What if you rented that dress?

How often do you go to weddings, fancy parties or cocktails? Chances are, you attend these types of events just a couple of times per year. That’s the definition of “occasions” after all, isn’t it? So how could we approach those special times in the most ethical and sustainable way?

You might want to buy one dress and opt for Livia Firth’s #30Wears approach—not to buy anything unless you’re sure you’ll wear it at least 30 times (ideally even way more than that). If so, you’ll probably buy one ethically made or thrifted outfit that you’ll wear over and over. Or you might want to diversify your outfits, but not at the cost of the planet! We’ve recently come across a few websites that enable you rent thousands of outfits!

Style Lend

Available in the United States.
Style Lend is a closet rental community that encourages women to consume fashion in a different way and say no to fast fashion. And they do so by enabling them to lend their designer clothing to other women—all in an insured, secured and hassle-free manner!

How does it work? You select your pieces, and they then get delivered to you within 2 to 3 days. You then have 7 days to wear them, and get charged only if they fit. You then just have to ship the items back in a pre-paid envelope, and don’t even have to worry about dry cleaning! Delivery is set at $9 per item round trip.

Girl Meets Dress

Available in the United Kingdom.
How does it work? Well, you basically pick up to 3 short dresses or 2 full-length gowns that you like—they made it easy to search outfits by occasionsize, style, or designer. You can then book it for 2 nights or 7 nights. You’ll get charged only for the dresses you wear—and get refunded for the others. You’ll get a full refund if none fit. Oh and, you don’t have to worry about washing it before sending it back—they take care of that part!

Delivery is £9.95 in the UK. This is for both ways all included so it is the only delivery cost you will pay. They always use a next-day service (starting from when the package is dispatched).

Rent the Runway

Available in the United States.
Rent the Runway has 3 plans to choose from: Pay as you rent, Four rentals per month or Unlimited rentals per month.

How does it work? It depends on the plan you pick. But roughly, you select 1, 4 or more styles, and either return them or swap them for other ones each month! You get a prepaid shipping label you easily send the items back in when you’ve worn them. Again (responsible and eco-friendly) dry cleaning and rental insurance are all included. Their motto? #RentReduceReuse


Available in the United Kingdom.
higher.studio is a bit different from the companies cited above, because only clothing designed ethically make its way on their website. You can either pay-as-you-go, or go for a monthly membership.

Wear the Walk

Available in the United Kingdom.
How does it work? They’ve got 3 different membership plans, from Part-Time Diva to Ultimate Swapper!

Final words of wisdom

(This does not apply for higher.studio, obvs!) Although this sharing economy is a much more sustainable and ethical approach to fast fashion, we still highly encourage you to rent dresses from ethical brands, to encourage those businesses or individuals to bring their focus more on those ethical brands.

This post has been proofread by Kendall Norman.
Image credit: Matheus Ferrero — thank you.

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