Clothing Renters Increased Profits In Britain During Lockdown, Here’s Why

Clothing rental profits have been rising during the United Kingdom lockdown. The reason for this spike is multi-faceted with convenience, cost, need, and fashion all playing key roles.

The days of strutting through town, maskless, and hunting for impulse buys are still far off for many. In the U.K., 2020 government figures show that clothing sales had their biggest drop since records started being kept as they fell 25%. While they did, the numbers for rental platforms have shot up in the opposite direction.

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United Kingdom peer-to-peer clothing platform HURR watched its profits skyrocket a baffling 850% year-on-year since the start of the pandemic. By Rotation, another application offering rentals, saw a 600% increase since the beginning of November.

Apeksha Shivnani Shah is a 28 year old from London and one of the key consumers of services like these. She explained to Forbes, “I believe that rental is the future of fashion. The pandemic has been a huge wake up call. It has forced fashion into a sustainable future. I’ve realized that I can live with less and that I don’t need to buy new things every week.

Apeksha has saved the money she would have set aside to buy new outfits. Instead, she has spent around $7,000 on renting clothes through Front Row, another rental platform, during the pandemic.

“I used the pandemic to declutter my wardrobe, and realized I hadn’t worn 40% of my clothes, which is such a waste of money. Now, whenever I need something, I’m more weary of this fact and prefer a platform like Front Row where I rent the latest classic trends and not spend a bomb.”

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The surge in clothing rentals took a while to kick in at first. With little knowledge about how COVID-19 spread during the initial days, hygiene was a huge issue. Health and proper care was a huge issue they faced when the lockdowns began. Understanding that concern, companies immeidately adhered to all mandates and, in doing so, earned the trust of their clinetelle.

“It’s a requirement for any item that’s listed on Hurr to be dry cleaned professionally by the lender,” CEO of HURR Victoria Prew explained to Vogue. She added that her company directly manages the dry cleaning of items that have been rented through their concierge service. “We are doing everything that we can in tandem with government guidelines.”

The rental world of high fashion is one byproduct that the coronavirus has given to society which might remain for the long-haul. In line with the eco-conscious world, mindful of waste, this new avenue for those looking to dress their best without a closet full of mess might be the best option there is. With lockdown giving consumers a firsthand look at how this process is not only feasible but enticing, we could be swapping out name brands long after COVID is fodder for the history books.

Sources: Forbes, Vogue


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