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Clothing rental could be the key to a stylishly sustainable fashion industry

This article written by Naomi Braithwaite, Senior Lecturer in Fashion Marketing and Branding, Nottingham Trent University outlines why renting clothes is a growing trend for retailers.

Read the whole feature below or click here > http://theconversation.com/clothing-rental-could-be-the-key-to-a-stylishly-sustainable-fashion-industry-100106

“A staggering 235m items of unwanted clothing were forecast to be dumped in UK landfill in 2017, while the average American is estimated to bin 81lb (37kg) of used clothing annually. Overconsumption and the inevitable disposal of unwanted clothing has become a worrying global problem – and in many cases, this clothing is unnecessarily thrown away. Instead, it could be repaired or recycled.

Filling landfill with clothing and textiles costs the UK alone an estimated £82m every year. But on the flip side, the consumption of clothing is hugely important to the economies of many countries, too. Research from The British Fashion Council, for example, found that fashion contributes £28 billion directly to the UK economy – and globally, it is a US$2.4 trillion industry.

Despite this, materialistic values and a widespread desire for having new things, twinned with fashion’s premise to create – and sell – different styles, has reduced the functional value of clothing, making it easily disposable. A staggering 100 billion items of clothing are being produced annually, and 50% of fast fashion pieces are disposed of within a year.

In fact, recent figures show that one rubbish truck of textiles is thrown away every second globally. Little wonder, then, that fashion has been dubbed “incredibly wasteful” – even by insiders.

The problem with fashion
Fashion and sustainability have historically had an uncomfortable relationship. The 2013 Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh, along with growing concerns over sweatshop labour, have seen fashion companies overhaul their social and environmental impacts. Consumers, meanwhile, have grown increasingly concerned about where and how garments are made. But while fashion takes strides to become ethical, there are still serious concerns over its environmental impact and contribution to climate change.

Fashion is deemed to be one of the world’s most polluting industries – from toxic chemical use to water pollution and waste. Some 35% of the global total of microfibres in the oceans comes from clothes and textiles, meaning fashion is a major contributor to this pollution. By 2050, it is anticipated, the fashion industry will use up 25% of the world’s carbon budget.

So what’s the solution? A circular economy seeks to move beyond fashion’s linear model of take, make and waste, to close the loop, designing out waste and minimising environmental impacts. While fashion brands work to limit their polluting practices through the creation of organic, environmentally conscious collections, there is still a need to limit the sheer volume of waste that fashion creates.

Recycling has become an important initiative to address this. H&M, for example, has a successful garment collection scheme, repurposing their consumers’ unwanted clothing. Other brands, meanwhile, are using recycled materials to create clothing. Outdoor clothing brand Patagonia has made polyester fleece out of recycled plastic bottles.

While recycling could achieve circulatory by designing out waste, it is problematic environmentally. Recycling is energy intensive and may require use of further virgin materials. Additionally, while it resolves some of fashion’s sustainability issues, it does not adequately address the problem that consumers buy too much, and that the average number of times a garment is worn has declined by 36% since 2000. We must reconsider how fashion is sold, encouraging consumers to waste less, and ensure that garments have a longer life span.

Are rentals the future?
WRAP, the UK’s resource efficiency agency, has identified leasing as an innovative business model that gives clothes a longer service life, while reducing material use and carbon dioxide emissions. A recent survey conducted by Westfield Shopping Centre in London also proposed that clothing rental would become a key future trend.

The possible value of the clothing rental market in the UK is predicted to be £923m and the model is already well-established for certain items, such as dinner jackets and wedding suits for men. Despite this, there are currently just a handful of fashion companies that have adopted a leasing model. At Mud Jeans, for example, consumers can lease a pair of organic jeans, and after a year can keep, swap or return them. Girls Meets Dress, meanwhile, was founded in the UK in 2009, under the ethos that in a sharing economy ownership will become obsolete.

In America, Rent the Runway has become a significant player in the fashion industry. These companies are built on change, but undoubtedly they face the challenges of the traditional sales-driven fashion system, along with consumer hesitation.

Our research has explored the potential for clothing rental among consumers. While we found there were opportunities certainly at the luxury end of the market, there was a definite resistance to rental of lower priced items, which were just too easy to buy.

If consumers are to engage, rentals need to be convenient, cheap, accessible and fulfil the desire for having something new. Consumers are open to change and leasing could help achieve a more circular fashion industry. However, there are issues to consider from transportation through to dry cleaning impacts. Clothing rental has the potential to reduce waste and increase the lifespan of garments, but to achieve a more sustainable industry a systemic change in business practice and consumer behaviour is needed.”


Dress Code at Glorious Goodwood

 

One of the most popular weeks in the racing calendar is coming up. The Qatar Glorious Goodwood Festival is starting next week and many of you are booking your dresses. Reserve a few dresses to hire, for delivery this / next week.

