<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none;" alt="" src="https://dc.ads.linkedin.com/collect/?pid=200420&amp;fmt=gif">

Why Fashion Rental Is Hotter Than Ever This Year

by Emily Cotterill

Copy of Page Headers-4

In case you haven’t been paying attention, fashion rental is pretty hot right now.

We’ve got money-conscious shoppers with an eye on sustainability, forward-thinking retailers dealing with costly returns – and a fashion-hungry population that’s ready for a summer without restrictions.

Here’s why 2022 is set to be the biggest year for fashion rentals yet – and why retailers can’t afford to let it slip by.


Social events are bouncing back

After two years of lockdowns and Covid restrictions, we’ve all had our fair share of missed opportunities.

We’ve been skipping birthdays, postponing weddings, and avoiding all the grand events that used to fill up our calendars.

But in 2022, we’re on track to bounce back.

An estimated 2.5 million weddings are set to take place this year – the highest number since 1984. And with that comes a huge demand for formal and occasion wear, with the Spring/Summer 2022 season expected to be the biggest season ever for fashion rental. According to a recent study by Hirestreet, a whopping 87% of shoppers are considering renting their outfits this summer for weddings, parties or holidays.


But for retailers who don’t offer rentals, it’ll be their biggest season for returns, too.

When it comes to securing a new outfit for an event, it’s not uncommon for shoppers to buy multiple options, including the same outfit in different sizes and colours just in case.

Return rates for formal and occasion wear can run as high as 60%. When those items can’t get resold, they can typically end up in the hands of jobbers – third-party resellers who buy unsold fashion items at just a few pounds per garment.

That’s a huge volume of returns, and it comes with all the usual logistics costs. But with so many returned items going unsold, retailers are facing a huge financial loss for every sale they make in the upcoming events boom of 2022.



Shoppers are switching to sustainability

We’re seeing a huge rise in the demand for fashion rental: around 10% growth on average each year.

That’s partly due to increased consumer awareness, and partly due to shoppers looking for more affordable ways to stay on trend.

But a big part of that growing demand comes from sustainability – with more and more shoppers making eco-conscious decisions about how they get what they wear.

And when we look at the stats behind conventional sales, we can see why:

Data from Fashion United shows that a massive 25% of all returns end up in a landfill. That’s a huge waste by any standard, with a sizeable financial loss to go with it.

But it’s more than just a financial problem – it’s an environmental issue, too.

The fashion industry is famous for its problems with waste. Between manufacturing, shipping, and the logistics of returns, every garment produced comes with a significant greenhouse gas emission.

And if it ends up in a landfill? All of that harmful activity has been for nothing.

That’s why more and more shoppers are switching to renting their fashion – armed with the knowledge that their choices are making a difference.

A survey by VoucherCodes last year found that 33% of shoppers say that renting their outfits helps to reduce their guilt about the ‘fast fashion’ trend. 

On top of that, 22% said they were saving money with fashion rentals – and 23% said that it allowed them to be more adventurous with what they wear, experimenting with new styles without worrying about the financial commitment of buying it forever.

So, what does this mean?

It means we’re looking at a change in habits and consumer behaviour. Today’s shoppers are making smarter decisions about the clothes they pay for – not just to help themselves, but to help the planet and reduce their waste.

Why should retailers care about rental?

We’ve seen how the attitudes of fashion shoppers are changing, with a dramatic shift towards fashion rental.

And for lots of retailers, that’s enough on its own. They’re listening to the evolving needs of their customers, reacting and adapting to meet the growing demands of a changing audience.

But there’s more to it than just pleasing the masses. When retailers start to rent out their returns, they’re able to:

  • Reduce their environmental impact – with carbon savings of up to 88%.
  • Cut down on their losses – by avoiding the discounts of jobbers, and getting up to 50 times the revenue for the same items.
  • Have their cake and eat it – by selling second-hand garments at the end of their rental life.
  • And minimise their waste – keeping items out of the landfill, and making the most out of everything they produce.

And the result?

Those retailers are saving money, saving the planet – and keeping their customers happy, well-dressed, and completely guilt-free.


So how can you get started?

For lots of retailers, fashion rental is a whole new game. It means a new service with new logistics, and a whole new infrastructure to help support it.

It can seem overwhelming – but it really doesn’t have to be.

We’ve already seen retail giants like ASOS, M&S and Oasis launch their own rental services through fashion rental platform Hirestreet, helping them to get more out of every fashion item they produce. 

And with a little help from us, you can follow in their footsteps.

Our own ReBOUND Returns platform comes integrated with Hirestreet and Zoa Rental, giving you a fast and seamless way to launch your own fashion rental service for your brand.

The partnership allows you to launch a rental collection seamlessly, with minimal resource on your side:

  • Divert your returned stock to a fashion rental service
  • Your rental collection will be fulfilled from a warehouse to the customer and back
  • The service covers warehousing, delivery & returns, cleaning ( using eco-friendly Ozone chambers) and minor repairs
  • You will then receive monthly stock and customer behaviour insight

And of course, you’ll be doing your part to reduce your carbon impact – squeezing new life out of every returned item, and maximising your revenue along the way.

So if you’re looking to get ahead of the curve this year (and make the most of the biggest year for rentals yet), get in touch to request a demo – or talk to one of our experts to find out more.

Contact Us