Rent Your Style, Save the Planet

PC: Le Tote

Wait…you can rent your wardrobe? It’s true. Not only has the Internet brought us the wonder that is online shopping, but also online renting (which in my opinion is so much better). Sites like Le Tote, Rent the Runway, Gwynnie Bee, Armoire, and many more now allow you to have an upscale, diverse wardrobe without the commitment or the cost. And, the best part? It’s so much better for the environment than buying.

When I first gained an interest and then a passion for shopping ethically, I worried that I could never afford to have a closet full of sustainable pieces from brands like Eileen Fisher and Nisolo because of the high prices. After some more research I learned about the benefits of consignment shopping and then renting. Renting clothing has now become one of my favorite alternative ways to contribute to a fair and sustainable fashion industry.

In a similar way to consignment, renting clothing allows consumers to share and recycle clothing so that less items have to be made. It also contributes to lowering the amount of clothing and fabrics that end up in a landfill. In this way, it slows down our community’s clothing cycle, while allowing individuals to still always have something new to wear. Because let’s face it: new outfits are just more fun. We are always going to be inclined to buy something new even if we don’t necessarily need it.

Renting clothing lets you have your cake and eat it too. With renting you can always have something new and trendy to wear on a budget without supporting fast fashion brands or contributing to the earth’s growing pollution. Also, although there is no guarantee that all of the brands you rent will be ethically made, there is a higher chance of it because they are often higher-end brands that use better quality materials and labor.

When you rent clothing instead of buying them, you slow down your consumption cycle. You help lessen the pressure on the environment because your purchase does not force a new item to be made, and there is no risk that you will throw that item out if you get tired of it.

For 6 months, I have been renting clothing and accessories from Le Tote for $64 a month, and ever since then I have been singing its praises to anyone who will listen. I always struggled with having a closet full of clothes, but nothing to wear. I was going down a dark path of buying a cheap new outfit every chance I had just to have something new to wear. It was bad for the environment and for my wallet. When I made the decision to shop ethically I had to find an alternative to buying all new clothes from ethical brands because it was too expensive. Thus, renting from Le Tote was and is the perfect solution.

So, if you or your wallet isn’t ready to commit to buying from sustainable brands, I recommend giving renting a try. You’ll lessen your carbon footprint, avoid directly supporting fast fashion brands, and look ridiculously fashionable along the way.

-Kate Hornberger

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