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Embracing Sustainability: The Case for Renting Clothes

Embracing Sustainability: The Case for Renting Clothes

Is renting clothes more sustainable?

In recent years, the fashion industry has come under increasing scrutiny for its environmental impact. From excessive water usage and chemical pollution to textile waste and carbon emissions, the traditional model of fast fashion has been revealed as one of the most significant contributors to environmental degradation. In response to these concerns, a new trend has emerged: renting clothes. While once seen as a niche market, clothing rental services are gaining popularity as consumers seek more sustainable alternatives to traditional shopping.

This week's guest blog comes from Dress Rentals NZ, a prime example of a clothes rental business who are doing their bit to stay up with the fashion trends and keep waste down to a minimum! 

Rental Dresses and the Circular Economy

Fashion is one of the worst culprits when it comes to harming our planet. According to the UN, it's responsible for about 2-8% of the world’s carbon emissions (United Nations, 2024). And because it's pretty much the Wild West out there with no real regulations, we can't even say for sure how much damage it's causing.

We're all fairly aware of how fast fashion is bad news for the environment. But it's gone into overdrive in the past twenty years, with people buying clothes like crazy – a whopping 400% increase (Fashion United, 2024)! Social media and online stores like Shein and Temu are partly to blame as they churn out new styles on a much shorter trend cycle than we have ever seen before.

But there is a silver lining – renting clothes. It's like hitting two birds with one stone – you get to keep up with trends without wrecking the planet. It's not perfect, washing and shipping clothes around can still leave a mark. But rental companies can do their bit, like using eco-friendly shipping and efficient washing and drying appliances.

It goes without saying, that when you are running a dress rental business, the more you rent out one dress, the more income it will generate. So, I try to pick quality stuff that lasts. And when a dress has had its run, I can still sell it off. So much better than those fast-fashion outfits that lose value the moment you take them out the store!

It’s not just about clothes – imagine if we all stopped hoarding stuff we barely use and started sharing instead. We’d all have more, waste less, and hey, maybe even make some new friends along the way.

Find your next rental for an event online at This post was written by the team at Dress Rental NZ. 

United Nations Environment Programme:

Fashion United:

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