Fashion

See it, Want it, Rent it: How to Dress for Events Sustainably, Beautifully and Without the Price Tag

By Robyn Hamilton
24.07.19

Sustainably sashay your way through any event - rental fashion raises the style stakes without breaking the bank!

 

With its devastating effect on our planet (i.e. the masses of energy taken to produce clothes, the toxic chemicals used in the process and the rapidly increasing levels of waste product) the fashion industry is fast approaching crisis point. Simply put, the industry just can’t keep up with the insatiable demands for ‘new looks’ and the latest trends in a sustainable manner.

Unfortunately, it’s not just the industry which needs to change, it’s the consumers too. Gone are the days of guiltlessly buying a new outfit for every special occasion, instead we should really be asking ourselves a Marie Kondo-inspired set of questions every time we make a purchase. ‘Will this item bring me joy?’ and, if so, ‘Will it continue to do so in 5 years’ time?’.

However, if you simply can’t cope with the idea of wearing the same dress over and over again, or just don’t attend that many formal events, then there’s another way to get your (sustainable) fashion fix. Enter, clothing rental companies, which are tipped to be fashion’s next big thing.

With the practice of ‘wardrobing’ (returning worn products to retailers) growing in popularity - 1 in 5 British clothes shoppers between the age of 24 - 35 admitted to doing it - it seems like there definitely could be plenty of space in the market for a rental model, which satisfies the consumer’s desire for new styles, whilst remaining a more sustainable and cost-effective option.

Here at Eco-Age we absolutely love the concept (we can save the planet AND wear new clothes you say…) and really hope this model soon replaces the trend of fast-fashion. To find out more, we caught up with Hurr founder, Victoria Prew, Eco-Age contributor and style icon Rosanna Falconer and Eco-Age’s own Robyn Hamilton and discovered their favourite pieces from HURR - the UK’s first peer-to-peer wardrobe rental platform.

 

Victoria Prew

By invite only, HURR is home to a beautiful selection of designer clothing, perfect for the next wedding or work do. They even offer a personal styling service, helping you put together a look for a specific occasion. Here Victoria, one of the co-founders of HURR, shares a few of her favourite styles for a summer wedding.

"Over the past two years, we’ve been building a platform for exactly this occasion - and here I finally was, renting from the company we’ve worked so hard to launch.

"For the first evening, the bride and groom held a drinks reception at the Belmond Villa. I rented this gorgeous RIXO London dress, one of my favourite brands that also happens to rent really well on our site. I love their vintage-inspired prints, especially the clash of polka-dot and floral patterns on this particular dress!"

"The night before the wedding, I opted for something a little more ‘statement’ and rented a Dodo Bar Or dress, for a small percentage of what it would cost to buy! Their dresses are perfect for holidays and warmer climates (lots of ruffles and fringing!), but I couldn’t justify the outfit on a cost-per-wear basis."

"For the day-time, I rented this Ghost London dress with short balloon sleeves and a lemon print. It was the perfect day-to-night number and I’ve just requested to rent it for a second time!"

"And for the actual wedding, the bride chose matching Halston Heritage gowns for her bridesmaids - a timeless number that we all felt fabulous wearing. Having only worn the dress for a few hours on the day, it’s now available to rent on HURR - and already has a few rental requests coming up!"

Rosanna Falconer

Co-founder of FashMash (a global community uniting key individuals in the fashion, digital and technology space) and award-winning fashion consultant Rosanna Falconer shares two of HURR favourite looks.

Wedding outfit (Ulla Johnson dress)

"Something borrowed… We all know the wedding saying and this is where clothing rental comes into its own! Time to embrace a circular approach to wedding season with this outfit on loan from Hurr. All the thrills of something new, yet rented and ready to be returned after the weekend. Knowing how many wears you can get out of special outfits (and how it’s harder to stretch them to #30wears, unlike daywear), I think the rental model makes revolutionary sense. My favourite moment was when the owner of this glorious Ulla Johnson dress sent me a message on Instagram. The woman behind the wonder-outfit was just as stylish as I imagined!"

Cocktail dress

"Sustainable sequins? Hurr makes it possible! Circular fashion can be brought to life with all the ease of e-commerce. From a few clicks to concierge delivery. Halpern is a long-time favourite of mine, so this dress was found in two clicks, then I’ve been wanting to try these Alessandra Rich heart earrings for ages. They’re just as heart flipping as I imagined."

Robyn Hamilton

"Recently, for possibly the first time ever I had a wedding coming up and I wasn’t faced with that all-to-familiar ‘I have nothing to wear’ conundrum; rather I had the perfect party dress already lovingly wrapped away in my wardrobe, which I had purchased a few years ago from a tiny boutique in Spain - it has the perfect combination of glam and elegance; confidence-giving; and dance-floor friendly. I also already own and adore the most jaw-dropping, occasionally feet-numbing, Louboutin heels that I was without question going to wear. So now all I needed were some accessories to complete the outfit...

"I was loathe to buy new accessories to bring the two items together - I already have more than enough bags at home, but of course nothing that worked for this outfit." 

"Thankfully I realised I could rent some show-stopping jewels by JCM London and Van Cleef & Arpels and the most divine handbag from Nannacay - which even came with a hand written note from the actual owner, wishing me a wonderful wedding with her bag. The whole experience was seamless and enjoyable."

"So off I went to the wedding, with both my bank account and sustainability conscience intact. However, best of all for me was receiving so many compliments on the outfit, and the immense pride I felt being able to tell my female admirers that I had rented the items they were fawning over, so they were (almost) free to use them themselves."

 

With all the $ you'll be saving on new outfits, read about how you can use those extra pennies for good.

Suit up Gents! Nick Hopper's got you covered with his summer wedding season style guide.

See it, Want it, Rent it: How to Dress for Events Sustainably, Beautifully and Without the Price Tag