Textile View Magazine 125 – Morning Song | Rent a Life
Textile View Magazine 125 – Morning Song | RENT A LIFE
Renting clothes is not a new concept: high-priced, designer items worn for a single occasion, such as a wedding, awards ceremony etc, have long been available for hire. Services that cater to high profile careerwear or short term situations like pregnancy also have their raison d’être. But now subscription services, which offer long-term borrowing on everyday items are mushrooming as well. Mall companies and retailers such as Ann Taylor, Express and New York & Company have all launched monthly subscription services with monthly fees ranging from US$50-95 as a complement to their sales model. Meanwhile, Westfield shopping centre in Stratford, east London, launched it first streetwear hire pop- up store last December. But does the rental model really work at mass consumption level.
According to Allied Market Research, the online clothing rental market will only reach US$1.8 billion by 2023 still a minnow compared to the trillion-dollar total fashion retail market. But are the figures right? According to research by Westfield, 7 out of 10 UK shoppers would pay to rent the hottest fashion/Instagram item of the moment. For 33% of them, the appeal lay in saving money, while 1 in 8 were motivated by the desire to shop in a more sustainable way.
And if renting did take off with consumers, it could help medium priced clothing chains fight off a stave of problems from declining traffic through to continuous markdowns and excess inventory. It could even provide a route to finding a new customer base. But then again, ownership is a powerful thing. Perhaps the biggest fashion question of the future will be how to differentiate between designing for renting and designing for keeps.
Textile View Magazine is the trend forecast for the respectively four upcoming seasons concerning colours, materials, design and styling for women’s, men’s and children’s wear, including street and retail reports, reports on merchandising, as well as analysis of consumer behaviour and its influence on fabric and fashion trends. Bi-annual specials about colour and design trends for yarns and knitwear, colour and design trends for yarns.