Is Renting Clothes Eco-Friendly?

Is Renting Clothes Eco-Friendly?

Many think of the rental industry to be sustainable by nature. By renting instead of possessing objects one can help reduce the demand for more products being manufactured, which in turn brings down overall production processes. This, in turn, can reduce emissions that have a significant impact on the ecology of our planet.

Millennials, who give impetus to the rental economy (https://www.visualcapitalist.com/millennials-rental-economy/), are increasingly opting for renting products, including apparel. One of the many reasons, that rental is appealing to millennials is that they believe rental is more eco-friendly and sustainable. In a survey conducted by Lab 42, it was found that 11% of the participants chose to rent because it was ‘better for the environment. While 11% is a small figure, Nielsen’s research finds that 73% of the millennial population in the US is amenable to paying more money for product offerings that are ‘sustainable’ (https://www.visualcapitalist.com/millennials-rental-economy/).

We at Letz Rent – India’s first Online Rental Aggregator (ORA), are committed to building a community that is passionate about the sustainable practice of renting. We believe that apparel rental could be a gamechanger in the way consumption takes place!

We found astounding statistics in a report by MacArthur’s foundation. Their research reveals that 3/5th of all clothing produced, within 12 months from the production date, ends up in landfills or incinerators (https://environmentjournal.online/articles/35-of-microplastics-in-oceans-come-from-clothing-research-reveals/). This points to the severely diminished life span of a typically bought item of clothing. Indeed, the foundation also discovered that in just the 15 years preceding the study, the average number of times an apparel item was worn before being discarded as waste fell by 36%. If the same items were rented instead – on a single-use basis, there may be a lot less wastage and less strain on the planet’s resources. In line with this notion, one of the takeaways from the report is to switch to the short term rental apparel industry (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/28/stella-mccartney-calls-for-overhaul-of-incredibly-wasteful-fashion-industry).

Sacha Newall, from My Wardrobe HQ – an apparel rental company says “I used to work in the car-sharing industry, where for every car shared 11 are taken off the road…Apply a similar approach to the crisis in the fashion industry and you have the potential to make a real difference.” Newall points to the sustainability offered by the rental of apparel rather than the possession of the same.

Every second, a truckload of clothes is wasted somewhere on the planet (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/28/stella-mccartney-calls-for-overhaul-of-incredibly-wasteful-fashion-industry). Given the prevalent climate change and global warming, it seems imperative to make lifestyle changes if we are to sustain life on the planet.

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