I'm going to let you in on a little secret: Renting your clothes might be the absolute best thing you ever do. Why? Allow me to explain.
When you're tasked with finding a new dress for multiple weddings across spring, enamoured with a certain trend but reluctant to buy into it, quite simply in the market for a wardrobe refresh or want to become more sustainable in the way you shop, rental fashion has your back. Think of it as having the keys to your fashionable friend's wardrobe, with something for every style, event and season at your disposal. What's more, there's recently been a huge boom in the rental-fashion market, with GlobalData reporting that the industry will be valued at £2.3 billion by 2029 (it was valued at £1.4 billion in 2021), so it's not just us that is enamoured with the world of renting.
But with the industry growing and so many rental platforms out there (and more popping up daily), I know it can be quite overwhelming to figure out where to start. So I've done the hard work for you and curated the absolute best of the best when it comes to rental-fashion brands and divided them up into easy-to-shop categories. Plus, you can see and shop my edit of pieces that caught my eye as I scoured the sites. You're welcome.
Ready, set… rent!
Curated Loop is the new kid on the block, launching only at the beginning of 2023. It prides itself on being a "rental platform championing brands' dead stock and previous-season collections." When browsing the site, I absolutely loved the range of sustainable and independent designers on show, some of whom I had never come across before. The variety of pieces was so broad, ranging from classic tailoring to corsets and '90s-inspired pieces. Curated Loop might be new to the crew, but I have a feeling it's going to be around for a long while yet.
Style Notes: I really love the idea of being able to rent knitwear. My cupboard is quite literally overflowing with the pieces I choose to wear for a few months and then relegate to the back of the wardrobe, so this will definitely ensure I don't overspend on one-season wonders. Moving forward, I'll be looking to rent neutral, warm knitwear for the winter and chunky, bright knitwear for the spring.
If Curated Loop is the new kid on the block, Hurr is most definitely the current It girl. Founded by Victoria Prew in 2017 with the goal of creating "the world's leading fashion rental platform," Hurr is now not only a tech-first platform with thousands of renters and lenders, but it also has a physical presence in the form of an in-store shop at Selfridges Oxford Street, meaning you can try before you rent. If that wasn't enough to convince you, Hurr currently holds one of the "largest rental inventory [bases] with over 7500 outfits to choose from," so you will never bore of the new styles consistently available to rent.
There's a reason flocks of influencers and celebrities alike (peep Kate Middleton in Solace London rented from Hurr) opt for it every single time. From the huge range of pieces available, its designer picks below are some of my absolute faves.
Style Notes: Colour-blocking is a big trend moving into spring. I love the way Oluwaseun has styled up this red Ganni top rented from Hurr with a vintage coat and some Munthe jeans.
You can never go wrong with a pair of trusty dad-style sandals. This pair shot to fame around 2019 and have stayed in style ever since. Despite not being the best for walks on the beach, I'll definitely be renting and wearing these on my summer holiday in Amsterdam for walks by the canals in July.
By Rotation was founded by Eshita Kabra in 2019 and has been dubbed the "Airbnb of designer fashion" and the "Instagram of fashion rental." Why? Well for starters, By Rotation was the world's first social fashion-rental app with over half a million downloads and over 60,000 listings on the app worth over £25 million, making the By Rotation wardrobe the largest shared wardrobe in the UK.
By Rotation is the fictional big sister's wardrobe I desperately wanted to raid. With brands ranging from Chanel to Ganni, Sleeper to Zimmerman and Ba&sh to Reformation, there is something to rent for every event you could think of. On top of that, By Rotation gives you the option to rent accessories, bags, shoes and jewellery. The opportunities are endless. The slogan of the brand ("what's mine is yours") and the fact it's operated on a 100% peer-to-peer basis means there are currently over 48,000 users sharing their fabulous wardrobes. I'm sure my fictional sister wouldn't have been that cool about it.
Style Notes: Liv's actual dress is available to rent on the app. I'll race you to it.
