Guilt free consumption: is it possible?
How can we fulfill our appetite for newness without breaking the bank or the world?
Some of the potentially rentable pieces from Rentez Vous
‘The sharing economy’, is one of few positives born from the financial situation of the last 8 years or so. At the Ethical Fashion Forum’s Source Summit this year it was highlighted as one of the new Mega Trends to watch, so its looking like it can only get bigger! It’s based around the idea that since most of us are in the same boat when it comes to stretching the finances it makes sense to make the most use possible of what we have rather than spending our hard earned cash on keeping the big guys pockets filled by buying more and more new stuff. This can be anything from co-working spaces such as Netil 360 in London Fields to the market-changing Air BnB and Uber, which have allowed people to make their biggest financial purchases (houses and cars) work better for them through to all sorts of smaller swapping ventures such as Swaphopper and Impossible, where instead of money changing hands people barter their skills for what they need with a friendly, community feel. You only need to look at the success of vintage clothing and how people have got into clothes swapping though things like “Shwopping” and “Swishing” parties to get a feel for the change in attitude when it comes to extending the life of a product. It’s the ultimate win: new clothes, wallet friendly and sustainable too!
Rentez Vous Head of Supply showing how its done in a rented outfit // Shocking pink Margiela dress available on Rentez Vous.
Have you ever found the most amazing dress and convinced yourself of the essential nature of this purchase because it calls out to you saying, “I know I cost somewhere near to half your rent but believe me, I’m an investment, you will wear me for years!”? Its surprisingly easy to justify these things when you think about them in that way but now luckily for us there is the possibility to make this “investment” reasoning come true with a Shoreditch-based start up who wants to make your wardrobe work harder. Rentez Vous is a new face that wants to make all your beautiful, full-to-bursting wardrobes work harder for you by renting out your clothes for a percentage of the retail price to other fashionistas who are after the look but without the wallet-busting price tag. While you are not wearing it someone else can be; and even better, it can be making you money! Starting with face to face meet ups at parties in Paris, Rentez Vous moved to London with grand plans to revolutionise the use of your clothes. They also give space for small designers to put their styles out and get a unique feedback with very little risk.
MUD Jeans// You get the jeans you want and return them when you’re done for reuse as “vintage” look or recycling of fibres into knits of jersey.
On the opposite side to Rentez Vous is Dutch brand MUD Jeans offering the opportunity to lease your ideal jeans and then give the back when you’re through with them! Essentially you pay for the use of the jeans while MUD retains the ownership of the raw materials and ultimately the responsibility for the final use of them. Returned jeans are upcycled into one of a kind vintage pieces or are fully recycled into new items such as knits or sweats. By using circular design principles they cut back on resource consumption while creating employment within the repurposing of their returned garments. MUD have sourced European suppliers that actively seek to reduce their water consumption making their jeans one of the more friendly options out there proving that Denim production doesn’t have to be all bad. Given the tricky nature of jeans shopping MUD offers a cool try before you buy option where you pay for one but get three to play with at home.
MUD Jeans home try // “Why not stay the owner of the jeans and let people use them?”
As always there are positives and negatives with each approach and it seems like changing the retail world is hard work but the exciting thing is that there are options out there, people are showing a real will to disrupt the traditional model on an accessible level. It’s heartening to see that consumers are listening and are open to these new ideas, soon a shop will be just one of many options to fulfill your wardrobe necessities.