Whole lotta brands doing Earth Day declarations today. Of course that’s not a bad thing, but we want to keep ours short. The story is simple: fashion is terrible for our planet (you may have heard this before) and minor changes to the way we dress are not enough to correct that.
We believe clothing rental will play an important role in lessening fashion’s carbon footprint and fortunately, virtually every environmental fashion expert and researcher agrees.
“Circular business models, including fashion rentals, re-commerce, repair and refurbishment could enable the industry to cut around 143 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in 2030,” McKinsey & Company writes in their recent report in partnership with the Global Fashion Agenda. “By 2030, we need to live in a world in which 1 in 5 garments are traded through circular business models”
Renting clothes alone won’t save our planet and the rental process (which includes shipping and dry cleaning) is not a carbon-neutral system. Rethinking clothing ownership can, however, help shrink wardrobes (while simultaneously getting more out of them), help minimize waste and maximize the lifespan of garments overall.
Increasing a single garment’s use by just two additional years can cut its overall carbon footprint by 82 percent. Rental, secondhand purchasing, and upcycling are all important tools in making this life extension a reality. At the rate the industry continues to produce clothes, nothing less than all three working in unison will create the meaningful impact needed to turn this ship around.
Rent clothes. Buy secondhand. Seek out upcycled materials. Clothes need to start living longer — not tomorrow, today.