John Lewis launches “Clothes for Rent” service so customers facing the cost of living crisis can RENT clothes for three weeks before returning them
- The clothing rental market is expected to be worth £2.3 billion by 2029
- With the “Dress for Hire” service, customers pay to rent an item for up to 20 days
- They did a similar scheme with furniture 2 years ago and sold out in 48 hours
When John Lewis started a trial two years ago that allowed customers to rent furniture, almost the entire collection was rented within 48 hours.
In the spirit of reuse and recycling, the retailer is trying the same trick again with a new rental service – and this time there’s a new wardrobe up for grabs.
John Lewis is aiming to capture a slice of the booming rental clothing market, which is expected to be worth £2.3bn by 2029.
The “Dress for Hire” service, launched today, allows customers to rent an item – perhaps for a special occasion – for up to 20 days for a fee.
The Dress for Hire service, launched today, allows customers to rent an item for up to 20 days, perhaps for a special occasion, for a fee
Marks & Spencer also introduced clothing hire last winter. It comes at a time when shoppers are cutting back on clothing in the face of tight living costs and research is highlighting the environmental impact of fast fashion.
John Lewis, who wants to promote “a more sustainable way of shopping”, is working with rental specialist Hurr, an online platform where users can rent a Chanel mini dress for £51 or a Balenciaga bag for £130.
The platform, which works with a large number of designers and fashion chains, also allows individuals to earn extra money by renting out their own designer pieces. On the Hurr website, Prada is one of the top rented luxury brands with an average retail value of £1,200 but an average rental price of £100.
Notable proponents of the dress rental trend include Carrie Johnson, who chose to rent her wedding dress when she married Boris Johnson last year. The designer dress, which was reportedly rented for £45, would have cost £2,870 to buy.
In 2020, John Lewis launched a similar partnership, allowing customers to rent furniture such as bedsteads, bar stools and statement sofas, with prices starting at £17 per month and for a desk or chair rented for a year increase for larger goods. And earlier this year, the retailer announced its children’s clothing rental subscription service. It allows parents to rent up to seven items at a time, which can then be exchanged for a new design or a larger size.
The latest program, which will borrow a range of brands currently available in department stores, comes after John Lewis’ half-year results showed the cost-of-living crisis is affecting consumer spending.
In 2020, John Lewis launched a similar partnership, allowing customers to rent furniture such as bed frames, bar stools and statement sofas, with prices starting at £17 per month and for a desk or chair rented for a year increase for larger goods
Pippa Wicks, Executive Director of John Lewis, said: “John Lewis Rental allows our customers to experiment with the fashion they love without it having to cost the earth.”
The minimum rental fee is £20 and customers can browse the collection online and rent an outfit for four, eight, ten or 20 days. They arrive with a return bag and prepaid label and are shipped back to Hurr where they are dry cleaned.
John Lewis said research shows Britain buys more clothes per person than any other country in Europe and that the broader fashion industry is responsible for 8-10 per cent of annual global carbon emissions.
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