Dress rental companies are transforming how women consume fashion. (Photo: Pixabay)

The new fashion revolution

Dress rental companies are popping up faster than new designer brands. It’s like AirBnb, but for the fashion industry.

Rachael Don, owner of her own designer rental business @hiremelbourne (Photo: supplied)

For many Australians, especially millennials, renting designer clothes from a stranger is their new weekly arrangement. You simply rent an outfit that is worth anywhere from $100-$3000 and hire it from a business such as Glam corner – or just from an ordinary women’s wardrobe – wear it and return it. 

Ten years ago, no one would’ve dreamed of making a profit out of renting their clothes to complete strangers. You were left to borrow from a friend or close acquaintance. With that came the risk of ending the relationship because of an accidental red wine stain or an unfixable rip. This appealing concept of wearing a dress straight off the runway and renting it for a 10th of the price seems too good to be true.

But is it all that easy?

In this Instagram and networking – age where people go broke due to the golden rule “never be seen in the same outfit twice’ – this is a trend that has become increasingly popular and in heavy demand across Australia. But could dress rentals hurt Australian designers, of our income is going into renting not buying. 

In the last few years, notable Aussie designers such as Josh Goot, Bardot have been forced to shut down. However, the sharing economy has improved many aspects of our lives and it seems natural to incorporate our wardrobe into this ‘sharing’ concept.

Rental site Glam Corner was founded in 2012 by husband and wife Audrey Khairi-Jones and Dean Jones is Australia’s most popular hire site that allows you to borrow high-end quality designer items and pay for them on a per-user basis.

You are effectively driving the cost-per-wear way down.

According to Glam Corner, by renting you are essentially reducing the environmental impact by up to 95 per cent.

Glam Corner has an large range of high-end clothing – with brands from Scanlan & Theodore to Zimmerman – and includes pieces with a retail value of up to $900. They hire out pieces for a fraction of that price.

Textile waste is a growing epidemic in Australia with the average Australian contributing to 23 kilograms per year. Glam Corner says it is passionate about changing the way people consume fashion.

‘We’re trying to cure Australia’s ‘fast fashion hangover’ and help Australian women shop more sustainability whilst making women feel a million dollars for fraction of the price.”

Husband and wife Dean Jones and Audrey Khaing-Jones founders of Glam Corner (Photo: supplied)

Amanda Hayes from Melbourne recently had a wedding to go to. She is a frequent renter, who refers to herself as a “rental addict” as she hires designer clothing at least twice a fortnight.

“The luxury of wearing something new every weekend is just incredible, I used to go and spend $700 for it to just sit in my wardrobe after I had worn it once and now to hire an item that is worth $1000 and I am able to rent it for $100 is just what is insane. You are saving money and saving your wardrobe from turning into a tip.”