With the eco-friendly movement reaching our wardrobes, more people are taking an interest in sustainable wear. Sustainable style choices have become more popular than ever, as exhibited by clothing brands that offer fashionable yet sustainable apparel

However, despite being good for the environment, sustainable fashion can sometimes be expensive. Sustainable clothing is built to last, which is why it can be quite an investment. Producing ethically sourced fabric can also ramp up costs. Combined with the added markup, these types of garments can get costly when sold in retail.

If buying eco-friendly clothing is beyond your budget, don’t give up on your goals of being sustainably fashionable just yet. There’s another approach you can take to achieve your sustainable fashion goals without breaking the bank: rentable fashion!   

Instead of purchasing a new dress every time a special occasion calls for it, you can save money (and the environment) by borrowing your dream outfit at a reasonable price. Begin your budget-friendly mission of breaking away from unsustainable fashion by checking out these nine online eco-friendly clothing rental platforms: 

1. Gwynnie Bee: Unlimited Subscription Fashion 

gwynnie bee homepage
gwynnie bee homepage

Price Range: $- $$$

If you’re looking for dresses that are not only stylish but are also available in a range of sizes, Gwynnie Bee might be the clothing rental platform for you.  

Rather than a brick-and-mortar store, this site offers an online dress rental service that allows users to explore a virtual closet filled with a variety of styles.

What’s unique about Gwynnie Bee is that it caters to customers of various sizes, especially those who are plus-size.  

The brand features curated brands and top collections of dresses for work and casual needs. These unlimited fashion options may be accessed through a monthly subscription plan. 

Is the Brand Eco-friendly? 

At present, at least 91% of packaging waste ends up in the environment. Gwynnie Bee strives to make a difference by using recyclable shipping materials. Although the box that the rented garments come in cannot be reused to ship back the clothing, it can be repurposed for other uses at home. To ship the garments back, Gwynnie Bee sends a return bag, which consists of recyclable and reusable plastic.  

2. HireStreet: Celebrity-Approved Fashion for Rent

highstreet homepage
highstreet homepage

Price Range: $-$$ 

A Mintel study found that 44% of young women are interested in ecologically conscious fashion. However, their intent to go the eco-friendly route is limited by lack of access to sustainable choices. 

Isabella West saw this as an opportunity to create Hirestreet—an online clothing rental service platform that allows users to find their desired outfit, borrow it, and return it after a few days. It offers a multitude of clothing styles, especially dresses, for all occasions—may it be a holiday, a wedding, races, a party, black-tie events, a ball, date night, a prom, and even graduation. 

Although Hirestreet is not subscription-based, renting dresses, even designer ones, is affordable. For as low as $9, users can try a dress of their choosing for ten days. 

What’s also interesting about Hirestreet is their rental clothing is celebrity-approved! Prominent UK stars like Perri Edwards and Stacey Dooley have worn dresses from their curated collections. 

Is the Brand Eco-friendly?  

When it comes to sustainability, Hirestreet is one of the clothing rental brands devoted to decreasing its carbon footprint. Their warehouse uses environment-friendly ozone to disinfect their garments, which decreases their use of chemical-based cleaners.

They also make use of LED lighting, which has allowed them to shrink their yearly CO2 emissions by at least 15 tonnes. A scientific report revealed that delivery vehicles may contribute to a 6-million ton increase in global CO2 emission levels without due interventions. Hirestreet continues its sustainability efforts by partnering with RoyalMail, who has committed to upgrading their delivery vehicles to electric ones. 

3. Rotaro: A Sustainable Solution for Your Fashion Woes

Rotaro homepage
Rotaro homepage

Price Range: $-$$

Searching for the perfect dress can be tricky, but finding a sustainably-sourced one can even be more challenging. 

Rotaro can make the arduous pursuit for sustainable fashion choices stress-free through its online clothing rental platform. From garden party dresses to work outfits, the brand offers rental dresses for every occasion for as little as $35. It also offers a bag rental service if you need to pair your outfit with a stylish accessory. 

Renting a dress from Rotaro is simple: you can browse a wide array of styles on their site. Once you’ve zeroed in on your desired outfit, you can select your rental start date, your desired duration, and clothing size. 

Rotaro packages its garments in reusable bags and ships them to your door via a carbon-neutral delivery service. Once the rental period is up, you simply return the garments using the prepaid reusable bag that comes with your shipment. 

Is the Brand Eco-friendly? 

This UK-based rental service makes sure every aspect of its operations is eco-friendly, as evidenced by their online site, carbon-neutral delivery, and reusable delivery packaging. Certainly, Rotaro is a fashion brand to trust as it lives up to its upfront message: to rent, reduce, and repeat.

4. Girl Meets Dress: Meet Your Dream Outfit

Girl meets dress.com homepage
Girl meets dress.com homepage

Price Range: $$-$$$ 

Ever dreamed of being runway ready with couture gowns and high-end dresses? Girl Meets Dress (GMD) can turn your fashionista fantasies into reality! 

Among all the rental stores in this list, GMD offers the widest range of dresses in terms of size, style, and colour. GMD also features gowns for brides, bridesmaids, and wedding guests. 

In terms of prices, the pieces available will surely meet your money’s worth as most of them are designed by prominent designers including Alexander McQueen and Victoria Beckham. 

Celebrities who are fans of the store include Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, who looked stunning in GMD’s Red Isadora Gown. It also offers a rental service for various accessories and jewellery to help customers complement their fashion looks.  