We have thousands of dresses to hire for the races. Check out the link below for Goodwood suitable dresses to rent. Sleeved dresses, mid length floral dresses…

Dresses for the Races

 

Which tickets do you have? Read the information below for more details about this year’s Goodwood dress code.

https://www.goodwood.com/horseracing/racecourse/plan-your-day/dress-code/

 

‘Richmond Enclosure

Our most stylish and exclusive enclosure

Gentlemen are required to wear a jacket accompanied by a tie, cravat or polo-neck sweater. Boys aged 7-15 years are kindly encouraged to wear a collared shirt.

Ladies are encouraged to dress stylishly but with a relaxed feel. Afloaty dress or an elegant top and trouser/skirt combination will suit any of our racedays. We do suggest that you leave your stiletto heels at home, as the uneven ground can be tricky to walk on.

All: Jeans, trainers, shorts and fancy dress are not permitted.

 

Gordon Enclosure

Slightly less formal than the Richmond Enclosure

Qatar Goodwood Festival: All gentlemen are encouraged to wear a jacket and tie and both ladies and gents are urged to dress to impress. T-shirts, sleeveless tops (for men), sports attire, trainers, shorts, ripped/torn jeans and fancy dress are not permitted. Tailored shorts are allowed.

Racedays (non Qatar Goodwood Festival): We encourage all racegoers to dress smartly. Shorts, trainers and sportswear are all discouraged, fancy dress and sleeveless tops (for men) are not permitted.

 

Lennox Enclosure

Our most relaxed enclosure

The Lennox Enclosure has no formal dress code, but many racegoers do still like to dress up, especially at the Qatar Goodwood Festival.

Fancy dress and sleeveless tops (for men) are not permitted in any enclosure.’

 

If you would like to chat to one of our team about dress codes or ask questions about how to rent a dress, please get in touch! We also have a LIVE CHAT on the website. Our stylists can send you a list of dress suggestions based on your size / event date and budget.

0207 498 9131 | ENQUIRIES@GIRLMEETSDRESS.COM

 


Britons will spend more than £2.7 billion this year on 50 million summer outfits that will be only worn once, thanks to holidays, weddings and festivals.

Thanks to holidays, weddings and festivals, Britons will spend more than £2.7 billion this year on 50 million summer outfits that will be only worn once.

According to recent research carried out by Censuswide for the charity Barnardo’s one of they biggest expenses is due to new clothing for holidays, where consumers splash out more than £700m on 11m items bought for their getaway that will never be worn again.

Wedding guests spend on average £79.76 on a new outfit for the day, buying nearly 10 million pieces that will only be worn once.

That’s why wedding guest dress hire is our biggest category! We see a growing demand from our customers wanting the fun and flexibility of wearing a dress to a wedding and not worrying about wearing it once, when it stays in the wardrobe unworn after that!
The surveys highlights that one in four people (25%) is embarrassed to wear an outfit to a special occasion more than once, rising to 37% of 16 to 24-year-olds, with the children’s charity suggesting that “this needs to change”. It is another example of the huge environmental and financial impact of fast or throwaway fashion, making fashion the second most polluting industry in the world. This is one of the growing concerns that the industry is wasting valuable resources and contributing to the climate crisis. It is urging shoppers to consider second-hand clothing rather than only buying new outfits.

In response, Barnardo’s is launching an in-store booklet with tips on finding and styling occasion wear from its shops. It is also releasing a short film with tips from experts on sustainable fashion.

Javed Khan, Barnardo’s chief executive, said: “Choosing to buy ‘pre-loved’ clothes for a special occasion means you don’t have to worry about bumping into someone wearing the same outfit.

It is also kinder to the environment and your wallet, getting more wear out of clothes which might otherwise only be worn once and end up in landfill.”

Girl Meets Dress gives all women access to easily wear relevant, trend led, time-sensitive fashions, while continuing to invest and buy only in those classic pieces which will stand the test of time. Designer clothing is expensive and a notoriously poor long term investment and it can lead to a wardrobe full of things you never wear but spent too much on to give away en masse — and the cycle perpetuates. But Girl Meets Dress made it accessible and sustainable.


Duchess Kate in pink LK Bennett dress at the polo

 

The Duchess of Cambridge is continuing her pink streak with beautiful pink patterned dress by L.K.Bennett for a charity polo match.

Enjoying a family day Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle (wearing a khaki shirt dress by Lisa Marie Fernandez) attended the polo together.
Completing her look, Kate wore a pair of Castañer wedge espadrilles, Catherine Zoraida earrings and the Mulberry ‘Darley’ bag in red croc. The Silk Madison Dress is from British fashion brand L.K. Bennett for £325. Unfortunately is currently sold out.

The King Power Royal Charity Polo Day took place at Billingbear Polo Club in Surrey and was held in honour of late Leicester City owner Khun Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.

Pink dresses to rent >

Hire a day dress >

Dresses for a polo match >

Midi length dresses  to rent >

Dresses to rent for a polo match >

What to wear to the polo >

 

Kate pink LK Bennett dress polo

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