Did you know that the average woman throws away about 82 pounds of clothing per year? If you multiply that by 166.7 million (the amount of women just in the United States) that adds up to, well, way too much clothing going in the landfill.
It goes without saying that this rather alarming rate of disposal is likely influenced by the fast fashion industry. You know the drill: They make cheap and trendy clothes, we buy them, wear them once or twice, and then it’s on to the next. The world was on board for a while, but—like with cigarettes and frosted tips—everyone has now realized the error of our ways.
This level of clothing consumption isn’t sustainable for the planet, but that doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of the latest trends. You just have to rent them. Renting is 82 percent more carbon efficient than creating a new generation of clothes and luckily, over the past few years, a variety of rental companies have sprouted up. Continue reading below to discover which one might work best for you.
The 5 Best Clothing Rental Companies to Try
Rent the Runway is pretty much the OG of clothing rental companies. It first began with accessories, but quickly evolved to include apparel. That eventually launched a monthly subscription service in 2016. While you can still rent one-off items for special occasions (such as weddings, graduations, or your dog’s birthday party), you can also sign up to refresh your closet from month-to-month. The company offers three tiered subscription plans starting at four items for $69 per month.
The company also makes sure to keep the planet in mind by using reusable garment bags, consciously discarding retired items by donating them to vetted nonprofit organizations (including Dress for Success and FabScrap), and partnering with Trex to recycle their protective plastic polybags into wood-alternative building and decking materials.
Nuuly is a month-to-month rental service, making it perfect those who crave some newness in their wardrobes on a regular basis. The company is owned by URBN brands—you know, the people who brought you Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, and Free People. But don’t worry—you’re not limited to selecting from just those three brands.
Instead, Nuuly has expanded upon URBN’s current offerings by curating an eclectic brand collection ranging from large names like Levi’s and Badgley Mischka to lesser-known independent brands. You even have some well-known eco-friendly brands, like People Tree and Naadam, to pick from.
With Nuuly, you can rent six styles per month for an $89 monthly fee. Return the items whenever you want, or purchase the ones you fall in love with for a discounted price. The clothes are shipped in a reusable bag made from post-consumer plastic. After making a minimum of 35 round trips, the bags are then responsibly recycled.
Banana Republic’s Style Passport program allows customers access to a wide array of styles for $75 per month. Of course, in this instance you’re limited to only Banana Republic pieces, which may not be ideal if you enjoy mixing up your aesthetic every so often. However, for loyal customers—or just about anyone who will be trading work-from-home for an office soon—this is a great option.
By signing up, you’re granted access to a virtual “closet,” which you can fill up with your favorite Banana Republic pieces. For your account to remain active, you have to keep eight pieces in your closet at all times. The service then selects three items from your closet to send out to you (don’t worry—you can prioritize your picks so that your favorites get sent to you first). Then you simply return them whenever you’d like.
Fashion to Figure Closet offers on-trend, plus-size fashion in sizes 12 to 24. Its rental process is almost identical to that of Banana Republic Style Passport’s in that you’ll receive three styles each month for a flat monthly rate. The upside: The flat monthly rate is about $20 less than that of Style Passport’s at $54.95 per month. This includes free shipping both ways.
Similar to Rent The Runway, Armoire offers three tiers of membership options. You can rent four items for $79 per month, seven for $119 per month, or unlimited for $249 per month. Upon signing up, you’ll be directed to take Armoire’s “style quiz.” You’re then presented with a curated selection of styles to choose from.
Select your favorites, then have them shipped to your doorstep where you can keep them as long as you like (or purchase them at a discounted rate). If your style ever needs to be changed, you can easily adjust your preferences.
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