The Best Luxury Resale Sites and Rental Services
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Wondering how you can reduce your carbon footprint in fashion – but stay stylish? Read on for the luxury resale sites and rental services taking vintage shopping to new heights.
Fast fashion is playing a seminal role in destroying our planet, polluting our oceans and generating a staggering 1.2 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases a year (more than all international flights). The sartorial shame is real.
‘50% of fast fashion pieces are discarded with a year…we need to close this loop’ – Anna Bance, co-founder of Girl Meets Dress
While reconciling luxury fashion with sustainability is a tough gig in itself, the dizzying rise of the rental model, paired with a fine vintage renaissance is certainly a step in the right direction.
Luxury Rental Services
With social media placing an expiry date on luxury pieces and the likes of Airbnb, Netflix and Uber opening the sharing and subscription economy floodgates, British consumers have never been more open to leasing high end fashion. As long as dry cleaning and delivery impact is scrutinised, rental fashion reduces waste, improves the life-span of clothing and reduces custodians’ fabric footprint with a more circular economy. If a monthly cocktail of Simone Rocha dresses, Fendi ski suits and Carven coats sounds appealing, consider signing on to one of the below. Just steer clear of the red wine…
Rent the Runway
Lauded for leading the charge on the rental fashion movement, Rent the Runway was founded in 2009 by Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Fleiss in the US and began by offering women low rental fees for designer dresses. The company recently graduated to two ‘membership’ models, now with over 550 designer partners offering pieces for a plethora of occasions and even exclusive capsule collections for Rent the Runway. renttherunway.com
Shika Bodani launched Front Row, London’s first luxury designer rental service, in 2016, spotting a gap in the market for a high-end fashion wardrobe on rotation. Bodani saw the fashion influencer culture as key to peddling the sartorial shift and endeavoured to bring America’s rental success stories to the UK, enabling clients instant access to the hottest designers and trends for a fraction of the retail price. frontrow.uk.com
Girl Meets Dress
With a pay-as-you-go or membership option, Girl Meets Dress is Europe’s leading fashion rental site on a mission to build a ‘wardrobe in the cloud’. Founding the company in 2009, Anna Bance pins the new borrowing norm on the rise of the experience economy where trips are prioritised over expensive designer dresses, along with an increasing consumer conscience and responsible shopping mentality. Ideal for occasion wear from weddings to the races, shoppers can order dresses as far in advance as they wish, there is no limit. girlmeetsdress.com
France’s answer to ‘rent-a-porter’, Panoply, launched last year as an online designer clothes rental and personal styling service with a multi-brand fashion show at Parisian department store doyen, Galeries Lafayette. Founders, Ingrid Brochard and Emmanuelle Brizay lamented their wardrobe graveyards and sought to shake up the European fashion rental mentality, emulating the success of Rent the Runway in the US. panoplycity.com
Wear the Walk
Founded in 2017 by Zoe Partridge, Wear the Walk is a rental platform enabling women to access emerging designers that have sustainability at their core, from the materials to the manufactures used. They have a two-pronged approach to sustainability, reaching the ‘I have nothing to wear’ consumer while scrutinising the production process of designers. Check them out on Facebook.
Launching only last year, Voyager Club is a luxury travel service and styling facility for the jet setting, time-poor glitterati after a seamless, stylish trip. Co-founders, Sophie Caulcutt and Ashley Barras’ recently extended their services into more sustainable territory, curating optimised eco-friendly and sustainable travel across their wardrobe and accommodation. voyagerclub.co
My Wardrobe HQ
Launching in 2019, this fashion-pack favourite quickly amassed an impressive catalogue of top designer brands, from heavyweights like Chanel, Gucci and Prada to newer labels like Rixo, Dodo Bar Or and Ganni. Members can enjoy an extended rental period – up to 14 days – and, if they find themselves falling for the piece, buy it outright. Surely the chicest way to ‘try before you buy’. mywardrobehq.com
Luxury Resale Sites
Another way of increasing the lifespan of clothing is going down the vintage or resale route. The pre-loved fashion industry has shrugged off its moth-riddled, kilo-shop jumper cliché and ushered in a more refined and dynamic identity.
One of the newer brands to hit the second-hand luxury market is Cudoni, launched in 2015 after founder James Harford-Tyrer noticed a gap in the market for premium fashion resale services. Targeted at stylish individuals with overflowing wardrobes, the seamless service couldn’t be easier to use: after listing an item you’d like to sell, Cudoni arrange a free pick-up and packaging service at your chosen time. There’s plenty for those looking to buy too: both women’s and men’s clothes, accessories, shoes, watches and jewellery. ‘Simple, trustworthy, and sustainable – we offer a first-class service that takes care of every detail in selling whilst supporting the global shift towards a greener future; aiming to be a truly effortless service that makes luxury fashion circular,’ says James. cudoni.com
Parisian powerhouse, Vestiaire Collective, defied the naysayers and brought vintage or rather ‘preloved’ into the tech sphere, operating as a high-end ebay with a rigorous quality control. Founded in Paris in 2009, Vestiaire is now the leading online marketplace for buying and selling pre-owned designer clothing and accessories. vestairecollective.com
HEWI (Hardly Ever Worn It) is one of the ultimate luxury resale sites, bursting at the seams with barely worn Dolce & Gabbana dresses to brand new (just the wrong colour for its custodian) Dior jackets et al. hardlyeverwornit.com