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Clothing rental news: Ralph Lauren launches rental subscription service

 

Today we heard the news that Ralph Lauren is launching a rental subscription service. Yes another designer to decide to launch an in house fashion hire offering for it’s customer base.

As reported on Fashion United by Tess Stenzel:

“American fashion company Ralph Lauren has introduced its first subscription apparel rental initiative called ‘The Lauren Look.’

Starting at 125 dollars a month, the size-inclusive subscription allows members to rent looks from the most recent Ralph Lauren collections.

When a member has worn the pieces, they can return the items to be replaced with new garments or purchase them at exclusive member prices.

The online selection continuously offers varieties of dresses, pants, tops, coats, and more, as well as personalized suggestions from expert stylists on how to wear them.

“The Lauren Look allows us to explore an entirely new model tapping into the growing focus on the sharing economy and revolutionizing how we look at fashion consumption,” said David Lauren, chief innovation and branding officer at Ralph Lauren, in a press release.

“Launching with Lauren, our most widely distributed and accessible brand, is a testament to the growth we see in this space and will help us further anticipate the evolving needs and makeup of our consumers’ future closet.”

The company stated that in addition to supporting the reduction of clothing waste by expanding the lifespan of garments that might otherwise be purchased and worn only a few times, the collections will be part of a unique after-use program.

Once clothes have reached the rental capacity, they will be donated to Delivering Good, a non-profit organization that provides families who are impacted by poverty and tragedy with new clothes.

‘The Lauren Look’ will launch exclusively in North America on March 2.”


Protecting our community | COVID-19 update

Steps we’re taking…

At Girl Meets Dress the health and wellbeing of our customers, employees and partners is a top priority.
We are closely monitoring the situation relating to COVID-19 and paying attention to the World Health Organization for updates. Our website, head office and showroom currently remains open for business. We are operating as usual and currently all packages are going out as scheduled.

In order to maintain a safe environment, please be reassured that our office, warehouse and showroom have elevated their already high standards of hygiene, incorporating additional deep cleaning procedures and frequency. We have increased accessibility and visibility of hand sanitiser and hand washing facilities for employees, visitors and customers.
As always, all dresses are dry cleaned according to wash instructions on every return from every order. All garments, accessories, hangers and all packaging are cleaned each time they are returned to us.
Our reusable garment bags are cleaned with sanitiser, and in addition as a precaution, the same bags are not being used again within a 72 hour period, which is the time we have been advised CV19 can remain alive on a plastic surface.

We will continue to update you, and please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns.

Thank you for being a loyal customer,

Anna x

Founder, Girl Meets Dress


Is renting clothes the future of fast fashion?

Wriiten by Razan Alzayani for The National, this feature about the news of H&M partnering with YCloset in China to test clothing hire. Read the full article below:

“Retail giant H&M recently announced that it would test out clothing rentals at its flagship Stockholm store.

In an unexpected move for fast fashion, retail giant H&M is going to trial renting out its clothes. The multinational retail company will be offering members of its customer loyalty programme the chance to rent selected items from its 2012-2019 Conscious Exclusive collections via its flagship Stockholm store.

The Conscious Exclusive collection is a higher-end, limited-edition sustainable range that retails from about Dh350 to Dh1,000. With the new rental service, up to three pieces from this collection can be rented out at a time for a week, and for a cost of 350 Swedish krona (Dh135) per piece. There will even be a repair service, where customers can get their items mended or upgraded. 

The concept of renting out one’s wardrobe is hardly new: in the US, Rent the Runway, which launched in 2009, has been widely lauded as a game-changer. Closer to home, brands such as Designer-24, House of MC and The Mode cater to those who want to hire clothes in the UAE.

However, the concept behind clothing rental services was initially to provide very high-end clothes to customers at a fraction of the cost. That means paying for luxury outfits that would only be worn once or twice and then returned. But the last few years have seen a shift in the paradigm, with customers opting to rent rather than own, even when it comes to everyday wear. And businesses are rising to the demand. Rent the Runway has since introduced subscriptions for everyday wardrobe items. In the UK, Girl Meets Dress is a service that allows subscribers unlimited dress hires for £99 (Dh470).

And the big brands are listening, too. This year alone has seen Urban Outfitters, Macy’s, Banana Republic, American Eagle and Bloomingdale’s announce subscription services at varying costs.

This shift has largely been credited to demand from millennials (who are sometimes called Generation Rent), as well as Gen Z – it seems these age ranges prefer the flexibility that comes with renting over ownership. Perhaps this is because of increased awareness about the negative impact of fast fashion on the environment.

