Opinion

WHY FASHION RENTAL IS GOOD FOR THE PLANET

Jade McSorley
July 28, 2022
It is no secret that fashion is bad for the planet. With 1.7 billion clothes left hanging in our wardrobes and £140 million sent to landfill, fashion is one of the top industries pushing our planet boundaries beyond repair and will use up to 25% of the world’s carbon budget by 2050. 

With awareness comes action, and many fashion lovers are demanding a fairer, more sustainable industry for both people and planet. But what is the solution? The most sustainable option is to go naked... The other is to utilise the clothes you already own, as Orsola de Castro, Founder of Fashion Revolution, rightly says.

“The most sustainable garment is the one we already own.” – Orsola de Castro; co-founder of Fashion Revolution.

At LoanHood we ask the question: What can we do with items of clothing we already own? With £30 billion worth of unworn clothes, it’s time we put wardrobes to work. Rental shopping not only allows you to wear something new for those special occasions, it allows you to keep up with fashion without the mass consumption. Plus, renters can start to make a bit of cash monies from their existing wardrobes making fashion rental the new side hustle.  

And the benefits don’t stop there. Here are some more ways fashion rental is good for the planet and the people...

  1. Alternative to fast fashion - the speed of the fashion industry is so fast, the brakes no longer seem to be working. Whilst stopping fast fashion in its tracks feels like an impossible feat, fashion rental offers a way for fashion to be fast without the need to produce new. 
  2. Less wasteful - The fast fashion model is linear with clothes being made, sold and then sent to landfill when no longer wanted. Yet synthetic fabrics like polyester and lycra can take hundreds of years to biodegrade. Renting fashion keeps clothes in circulation and by extending the active use of our clothes for even nine months longer, this would reduce their carbon, water and waste footprints by 20-30%.
  3. Value access over ownership - In a material world, we often value what we have as a defining statement of who we are. But as we change together and become more aware of environmental and social needs, what we own doesn’t seem so important. Now is the time to make a statement about who we are and what we support. Rental is a fashion statement and tells the world that you believe in a sustainable fashion industry.
  4. Behavioural change - If you valued something would you treat it badly? Unfortunately our fix for fast fashion has led to our collective de-valuing of cheap clothes. If we value the clothes we own, would we respect them more? Would this have a crossover effect on our relationship to the planet? Maybe we are going all holistic on you but we believe it's worth an ask!
  5. Mental Well-Being - the planet involves the people who live on it and mental well-being needs to be sustained just as much as our consumption habits. During COVID-19 we have been stuck indoors, no social life and nothing to dress up for. As we re-enter the world, this is the chance for fashion and our shopping behaviours to reset with a sustainable focus. Being part of a fashion community of like-minded people, means renting fashion opens up a new culture that is based on value and activism towards a brighter, community-driven fashion future.

 So the jury is in.  Rental shopping could not only keep you on trend, but also help the planet and people in the process.


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