Rent your special occasion clothes
The fashion industry is one of the most resource-intensive industries in the world. The production of crops and fibres used in apparel is responsible for 10 per cent of global carbon emissions, and it’s estimated that 17-20% of global industrial water pollution comes from the dyes used to colour clothing.
As consumers, we contribute to this global problem by buying too much new clothing and throwing away too much old clothing. North Americans alone directed 9.5 million tonnes of clothing to landfill in 2019— this despite the fact that 95% of those items could be reused or recycled.
Obviously, we need to be doing better with our clothing. And there are a few ways to do this. The main thing is to invest in long-term staples, pieces that were made ethically, and clothing that will last 30+ wears. Put simply: buy less, choose well, make it last. But when it comes to special occasion events, such as weddings, this approach often goes out the window. Enter clothing rentals.
Through renting instead of buying, and by lending instead of tossing, we can reduce the textile waste produced each year and can extend the life of the garments we use, ultimately reducing our carbon, waste, and water footprint. And while renting special occasion clothing is not completely environmentally friendly, as it involves a lot of dry cleaning and shipping—it certainly beats buying new pieces for just one or two wears. So does buying consignment, for that matter, giving a perfectly good piece of clothing a longer life.
If you’re interested in giving this a try, here are a few companies that offer clothing rental services (US and Canada): – Rent the Runway
– Gwynnie Bee (inclusive sizes)
– Fresh Fashion Library
– Reheart It
– Rainey’s closet (children’s clothes)