In the 21st century, rental fashion services are gaining popularity as a sustainable alternative to traditional fashion due to the significant environmental impact of the fashion industry. The industry’s non-sustainable manufacturing processes and waste generation, which includes landfills and carbon emissions, have increased the demand for more environmentally-friendly options. Consumers are increasingly turning to fashion rental services as a means of reducing their environmental footprint. Such services allow customers to rent a wide range of items, including clothes, shoes, and accessories, such as sunglasses and jewelry, both online and in physical stores.
Fashion rental is a growing trend around the world, with several countries at the forefront of the movement.
The fashion rental market in the US is one of the largest in the world, with several major players such as Rent the Runway, Le Tote, and Gwynnie Bee.
Fashion rental is becoming increasingly popular in the UK, with companies like HURR Collective, By Rotation, and My Wardrobe HQ leading the way. In France, companies like Les Cachotières and Panoply offer fashion rental services to customers.
Fashion rental is a popular option in Japan, with companies like Looop and AirCloset offering rental services for high-end fashion items.
The fashion rental market in Australia is growing rapidly, with companies like GlamCorner and Dress for a Night offering rental services to customers.
Still a budding sector, a few brands are actively offering fashion rental services in South Africa such as Style Rotate, OnRotate, Noa Rental, and a few others. These are just a few examples, but fashion rental services can now be found in many countries around the world.
Rental fashion, which allows customers to rent clothes, rather than buy them outright, has several benefits:
Cost-effectiveness: Renting fashion items is often more cost-effective than buying them outright. Instead of investing in a single piece of clothing that may only be worn a few times, you can rent a variety of outfits for a fraction of the cost.
Sustainability: Rental fashion helps to reduce the environmental impact of fast fashion. Rather than buying and discarding clothes that may only be worn a few times, renting allows you to extend the lifespan of clothing items and reduce waste.
Variety: Renting fashion items allows you to experiment with different styles and trends without committing to a purchase. This means you can try out new looks and find what works best for you without spending a lot of money.
Convenience: Rental fashion companies often offer delivery and pick-up services, making it easy to rent clothes from the comfort of your own home. This can be particularly convenient for special occasions, such as weddings or parties, where you may want to wear a unique outfit without investing in a one-time wear.
Overall, rental fashion can be a great option for those who want to save money, reduce waste, try out new styles, and enjoy the convenience of renting clothes especially through a secure digital platform.
As part of Redbutton’s sustainable fashion drive, the brand is building a digital platform for fashion exchange (RedXchange.fashion), providing the technology infrastructure for fashion rental and resale. Participants on the platform can trade with the idle fashion items in their wardrobes and make money from it. RedXchange will offer both rental and resale services, where customers can rent their occasional clothing and accessories, brands and individuals can sell their high fashion pieces as second-hand items or as budget sale. Rental fashion is becoming increasingly popular to reduce the environmental impact of fast fashion and to save money while still enjoying a variety of clothing options.
The Opportunity in rental fashion is huge in Nigeria considering the flamboyant fashion culture of Nigerians and the boom in the entertainment industry – where there are several red-carpet events, movie premieres, award shows, and other social events.
Inspired by the flamboyant, rich cultural fashion in Nigeria, and the potential in circular fashion in Africa, RedXchange has the potential to becoming a phenomenon in circular fashion – a no-inventory digital fashion resale and rental platform, first of its kind in West Africa. Beyond commerce, the model creates a viable ecosystem of circular fashionistas (Xchangers) and becomes a platform for other entrepreneurs or aspiring fashion entrepreneurs, making money from their wardrobes. RedXchange’s people-to-people platform benefits all stakeholders including lenders, sellers, renters, employees, and partner organisations, as well as decreasing fashion production carbon footprint. The RedXchange tech team led by Chioma Ogbudimkpa has received enormous support from global organisations in cash and tech credits to complete the development of the fashiontech platform. RedXchange will go live sometime in 2023.
Since 2017, Miss Ogbudimkpa through her company, Redbutton, has been an active advocate for sustainable fashion in Africa, creating value through sustainable fashion advocacy and fashion production. Rising to one of the top 5 sustainable fashion champions in Nigeria, Chioma has led Redbutton to receiving several national and international awards and showcases. Redbutton is a sustainable fashion company, using technology and local artistry to create fashion products. Redbutton is known for fusing upcycled industrial and agro waste materials like water hyacinth (invasive seaweed) and coconut shells, indigenous hand-woven and hand-dyed textiles, to create premium fashion items for professional women, while empowering local artisans.