Real talk, I started using Cocoon personally around a year ago, and since then, its inventory has grown massively. The brand works through a subscription service with a three-step plan, which gives you access to its beautiful bags.
The first step is to choose your plan and pay for it monthly, quarterly or on demand. There are three different types of membership with access to different bags: Flexi, Premium and Deluxe. Once you've completed an obligatory ID verification process, you can shop dreamy designer bags to your heart's content. Once Cocoon has approved your membership, your order will be shipped to you. Monthly swaps (included with Premium and Deluxe subscriptions) allow you to exchange your bag for a new one, and Flexi members can buy Bag Passes to access any style in the collection for one week at a time.
Style Notes: Securing the bag has never had such a physical definition. The range of bags available at Cocoon is totally unrivalled.
My Wardrobe HQ launched in November 2019 with a selection of clothes and accessories from over 500 designers, ranging from Prada to Isabel Marant.
MWHQ prides itself on being a "social shopping platform with a sustainable heart. The rental platform allows users to rent an item for up to 14 days and gives them the option to buy the items outright. In addition, once having sold a piece, MWHQ encourages its users to then relist the item, meaning you're able to continue the circle of sustainability.
With clothing and accessories sourced from celebrities and influencers such as Roxie Nafousi, Arizona Muse and Poppy Delevigne, you're absolutely sure to encounter some real gems. I've listed some of my faves below.
Style Notes: Follow in Anna's footsteps and go all out next time your calendar calls for it. Actually, who said anything about having to go out? Why not rent a statement dress for a night in? I'm not going to judge!
Rotaro, founded by Georgie Hyatt and Charles Knowles in 2019, is on a mission to make "fashion more circular" by providing the option to rent items short-term and send them back to be worn and loved by someone else.
The platform stocks a wide range of innovative and cult brands such as Coperni, Rat & Boa and JW Anderson, so if you're looking for that effortlessly cool look, you're certainly in the right place. You know that feeling when you're freaking out because you don't know what to wear for your date tomorrow evening? Enter Rotaro and its next-day delivery service. It really is as easy as that. Unsure about whether you're opting for the right size? No need to stress—Rotaro offers a free try-on service. If the items are returned unworn and with the ribbon attached, you are eligible for a full refund on up to three unworn items per order. Not convinced? Try it for yourself…
Style Notes: Birthday vibes. I'm always influenced by Laura (also #hairgoals) and love this white puff-sleeve dress rented from Rotaro.
Rental fashion isn't all about renting clothes above your budget. The reason these rental brands have had such a ripple effect is due to the circular and sustainable future they are carving for the fashion industry by helping to reduce waste.
Hirestreet prides itself on being a fashion rental platform committed to "making style and sustainability accessible for all women." Founded in 2018 by Isabella West, the idea came about from wanting to provide an alternative way to access fast fashion without contributing to waste. Isabella told FashionUnited that the Hirestreet average rental price comes in at £30, as its customer had reported that's what the price of a dress on ASOS would have to be for them to wear it once. The Hirestreet aim was for people to substitute that behaviour by offering a mass-market solution that is more comparable to fast-fashion price points.
Hirestreet allows customers to shop their favourite high-street looks consciously, meaning customers can sustainably shop their fave high-street stores with absolutely zero guilt. This is encapsulated in its slogan: "Own your style, not your outfit."
Founded by Shika Bodani in 2016, Front Row was one of the very first luxury-on-loan rental destinations for people wanting to delve into the world of rental fashion. Initially, the brand was invitation only and later opened up to the general public.
Front Row features clothing and accessories from over 50 designers, and it's the only UK-based rental platform to currently offer ethnicwear pieces from luxury designers such as Sabyasachi, Gaurav Gupta and Rohit Bal.
As if the brand wasn't already offering enough, Front Row also has stylists on hand, either in person at its Mayfair store or online, to help you achieve the perfect look for any occasion.
Style Notes: You can rent this gorgeous 16Arlington dress via Front Row now. Dreamy!