Selfridges Launch Designer Rental Offering In Collaboration With Hurr
Does the future of sustainable fashion lie in the option for regular folk to rent Vera Wang?
2020 really has been a year of surprises, as we go further towards the end it seems that nothing shocks us anymore, everything you thought was impossible has been made possible this year - and now you can rent yourself a Vera Wang, Victoria Beckham or Stella McCartney to top it all off.
Yes, that’s right - UK department store Selfridges have launched a brand new rental offering in collaboration with platform Hurr in an attempt to combat the sustainability issues around the fashion industry. Offering over 40 brands and 100 exclusive pieces that you could own for 4, 8, 10 or 20 days!
Instead of going all out on one garm and dropping those $$$, multiple people can benefit from one for a fraction of the price - meaning the piece is utilized to its full potential instead of one purchase, potentially one or two wears and then it getting thrown to the back of or sitting in some (probably expensive) closet.
Victoria Prew, Founder of Hurr tells us that conscious consumerism isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, “Shoppers are looking for smarter, savvy alternatives to traditional retail and rental is a fun way to access fashion at a fraction of the price.”
The platform itself is very informative, once you select an item it shows you what you expect to see on any ecommerce product page, but this one tells you how many CO2e emissions you have saved by renting instead of buying and wearing once, in the form of amounts of trees & miles driven in a car.
But what does this mean for the future of sustainability in fashion? Is this really where we should be focusing our efforts? Would some argue that at least it's a start? The responses to this have been very mixed.
Scrolling through reactions on Twitter you can see initial responses show people are pretty unimpressed, majority of comments are of course the memes and jokes about partners unexpectedly ripping off the tags from your rented clothes whilst proclaiming you had ‘forgot this’ & people using ‘you rent your clothes from Selfridges’ as a fresh insult.
Many suggest that it is good that designers are making their clothes more accessible, whilst simultaneously reminding those that think this scheme will ‘ruin’ the idea of designer items being made only available for the affluent, that the majority of celebrities rent/borrow designer items for big events and return them, it is hardly a ‘new’ thing, nor is it something that only ‘poor’ people would do.
There are also some concerns about renting clothes in the current COVID 19 climate, however we all know that dry cleaning establishments exist and your rented Valentino isn’t exactly going to have just been thrown into someone's nan’s washer before you get your hands on it.
Will it ruin the aesthetic of buying designer items? When you work hard to save up and treat yourself to that designer dress, knowing that it means something to you, it's an accomplishment and it's special and now anyone with £50- 100 to splash on a rental could also be wearing it too? Does that even matter?
Is it a focus on the wrong side of fashion? Don’t fast fashion retailers have to answer first - with their unethical manufacturing and throwaway, cheap clothes? We will let you decide...