Why I Decided to Pursue Clothing Rental as a Sustainability Option

Clothing Rental is becoming quite the craze. I didn’t really know what to expect when I started to try it, but I’ve become quite a fan. When I started thinking about controlling my fashion consumption and going on this sustainability journey, I started doing some research on clothing rental. As I continued to do my research, here are some of my top reasons why I think that clothing rental was a good option for me:

  • I wanted to stop the cycle of excessive shopping. I would have considered myself a shopaholic! I sometimes feel like I still am. So I could maintain my shopping habit, I would turn to fast fashion so that I could stay on trend and not spend a lot of money (or so I thought). I actually did spend a lot of money, because I justified buying items I didn’t need by telling myself that it was cheap. The truth is that they add up very fast. Clothing rental is a subscription, therefore, I know exactly what I spend each month and stay within a decent budget.
  • Buying clothing requires thought. Since I rent trendy pieces, I can now put some real thought into the items of clothing that I buy. I maintain a capsule wardrobe of pieces that last. Therefore, I don’t buy as often and wear the clothes that I do have quite regularly.
  • Each article of clothing that is rented gets a lot more use. I justified fast fashion because I “donated” it. I would donate things that still have the tags on them. The fact is that we accumulate so many clothes and what we don’t use ends up in bins or landfills or incinerated. Either way, all of those options are bad for the environment. Ms Prew, owner of the website and rental service HURR, said, “Extending the life of the clothes you own is the best way to reduce your ‘fashion footprint’.” (Helena Horton, August 27, 2019, “Renting clothes will replace fast fashion, entrepreneur says as young people turn backs on throwaway dresses”, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/08/27/renting-clothes-will-replace-fast-fashion-entrepreneur-says/) I agree with her.
  • I wanted to do my part to help protect the environment. It made me very sad, to be honest, that my insatiable desire to consume and stay on trend was contributing to global warming. I read in an article “Fashion’s biggest environmental crime lies in overproduction. Of the 3.3 billion tons of CO2 equivalents generated by the apparel industry every year, the majority are emitted while making more clothes, clothes that mostly end up in landfills long before their useful lives are over. Reducing the impact of industry is the most challenging part of tackling climate change; sharing clothes through rental platforms presents a simple and obvious solution.” (Elizabeth Cline, October 22, 2019, “How Sustainable is Renting Your Clothes, Really?, https://www.elle.com/fashion/a29536207/rental-fashion-sustainability/)

I’m not sure if any of this resonates with you or if you can relate. I’m not here to preach or make people feel guilty. I just wanted to share things that I’m learning and hopefully you can get something out of it. This is a journey for me and I’m continuously finding out new things. I am also sharing this because I need accountability as well. It helps me to be more transparent about my choices.

For my next blog, I will share with you rental companies that I have personally tried, my thoughts about them, and what I ended up using on a regular basis.

Author: Joy Josephs

I am Joy Josephs. I started Joyfully Ethical because I really wanted to challenge myself to make more sustainable choices when it came to fashion consumption. I love fashion, but I also want to be kind to the environment as much as possible. I also believe that the beauty industry goes hand in hand with fashion. I am also very passionate about only using cruelty free and vegan beauty products. My hope is that this blog provide my readers with some information about how to be more ethical in both beauty and fashion choices.

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