Having access to an endless supply of clothes without bothering with the cost, or all the space it takes to store them sounds like quite the dream… With the rise of rental fashion, it has now become a reality! This is one of the really exciting revolutions happening in the fashion industry right now.
HURR is one of the great peer-to-peer rental platforms on the upspring and has already been called the Airbnb of the fashion industry. Their platform enables fashionistas to access luxurious outfits for a fraction of the retail price and to continuously renew their wardrobes. We had the great honour to have a little chat with the incredible Victoria Prew, Co-Founder of HURR, to see what she had to say about the fashion rental industry.
The Importance of Rental Fashion
Before we dive into our interview with Victoria, we feel that we need to clarify why rental fashion is important. There are lots of great platforms to sell clothes, but what happens to the clothes you may not be ready to get rid of - ever? You should, of course, rent them! Beautiful ball gowns and Yves Saint Laurent heels deserve to be worn, and when you can earn some cold cash from it as well, it’s nothing but an excellent deal! Find out more about how it works to rent out your wardrobe here.
Whether it’s a wedding invitation, a job interview or simply date night, we always seem to find reasons for buying new clothes. But our collective fast fashion addiction has social and environmental consequences which we need to start addressing and take action against. This is where renting your wardrobe comes into the picture. Renting enables us to close the loop of a circular fashion system and changes our consumption behaviours, while still satisfying our desire for newness. It makes a lot of sense too: we rent cars, bikes and even our own homes - so why not our wardrobes? As with all new habits, it may seem weird to begin with, but considering the vast amount of clothing that is produced each year, it seems fair to start a sharing revolution with our clothes too.
Here’s what we learned about fashion rental from Victoria:
Tell us a bit about HURR
Victoria: HURR is the UK’s first peer-to-peer wardrobe rental platform, think of us as the Airbnb of Fashion. We allow women to rent and lend their wardrobes securely in seconds.
What led you to start HURR?
Victoria: Before I left the corporate world, I’d watched the massive rise of the sharing economy (from Airbnb to Uber) that’s impacted all areas of our day-to-day lives. As one of the world’s most polluting industries, I really believed fashion was the next big industry that was ripe for disruption.
Why did you choose to go into the field of sustainability? Was it your intentional goal from the beginning or was it something that came along with the journey?
Victoria: Sustainability is at our core and drives the day-to-day decision making of the company. Extending the lifespan of your clothes is one of the best things you can do to reduce the environmental impact of your wardrobe.
When looking back at what has been achieved with HURR so far, what challenges have been the hardest?
Victoria: As a tech company, we’re really focused on ensuring that it’s safe and secure to rent your wardrobe. This took a huge amount of time and technical infrastructure but trust is at our core, and we’ve worked extremely hard from day one to ensure vetting and review processes are in place to build a community of like-minded women.
Since starting HURR, what is your experience of the consumer reaction to renting their wardrobes? Do you reckon that there is an increasing interest in fashion rental?
Victoria: In the first two months post-launch, we received over 3,000+ signups to our waiting list. This proved pretty early on that the rental revolution has finally arrived!
If you could rule the world for one day, what would be your first change?
Victoria: To ban single-use plastic worldwide.
What is a book/ movie/ podcast you have recommended to your friends recently and why?
Victoria: BBC Three - Stacey Dooley Investigates, Fashion's Dirty Secrets - if you haven't already watched it, you should!
At BLANC, we cannot agree more with Vivienne Westwood’s message “Buy less, choose well, make it last”. How do you consume fashion sustainably?
Victoria: I’ve taken a leaf out of Livia Firth’s #30Wears campaign, and really stop to ask “will I wear this at least 30 times” before I buy anything at all! I also rent most of my outfits from HURR, so hopefully, I'll never need to buy anything ever again!
What is your best tip for people who want to be more sustainable but don’t know where to start?
Victoria: Rent, re-wear and recycle your wardrobe, you don't always need to buy new.
What do you hope to achieve in the future in terms of sustainability?
Victoria: We want to disrupt the fashion industry, but also change the way millennials consume fashion. We imagine a future where renting is commonplace and an unlimited 'virtual wardrobe' is both affordable and accessible.