According to a recent United Nations study, “nearly 20 per cent of global waste water is produced by the fashion industry, which also emits about 10 per cent of global carbon emissions”. Maybe rent will become the fourth “R” in the environmental movement, alongside reuse, reduce and recycle.

With big labels also entering the rent market, customers may soon see a future that combines the thrill of wearing a new outfit every week, with the knowledge that their fresh fashion is more ethical.

Sure, there are still some kinks that need to be worked out – the environmental impact of constant delivery and return policies, and the chemicals used in the process of dry cleaning, for instance. But, for now, it looks like H&M has taken a step in the right direction.”


Something borrowed: should you rent your wedding dress?

Last Friday’s Evening Standard wrote about Girl Meets Dress as an alternative to buying a brand new wedding dress.  Read the full article below:

“As London’s first second-hand wedding dress shop opens in Fulham, Chloe Street asks, should we always say “I do” in something new?

It’s no secret now that overconsumption and waste in the fashion industry is destroying the planet.

Around £140 million worth of clothing is sent to landfill each year, while the value of unused clothing in wardrobes has been estimated at around £30 billion.

Responding to the crisis, a crop of second-hand clothing sites and dress rental platforms have launched with the intent of reducing consumption and prolonging the lifespan of clothing.

And yet the one item that most women still buy new (typically at significant expense), wear once and hold onto forever? Their wedding dress.

The reasons for this are largely sentimental (who wants to wear someone else’s wedding dress, right?) and also down to the fact that brides on a budget can now find myriad affordable options on the high street.

Yet given we are facing a climate emergency, might it be time to change the narrative around wedding dress ownership? Could there in fact be some magic in foregoing fast fashion options and instead wearing something fabulous and pre-loved on your big day?

Hamish Shephard, founder of leading wedding planning app Bridebook.co.uk, certainly thinks so. He predicts 2020 will be the year of the eco-wedding and expects a surge in brides choosing to rent their wedding dresses.

“We are definitely starting to see more of the 100,000 brides currently using our app around the world searching for wedding dress rental companies. There is a clear appetite, but with so many affordable wedding dresses out there for them too it’s a slow transition,” says Shephard.

“After Princess Eugenie’s plastic-free wedding late last year, we are seeing a lot of couples finding ways to make their wedding more green and renting wedding dresses is just one of the many ways we see traditional habits changing.”

For Anna Bance, founder of dress rental platform Girl Meets Dress, which has had a wedding dress category on the site since it launched back in 2009, weddings are “big business,” with brides, bridesmaids, wedding guests and mothers of both the bride and groom using the service.

“Our millennial customers especially prove an anti-materialism shift, and don’t want to carry the load of owning more things, including their wedding dress,” says Bance. “They want the quality of luxury, but their relatively lower incomes compared to older generations have put luxury goods largely out-of-bounds. So they’ve turned toward rental as well as pre-owned luxury goods to satisfy their need. They also tend to live in urban areas, where space and storage is at a premium.” 

Bance says some brides rent on Girl Meets Dress “because it means they can wear a high end brand that otherwise would be over their budget. Other brides renting for their wedding are already high spenders at Net a Porter or Harvey Nichols, with wardrobes full of expensive clothing. But they use Girl Meets Dress for convenience, for variety and for the sustainability angle.”  

For eco brides that prefer to own not rent their dress, a pre-loved purchase is an excellent option.

Brides do Good is a sustainable wedding dress shop (London’s first) that opened in Fulham last month. It sells new, sample, and pre-loved designer wedding gowns from 61 leading international wedding gown designers, including Vera Wang, Charlie Brear, Caroline Castigliano, Temperley, and Pronovias. The stock is a combination of donations of out of season styles from bridal retailers and designers, and also wedding dresses donated by past brides.

Not only are the gowns, which range from sizes 4-30, significantly more affordable than if you were to buy them new, but Brides do Good also donate 100 per cent of their £30 appointment fees and up to two thirds of sale profits to charity projects which empower young girls, educate communities and strive to end child marriage, so there’s even more to feel good about when buying your dress of dreams.

“Brides do Good is so much more than a wedding boutique. We are a movement that connects women from all over the world, harnessing the power of the bridal industry to create long-term change,” says founder Chantal Khoueiry. “Every dress that is donated, bought or sold takes us one step closer to ending child marriage, by empowering vulnerable young girls and educating communities around the world.”

For some, nothing will compare to saying “I do” in something new, but for those open to something borrowed, there’s an increasingly attractive array of sustainable alternatives.

“Of course there are women who would rather own their wedding dress and keep it forever to pass onto daughters etc. But it is about having greater options,” says Bance. “We want women to rethink how they build a wardrobe around smarter choices.”

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