In addition to "sustainability," "circular fashion" has become a major concept for 2019. For those who aren't familiar, circular fashion refers to clothes that are meant to be worn on repeat, taken care of, and used again and again. Though it's a contemporary buzzword, the concept has been around for ages. You might even be participating in a circular fashion without knowing it. Lending a dress to a friend? Circular fashion! Cutting ripped jeans into shorts? Circular fashion!
This reduced form of consumption extends the life of our clothes, and one major way form of circular fashion is renting our clothes. Luckily for us, so many fashion rental platforms have been popping up in London over the last year. Rent the Runway is the most popular example of fashion-rental platforms, but due to the demand for sustainable fashion options, there are other places to look. There are so many reasons to participate: You can try new trends without spending too much, save the planet from fashion waste, and make money again and again by lending your pieces.
Just like shops, the varying platforms are all fabulous for different reasons. They provide us with different options for clothing lending and renting for different personal styles and necessities. Subscription service–based platforms are basically what it says on the tin: You pay a certain amount a month and get a certain amount of pieces for a rental period. Peer-to-peer services are on-demand, so you can rent as you need and when. Renting is the future of fashion—especially if we want to keep up the rate of new pieces we wear (that being said, it's best to jump on this early).
Keep scrolling to discover the best fashion rental platforms in London and pick which one is best for you.
Hurr Collective is a membership-based rental platform founded by Victoria Prew and Matthew Geleta. It launched in 2018 with a mission to make renting an everyday occurrence. With an enviable waiting list (which it does to keep renters secure), once you're a member, you can arrange to meet with your lender in person or have items mailed to you.
As a peer-to-peer platform, you can both lend and rent. So not only can you borrow Rixo, Ganni, Staud and Bottega Veneta pieces, but you can also make a bit of cash by lending out your pieces. It's a great platform for trying cult fashion pieces for occasions like weddings and parties. It also has a pop-up space in Belgravia for the month of November, where you can try rental pieces on before you commit.
On Loan is a subscription service platform that offers various price points (between £69 and £159 a month) depending on how many pieces per month you're looking to rent. Once you join, the On Loan team creates a personalised edit based on your answers to its style survey.
On Loan carries interesting niche brands like Ciao Lucia, Lily and Lionel, and House of Dagmar. This is a great platform if you want to push your style out of the box but you're not sure how.
Higher Studio is an East London–based rental service that offers pieces from selected brands like Phoebe English, Ode to Odd and Patrick McDowell so that the brands keep ownership of the pieces. It offers rentals at both weekly and subscription rates. The brand has different price points (£84 to £250 per month) depending on the number of pieces you subscribe to, but you have unlimited swaps each month as well.
Not only is Higher Studio a dream for those who are high-fashion obsessed, but it is also entirely thoughtful in its selection of rental pieces. It describes itself as a "community of fashion creatives, designers and users that seek to defy a system that's leading us to extinction." Higher Studio is as serious about the climate emergency as it is about the designers making a difference towards sustainability.
Eshita Kabra-Davies founded By Rotation in April 2019. It's app-based and user-run, and it feels like the Depop of rental platforms, featuring peer-to-peer lending and renting as well. Brands include Jacquemus and Ganni, as the app focuses on midrange fashion pieces.
By Rotation has pieces for men and women, and all imagery is uploaded directly to the app. You can view pieces available to rent by downloading the app here.
Calling all bag lovers! Cocoon Club is a subscription rental service for luxury bags for £99 a month. This way you can tote a new bag from month to month without the heavy investment-piece price tag.
From mint-condition preloved pieces to new cult bags, the collection includes Prada, Fendi, Off-White and Saint Laurent.