Let’s get Sustainable in our wardrobes: Rent – Wear – Return

In these days of trying to be sustainable, fashion comes under the hammer a lot. Over the next few months we, at Annabel & Grace, are going to look at the different ways consumers can work to create more sustainable fashion.

How does fashion impact the environment?

Criticisms of fast fashion include its negative environmental impact, water pollution, the use of toxic chemicals and increasing levels of textile waste. Vibrant colours, prints and fabric finishes are appealing features of fashion garments, but many of these are achieved with toxic chemicals.

Sustainable fashion is a movement and process of fostering change to fashion products and the fashion system towards greater ecological integrity and social justice. Sustainable fashion concerns more than addressing fashion textiles or products. … An adjacent term to sustainable fashion is eco fashion.

Renting fashion is more sustainable

This week I am going to focus on renting fashion. And let me tell you once you click through to the websites I have found you can spend hours planning what you want to rent for special events or parties. It is such a good idea.

You may even want to just try out a brand that you might never have dared to buy. What a great way to try new fashion brands and even new styles of clothing to the ones you always opt for.

Around 300,000 tonnes of clothing ends up in household bins every year with around 80% of this incinerated and 20% sent to landfill, renting clothes is set to replace fast fashion.

Right now there are many entrepreneurs who have launched websites to rent clothes which they believe will replace fast fashion as we all turn our back on cheap, replaceable fashion.


Dress from HURR - Let's get Sustainable in our wardrobes: Rent - Wear - Return
Solstice satin-trimmed gown
Size 14
£80.06 to rent

About: Victoria Prew launched her website HURR to the public this year, which allows customers to rent “it” dresses – which usually retail at £150 and up – which would only usually be fashionable for one season. This reduces waste as one dress can be rented by dozens of people, stopping each person from buying it themselves.

Ms Prew said: “Extending the life of the clothes you own is the best way to reduce your ‘fashion footprint’. Renting is a great way to be sustainable. It’s a driving force of our community and our business. Renting is the future of fashion, the UK has been quite slow to pick it up, Rent the Runway in the States is worth a billion dollars for example.”

There is a fantastic selection at HURR covering a range of sizes, designers and styles. There are even accessories and jewellery to rent. How it works:

How it works: If you want to rent some of your clothes then you can register and once your ID has been checked i.e. that you live where you say you do (this is not a credit check) then you can start to list the clothes and the prices you want to rent them for. When you get a request you can arrange to meet the person if they live close or post it to them.

How much? It depends on the item, but usually around 20% of the RRP, and the shortest rental is for 7 days. For both renters and lenders, HURR takes a 15% commission.

I am sure you may build up a relationship with a ‘renter’ because you like her style and she is the same size as you. Plus, and this is a big bonus, you can pre-order i.e. if you have a summer wedding to go to you can book your dress as soon as you spot the perfect one.

Try it now at the HURR Collective.


Dress from MWHQ - Let's get Sustainable in our wardrobes: Rent - Wear - Return
Eponine London
The Fruit Dove Dress
Size 12
Rent from £72

About: MY WARDROBE HQ is another fashion rental platform but with a difference – they manage the rental process on behalf of the vendor and the lender. If you want to rent or buy anything, you will need to register for Shieldpay, a trusted payment provider. Shieldpay checks your address and identity across a number of databases to ensure that you are who you say you are.

Then you can rent any item up to 7 days (longer if pre-arranged with MWHQ)

Apparently some items have been supplied by celebrities such as Poppy Delevingne, Arizona Muse, Roxie Nafousi and Olivia Buckingham.

Brands: include Eponine, Henry Holland, Alice Temperley, Vilshenko, Vivienne Westwood, Chinti & Parker, Gucci and more.

How it works: 

  1. Every item you see on the MWHQ website is managed by MWHQ – meaning items will always arrive on time and in cleaned and pristine condition. 
  2. They have partnered with a luxury storage facility to ensure items are stored in a temperature-controlled environment and catalogued in a secure and organised way.
  3. In the event that you don’t wear the rented items, you will receive a credit note for the full rental amount.
  4. Fuss-free returns process: just pop your item back in the pre-paid return’s envelope.
  5. Authentic designer items that are checked by their experienced in-house team.
  6. As they manage everything on behalf of the lender and the renter, in the unlikely event of a dispute, they are an independent and fair arbitrator.

How much? As a rule of thumb, past-season items are listed at 10% of their RRP, while current season items are priced at between 10-30%. Sale prices are set by the owner and will vary. Rent at My Wardrobe HQ.


Dress from By Rotation - Let's get Sustainable in our wardrobes: Rent - Wear - Return
RIXO size 12
Rent £10 per day

About: Founded by expat investment banker Eshita Kabra-Davies, By Rotation is a platform based on inclusivity, with the aim to democratise quality fashion and make it accessible to all. It’s all controlled by the community rather than the other way round making it truly peer-to-peer. It also does not buy any inventory – so it is entirely sustainable.

Brands: Dior, Jacquemus, Vetements, Chanel, Zimmermann and more.

How it works: Download the free app and start browsing, there is no waiting list. The item can either be exchanged in person, via Royal Mail Tracked or via delivery partner Peyk. The lender is in charge of cleaning and cleaning solutions are offered by partner Clothes Doctor.

How much? Around 5% of the retail price. The minimum rental period for any clothing or item can be as low as one day, and the app charges a 15% commission. Download the ByRotation app.


Trouser suit from Girl meets Dress - Let's get Sustainable in our wardrobes: Rent - Wear - Return
Sizes 8/10/12
To rent £59
Trousers to rent available also

About: One of the original clothing rental services, Girl Meets Dress stocks over 200 designers and 4,000 dresses, so you’re pretty much sorted for any occasion.

Brands: A mix of high street and designer brands such as Ghost, Needle & Thread, Saint Laurent, Miu Miu and more.

How it works: You can rent up to three months in advance and as little as three days before your event, though the earlier you search, the more choice you’ll have. Anyone can rent on the site, and you simply need to return the dress via the post office once you’re done.

How much? You can hire dresses for 2 or 7 nights at a time, with prices starting from £19. If you’re a frequent renter, there is a £99 per month membership which lets you borrow three dresses at a time, free delivery and dry cleaning and extra discounts. To rent at Girl Meets Dress.


There are other websites such The Endless Wardrobe but the choice is limited in either size, or suitability for older women. However keep an eye on them as they will be expanding I am sure.

Labour MP Mary Creagh, the chair of the Environmental Audit Committee said: “People are rightly sickened by the fact that 300,000 tons of clothes each year are either landfilled or incinerated.

“The rise of hire and resale websites is a crucial part of tackling the throwaway society.

“The rental and hiring market is much more developed in the US, it’s worth about £2bn a year, it’s still in its infancy in the UK. I don’t think it’ll ever replace fast fashion but I think it’s a challenger to fast fashion. It takes the guilt out of the one-off purchase.”

I am going to try it out because they are wallet-friendly and I am supporting the move towards sustainable fashion.

For more fashion posts from A&G click HERE.