By Kelly Louise Marshall and Jordache Horn
As consumers, we have so much power to change the world, by just being careful in what we buy.Emma Watson
A sustainable future includes becoming just as conscious about the way we dress, as it does about living sustainably in other aspects of our lives.
While we realise that most people love the thrill of purchasing and wearing a new outfit, we are also becoming increasingly aware of the damage that the fast fashion trend is doing to our beautiful planet. This is where fashion rental companies come into the equation.
Rental clothing companies are creating a hopeful, exciting, and more sustainable fashion future. They offer consumers the opportunity for unused clothing items to not go to waste, to be worn when they would otherwise be unloved and unused – like those expensive occasion outfits that would otherwise stay in the darkest recesses of our wardrobes.
Here are five further amazing benefits of joining the fashion, rental revolution:
1. By choosing rental clothing you get to pick and wear a new outfit without causing further harm to the environment that sustains us
Renting clothes greatly extends the lifespan of the clothes themselves as they are used and worn much more often than if they belonged to one single person.
It is no surprise then, that one of the most effective actions to reduce carbon, water, and waste – by some 20-30% – is to simply re-use and wear the clothes as much as possible. According to ThredUp, if ‘everyone wore a pre-loved outfit [for one day], the CO2 emissions saved would be equivalent to taking 56 million cars off the road for a day’ – so just imagine what the rental industry is achieving!
Some rental clothing companies even have an environmental conscience and focus behind their brand. For example, One Wear Freedom try to ensure every aspect of their business either reduces and offsets carbon emissions or benefits the environment in some way. It can also mean the way that clothes are dry cleaned after use is carried out in the most environmentally friendly way possible, with some choosing to use biodegradable, non-toxic, health-friendly, dry cleaning methods. Wouldn’t it feel better to wear a new outfit and know that when you do, you aren’t contributing to even more pollution of the earth that sustains us?
2. By renting clothing, you are helping to heal the environment
The fashion industry is the second highest polluting industry on the planet. Second only to the oil industry.
When we buy a piece of clothing, how many of us really think about the harm that it may be causing to the environment – typically because it’s not our immediate environment that is harmed. ‘Over 90% of the water footprint of UK clothing is overseas, often in countries which have water stress or scarcity’. By renting we are slowing the demand for the production of fast fashion or fashion in general, which in turn will help to heal the environment.
3. You get to wear something that no-one else is likely to have
With rental clothing, you never have to worry about the mortifying embarrassment of turning up to an event in the same outfit as someone else. One Wear Freedom specialises in unique vintage items, as well as beautifully crafted one-of-a-kind artisan clothing. Who wouldn’t want to have the opportunity to tap into and express their own unique personality, through wearing something that is just like us – distinctive and rare?
4. Stop clothing ending up in landfill
The equivalent of 150,000 double-decker buses full of clothing and textiles ends up going to landfill every single year in the UK alone.
Many man-made fabrics taking years to break down despite using fewer resources to produce. You can help contribute to a decrease in clothing going to landfill, by renting clothing for that special occasion or even every-day wear, rather than buying another outfit that you may only wear once or twice.
5. Help stop Human Rights Abuses
So much of the fast fashion industry produces clothing in factories where people (most notably Asian women) are expected to work in harmful conditions, where they are exposed to harmful chemicals in production and manufacturing phases, and ultimately, paid less than minimum wage. Child labour is also often used to produce garments. By not buying fast fashion, and choosing to rent your clothing instead, you are helping to put an end to the cycle of human rights abuses that occurs in the fashion industry. The clothing that rental companies offer is usually specially curated and often created in better environments, using more environmentally and human-friendly techniques and processes. Keep in mind to ALWAYS do your research.
In conclusion, whether it is healing the environment, preventing pollution, wearing unique items of clothing, stopping more clothing from going to landfill, or preventing human rights abuses, what’s not to love about the amazing prospects of The Rental Clothing Revolution? Therefore, maybe the next time you want a new outfit to wear, you will now consider not buying, but renting your clothing, from a company such as One Wear Freedom Because while fashion may be important to us, a healthy environment, along with a fair and sustainable world, is essential. You can also find One Wear Freedom special offers on Partage.
Find out more about how you can do your part and hear more from activists and experts across industries in a 1-day free panel on Building a Green 2021 + Beyond on Wednesday 3rd February 6 pm GMT. Reserve your spot via Eventbrite here.