic water contaminated by the chemicals that make our clothes which is causing serious diseases and cancers in much of the developing world. 

But the environmental impacts of fashion should not stop us from the liberation that fashion has given to women – it should only make us change how we consume it. There is no need to buy a dress, when we can rent one.

Sharing Economy & Clothing Rental 

Thankfully the sharing economy is coming to centre stage of fashion as we slow down our actions. Fashion rental is the equivalent of shopping online (with far cheaper prices) and you can ‘own’ the item(s) from 7 to 365 days. Each service works slightly differently, however MY WARDROBE HQ (who recently teamed up with fellow rental platform Wear the Walk) holds the stock and offers a concierge styling service to help you choose the perfect dress for any occasion.

Written by Emily Broughton, Founder of Saving the Grace – a sustainable living platform focusing on 5 areas of change: lifestyle, food, fashion, wellness and action in the world, to save our world’s waters through empowerment and education.