Customers can avail of GMD’s services by either becoming a member or paying for each rented item. 

Is the Brand Eco-friendly? 

GMD is a sustainable clothing rental brand as it presents its services as a “rotating” wardrobe. Not much is known about their warehouse or delivery practices, but GMD aims to make fashion more circular, one rented dress at a time.

5. Le Tote: Sustainable Style in a Tote

le tote homepage
le tote homepage

Price Range: $$-$$$

Most clothing rental platforms deliver garments in reusable packaging, but how about receiving your rented dress in a “tote”? 

Le Tote offers a unique approach to rentable fashion by offering a subscription-based service that allows you to borrow clothing and accessories which are shipped in a “tote.” 

Renting dresses and accessories from the brand can be availed through a monthly subscription plan beginning at $59 per month for the classic bundle and  $79 monthly for a maternity package.

Le Tote’s catalogue features wearables for every event and occasion. As their website puts it, their fashion pieces are designed to fit customers’ lifestyles. They have outfits for athleisure, daily wear, work, and other special events.  

Users select dresses they want to rent, which Le Tote then ships to their door for free. Once users have worn and enjoyed their borrowed clothing, they can return the garments through their prepaid envelope. 

Is the Brand Eco-friendly? 

More than 90% of packaging waste ends up in landfills. Le Tote aims to cut down on waste by making sure to include a prepaid envelope in their totes. They’ve also developed an eco-friendly garment cleaning process that uses compostable detergents and consumes less power, water, and gas. 

6. Style Lend: Enjoy Designer Pieces for a Week 

stylelend homepage
stylelend homepage

Price Range: $$-$$$

If you have an important event or special occasion coming up soon, Style Lend can let you borrow iconic dresses that otherwise would cost you an arm and a leg when bought in retail. 

Style Lend is a peer-to-peer clothing rental community where members can lend their stylish wardrobe collections to interested users. 

The fashion brand makes it possible for members to borrow designer pieces at a fraction of the original retail cost. They suggest clothing lenders charge 10% of the item’s retail value as its rental price. Imagine being able to wear a classy designer gown for only $60!

Once members find the dress of their choice, Style Lend delivers them at a maximum of three days and lets them wear it for a week. Once the seven-day rental period is over, members must return the pieces through Style Lend’s prepaid envelope. Renters will only pay for the items that fit them, with the exception of shoes and accessories.

Is the Brand Eco-friendly? 

It is estimated that the life span of all garments is one to three years. Style Lend maximises the life of these clothing pieces by ensuring that such garments are continuously being lent and borrowed in their peer-to-peer sharing platform. 

7. By Rotation: Dress Up Sustainably with an App

Price Range: $-$$$

By Rotation is a peer-to-peer clothing rental mobile app that aims to make sustainable fashion accessible to fashion lovers.

Available for free in both iOS and Android, the app bridges users to create a clothing sharing economy in a bid to prevent more than $180 million worth of textiles going to waste annually. 

Renting clothes from By Rotation is a straightforward process. It starts with users downloading the app and creating an account. After registration and account verification, users can set up their profiles and begin renting items by browsing the app’s collection. 

By Rotation’s catalogue features mid- to luxury-level fashion pieces. What makes it an economical choice is its zero subscription fees! Users only need to pay a 15% service fee for using the app, apart from the rental fee. 

Where possible, By Rotation recommends renters and lenders meet in person at a public place. Otherwise, the platform uses the Royal Mail service or partners with a bike-powered courier service. 

Is the Brand Eco-friendly? 

Aside from its low-carbon means of sending items, By Rotation has an “Impact Scale” app feature, which allows users to track the textiles, water, and carbon dioxide that are saved from renting clothes rather than purchasing them. This helps renters be more aware of the impact of their choices when it comes to fashion.

Hurr: A Sustainable Wardrobe for Her

Hurr homepage
Hurr homepage

Price Range: $$-$$$

Clothing rental brand Hurr recognises the need for the fashion industry to change its unsustainable ways. By creating a wardrobe rental platform, the brand aims to contribute to social change by encouraging women to “circulate” fabulous finds in their closet. 

Hurr’s dress rental service works by allowing users to sign up, be verified, and explore fellow members’ virtual wardrobes. The platform offers diverse clothing options, from mid-tier to name-brand, and even luxury. In addition to having clothes for every occasion, Hurr also features shoes, bags, and other accessories.

Once users find the perfect outfit, they get to choose how long they’ll be borrowing the clothing and accessories and securely pay through the website. Hurr features three delivery options: public meetups, bicycle courier services, and tracked delivery. 

Once the rental period is up, the clothing can be easily returned to the lender through the same packaging.

Is the Brand Eco-friendly? 

Hurr’s sustainability efforts are realised through its commitment to make its operations as low-impact as possible. The brand partners with sustainable brand REPACK for its reusable packaging. To cut down on its carbon footprint, Hurr coordinates with bicycle-based green delivery service Pedals and sustainable brand BLANC for dry cleaning. 

As shown by the clothing rental sites above, great fashion need not come from new purchases. It’s certainly possible to wear the outfit of your dreams by borrowing a dress or two from these rental platforms. 

If you ever need a stylish outfit for an upcoming event, don’t forget to explore these dress rental sites so that you can achieve your fashionista goals without compromising the environment (or your bank!). 

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