Home Fashion Clothing Rental Service: Is it Worth It?

Everyone at my job and I do mean basically everyone is obsessed with Rent The Runway. I have never used this service. There are two main reasons why I haven’t pulled the trigger on this clothing rental service.

Why I’m Not A Fan

First, is the idea of spending money on something that you cannot keep unless you pay more money. If I am spending money, especially on clothes, my intention is that it will be worn multiple times with different pieces in my wardrobe. With Rent The Runway you eventually need to return the piece or buy it for another cost not taking into account the money you already spent renting the piece. I just don’t find it as cost effective as buying pieces you love and wear a ton.

The second reason that I am not interested in Rent The Runway specifically is that I am not interested in designer clothing. Yes, designer stuff is nice, and if I was given Chanel bag for free I would take it.

But when it comes to spending money on designer I am not into it. There is only so much a piece of clothing can cost. I mean if you have worked in the fashion industry, then you know the cost of clothing is a combination of material costs, a lot of markup, tariffs/duty, and when it comes to designer clothing, you’re paying for the brand name.

Always Needing Something New

The concept of Rent the Runway mostly bothers me because it perpetuates this idea of only wearing something once and then getting something else. It all sounds well and good to avoid fast fashion in terms of buying super cheap and essentially disposal clothing. However renting clothing is affecting the environment in a different way. 

When you are renting clothing, it is being shipped to you sometimes overnight from a different part of the country and then you wear it once and you put it back in its garment bag and ship it away while thinking about the next piece you can get your hands on. It takes a lot to make fast shipping possible, and that has a negative effect on the environment.

Using Rent The Runway Sparingly

I know many people don’t treat the Rent the Runway system in this way. In fact, I think it’s a perfect system when you need some sort of occasion wear piece because it’s something you are not consistently switching out. You rent it for the one wedding you have and then return it until you have another event.

All in all, a clothing rental system seems to have some benefits and a lot of retail stores are jumping on the rental bandwagon. However, the negative effects it has on consumers need for newness and the environment outweigh any benefits in my opinion.

I would love to hear if you have used a clothing rental service and why you did or did not like it in the comments!

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Ellen A Evanoff October 9, 2019 - 2:24 pm

I don’t think I would be a fan of this even if I had somewhere to wear these clothes. Tom and Aly use Stitch Fix and seem to like it. That’s a little different though. A stylist chooses clothes they think you’ll like based on how you fill out a survey and you can either buy or return (at no charge) clothes you don’t like.

How She Styles October 23, 2019 - 7:27 pm

Yeah I have always wanted to try Stitch Fix, but haven’t taken the plunge. I feel like that is a really good service for people who need to fill holes in their wardrobe, but can’t get out into stores.


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