The Rise Of Online Fashion Rental

Pressure for Australians to continuously update their wardrobe with special pieces comes around every year, with the Spring Racing Carnival, wedding season in the air, new years eve around the corner, and every other event as well.

“Rentable fashion” is a relatively newly popularised concept, developed to cater for consumers who wish to “dress designer”, but simply cannot afford the pricetag.

“Why buy a designer dress when you can rent it for a fraction of the price. You are after all only planning to use it one or twice in your lifetime aren’t you?”

This is precisely the mentality taken by online startup Rent the Runway. Launched in 2009, the company now boasts 6 million online consumers across the US, and stocks 425 labels. The internet success story also just launched its first bricks and mortar store in San Francisco this month.

Rent the Runway’s founder, Jennifer Hyman, says her business was initially met with a lot of friction, especially amongst designer brands who felt her “rental fashion model” would eat into their bottom line.

Nobody could have predicted what would come to be at that time, but fast forward to 2016, and Hyman and her model are kicking butt, not only disproving this, but going the opposite way; the company is now launching brands in the US; Rent the Runway was the first to introduce designer label MSGM to the States.

fashion rental rent the runway

“Because of the growth of fast fashion, it’s become not only okay, but cool to invest in your handbag and then have low-quality pieces that are copycats of a designer brand. We’re saying for the same price as going to H&M or Zara you can actually have the real thing by renting it, and continue to invest in the designer piece you want to buy,” Hyman told Vogue.

With an increasing emphasis on sharing rather than owning, gaining instant access to items that one covets to wear without repeating the same attire over and over again and a rising awareness about the positive environmental impacts of the sharing economy are propelling the growth of the global online clothing rental market, according to Future Market Insights.

Key companies operating in the global online clothing rental market (particularly via mobile commerce) are Rent the Runway, Poshmark, Elanic Services, Dress & Go, GlamCorner and Envoged, Etashee, Secoo Holdings Ltd, and Secret Worldwide. These companies are adopting strategies such as new product launches, acquisitions, and geographic expansions to cement their foothold in the global online clothing rental market.

online fashion rental
Source: Future Market Insights

Rising disposable income among households, especially in developing countries such as China and India has stimulated the consumer spending on fashion. This has strengthened the demand for online clothing on a rented basis. In addition, adoption of mobile devices, especially smartphones and tablets across countries such as China, India, Indonesia, Brazil, and other parts of the globe is growing at a fast pace and is expected to fuel the revenue growth of the global online clothing rental market over the forecast period.

 

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