Clothing rental trend: Shoppers save on expensive clothes

Since she started renting outfits, shopping has slowed for self-confessed shopaholic, Olivia Victoriana. The 26-year-old who subscribes to clothing rental service Styling Theory, used to spend roughly $80 per week on new dresses and outfits. Now, she only shops occasionally after opting to rent clothes.

In a statement she has said, “Renting definitely helped me to cut my shopping budget and save money. I shop about once every two months now,”

She’s currently paying $129 a month for a Style Theory subscription, which allows her to rent up to three outfits at a time. She can then get a further three outfits once she’s retuned the original batch. “I try to maximise my subscription so I get four deliveries a month and I have new clothes every week,” she says.

When asked if she minds that the clothes have been worn by others, she said: “No, not at all. I know they are dry-cleaned, so it is fine.”

This warming reception to clothing rental has given the industry legs. In the past two years at least five companies have a launched a rental option. These companies are, Style Theory, Covetella, Style Lease, Rent A Dress and Runway Rent.

Particularly, Style Theory stands out for the subscription model.

The other four tend to only rent out formal evening dresses. These outfits range from $60-$500. These companies have a showroom for customers to try on the pieces and some even offer minor alteration services.

Demand has been growing for this service, with founders reporting a tripling of revenue since this time last year.

According to the companies, they cater to a new market of practical shoppers. The service allows shoppers to rent an unlimited wardrobe at a low cost.

Ms. Regina Yeo, adjunct senior lecturer of marketing at the National University of Singapore’s Business School, has said: “The sharing economy mentality has led to younger customers who are more accustomed to the likes of sharing a cab with strangers or sharing a stranger’s home while on holidays. They may be more open to renting clothes now.”

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