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Over the festive period while we were all out of the office and spending time with family, the amount of features written on the subject of Fashion hire, and surrounding the topic of creating a sustainable wardrobe was incredible.

This article below in the Observer Fashion – by Leah Harper @theharpsbizarre on Sat 22 Dec 2018 received over 300 shares and promotes the benefits of subscribing to fashion libraries because they saves money and cuts out waste.

Titled “Check it out: why the smart set are now renting their clothes” below is the link to the full piece:

https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2018/dec/22/fashion-libraries-ethical-clothing-borrowing

 

“With the sales in full swing and festive soirees dominating social calendars, fast fashion is showing few signs of slowing down. But for those consumers with more parties than pounds, fashion libraries – where clothes can be rented rather than bought – are becoming increasingly popular.

“I don’t have the financial income to invest in high quality but I do want to change my style regularly,” said Zoe Partridge, founder of rental service Wear the Walk, which launched last year. “So my problem was either to invest every six months in a luxury item or to buy lots of fast fashion. There was no middle ground. I wanted to create that.”

As the party season continues, the appeal of borrowing instead of buying is on the rise. It allow partygoers to wear items that may be beyond their usual budget and means they aren’t under pressure to wear them to every possible occasion in order to feel they are getting their money’s worth.

Fashion libraries allow users to check out clothes, wear them for a set period, then return them to the library (where dry-cleaning is usually taken care of) in exchange for something new. Some also offer the option to buy – ideal if it turns out you can’t bear to say goodbye to the item after all.

“We realise the burden and commitment that come with ownership and the freedom that comes with using what we really gain value from, when we want it,” said Sara Arnold, founder of subscription-only rental service Higher Studio, which launched in April. “It comes down to re-evaluating what we want from our fashion objects.”

Renting clothes is not a new concept: high-priced items worn for a single occasion, such as a prom night or a wedding, have long been available for hire. Sites such as Front Row and Girl Meets Dress offer designer items at a low cost – the latter specialising in dresses and catering for events such as races, premieres and awards. But subscription services, which offer long-term borrowing on everyday items, are beginning to gain traction.
Westfield shopping centre in Stratford, east London, launched the first streetwear hire pop-up store, The Drop, earlier this month, offering items for hire (starting at just £10 for four or seven days). It focused on streetwear styles – trainers topped the list of the most-coveted item on show – rather than just dresses. Available apparel also included a Maharishi tiger-style tour jacket (worth £750 new) and a Dirty South padded jacket (worth £210).

The trend for renting clothes also has the scope to tackle other forms of “throwaway” fashion: for example, the US-based subscription service Le Tote invites users to choose from classic or maternity ranges. For pregnant women, the fact that clothes will only be worn for a short period is perhaps more easily understood than it is for those of us who vow to wear something for years because it cost the same as a month’s rent.

But is rentable fashion bad news for designers? Not necessarily, according to Arnold. “We don’t own the stock but split the earnings with the brands when items are rented,” she said. “We want them to be able to earn from quality and durability rather than the quantity sold.”

With UK households sending 300,000 tonnes of fashion waste to landfill each year, and the average number of times a garment is worn before it is retired dropping by 36% in the past 15 years, fashion libraries offer an ethical solution.

According to research by Westfield, seven out of 10 UK shoppers would pay to rent “the hottest fashion item of the moment”. For 33% of them, the appeal of renting clothes lay in saving money, while one in eight were motivated by the desire to shop in a more sustainable way.

It’s not just in the UK that shoppers are keen to maximise wardrobe space. At Lena fashion library in Amsterdam, subscriptions allocate customers points that can then be “spent” on renting new and vintage clothes, alongside the option to buy. In Gothenburg, Sweden, fashion library Klädoteket offers lease periods of up to three months – 450kr (£40) for two items, 650kr (£57) for four. Items range from sequin dresses to baseball caps and, if customers decide they want to own an item they are renting, they will be given 15% off the retail price.

Meanwhile, Toronto’s Fresh Fashion Library offers one of the most budget-friendly options: $30 (£17.50) per month membership allows customers to borrow three items for an unlimited lease period. Which beats scouring the sales for something to see in the new year – and then never wearing it again.”

 

 

 

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