Low impact rental and Circular Fashion

Through eco-design, recycling and “sharing”-based models, circular Fashion becomes a reality

A few months ago, we asked ourselves whether clothing rental was a sustainable practice for Fashion & Luxury or whether it could lead to negative consequences. An analysis by Rent the Runway seems now to lean towards the first option. Beyond the specific cases, new studies show how Fashion is increasing circular.

The Rent the Runway case: 1.3 million new articles saved

The Rent the Runway rental service takes stock of its first decade of business. With the support of the Green Story consulting company, the American platform published a report to understand the environmental impact of renting in 12 clothing categories. According to this analysis, the site made it possible to avoid the production of approximately 1.3 million new articles of clothing.

At the basis of this study, we find the company’s ten-year archive, with data collected from 2010 to 2019 regarding 27.1 million articles, integrated with interviews conducted with 4,390 American consumers. Among the results, what really stands out is having reached a percentage of almost 100% of landfill diversion of the clothing handled, thanks to the practices of reselling, donating, and recycling.

“The longer an item of clothing remains in circulation, the better the environmental results over time”, Anushka Salinas, CEO and COO of Rent the Runway, has stated in this regard.

Circular Fashion according to SDA Bocconi and Enel

The fact that the pandemic has not stopped the innovative spirit of Fashion & Luxury is something we have encountered several times over in our articles. The recent, “Monitor for Circular Fashion 2021”, promoted by Sustainability Lab SDA Bocconi and Enel X, even tells us that COVID was an accelerator of the transformation.

The multi-year project, which involves numerous important stakeholders, has produced an initial analysis based on a survey carried out with 14 companies in the industry. None of the ones surveyed has declared having reduced investments in sustainability: COVID, instead, revealed itself to be an accelerator of the business transformation in a sustainability and circular outlook.

Several of those interviewed stated that they adopt the principles of eco-design in selecting the raw materials and in the manufacturing activity. They work, therefore, on co-creation and on-demand production, reducing the waste of resources and consumption. Others focus on the life extension of the product, by concentrating on the recycling and regeneration of the articles produced. Next, there are businesses based on “sharing”, through models established on renting and leasing.

The facets of Fashion that are always more circular are truly varied. In any case, whatever the model chosen, Bizeta solutions are created specifically to support all the transformations of Retail.


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