We rent our homes, cars, phones and more so why not our clothes? It’s no secret that we are a wear-it-once society, that needs to be seen in the latest trends. Our buying habits are ruining our environment and the planet. Throwing away wearable clothes as they are not on trend anymore, but that’s not all – the textile industry causes the second most pollution and is responsible for 92 million tons of waste annually.
Throughout the pandemic and the lockdowns, it seems people have started to reconsider the way they buy clothes, taking a more sustainable approach. Looking after pieces already in the wardrobe and shopping second-hand have become more popular. However, the need for “new” overcomes, and when it does why not try renting clothes?
The world of clothing rentals is simple and sustainable, using subscription-based and pay-per-hire services as well as peer-to-peer rental services. Platforms such as HURR and BagButler lease items at a discounted rate for a limited period of time. Allowing users to hire luxury items such as Chanel bags, Dior sunglasses, and Balmain dresses for a fraction of their cost.
Fashion rentals have become so popular we have even seen the likes of Selfridges collaborate with the platform HURR, as part of their Project Earth initiative. Selfridges have dedicated an in-store area to the fashion rental service which is ideal as consumers can try on before they hire and see all there is to offer. Perfect for events where you are looking for an outfit you will only wear once, it’s sustainable and economical.
“Generation Rent” a term coined by the property industry, that now seems to be the direction fashion is moving forward in. To get a better insight into renting we caught up with Natalie Hale, a friend of the magazine and fashion influencer from South London, about her experience renting in London, how to make a rental feel like home, and her thoughts on fashion rentals. Plus, we used her amazing rental apartment to shoot the editorial in.
What do you love about renting?
Mainly the flexibility, not having to commit to one type of home – whether it’s a flat, house, modern, old. Although I’m not someone to pack up my things and move on every year as soon as my contract is up, I like to settle for at least 2 years in each place and make it feel like home. I’ve lived in London for 5 years now and onto my third flat so I’m keen to stay put for a while in my new place.
How do you make your rentals feel like a home?
My top tip is to never move into a furnished flat or house because it will never quite ‘feel like home’ and instead feel like an Airbnb. Try to collect furniture as you go along and never rush into finishing it straight away (although I appreciate, you’ll probably need a bed the first night!) I think it’s important to collate and curate pieces of furniture and decor that represent your personal style and that will really help make your rental feel like your own.
You’ve created a beautiful space in your rented apartment can you tell us about some of your favourite pieces of furniture?
This is a difficult one! I love all my vintage pieces of furniture like they are my children, and I can’t see myself ever parting ways with most of it. I try not to buy into interior trends and value furniture that stands the test of time. My favourite piece is a beautiful German green velvet lounge chair from the 1970s found on Facebook Marketplace in perfect condition. My biggest steal is 3x 1970s cane folding dining chairs that I found for £5 each on Facebook Marketplace.
How do you go about finding your furniture to create that unique look?
It mainly comes down to luck but dedicating time to visiting antique stores, flea markets, and scrolling on Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree will always pay off! If I’m looking for something in particular, I will usually set keyword alerts to get notified when something becomes available.
Do you have any tips for other renters?
Be patient, don’t rush, and most importantly have fun! Don’t be disheartened if you don’t find your perfect home straight away because it will definitely happen.
Do you like the idea of fashion rentals, and would you ever try it out yourself?
I love the idea of fashion rentals and have signed up to many sites such as By Rotation and Rotaro. I will definitely start renting outfits for special occasions and hope to do this more and more in the future in everyday life.