Online clothing rental can be described as a concoction of services that enable consumers to rent garments for a predefined period. These portals offer designer apparel, footwear and accessories in a wide range of sizes, colours and brands. According to Market Research the global Online Clothing Rental market was worth USD 1.12 billion in 2021. It is expected to expand at a CAGR of 8.5% from 2022 to 2030.

These services are commonly used to provide luxury at a budget to conscious individuals who prefer to wear premium branded products at a fraction of a cost for occasional events, such as weddings, theme parties, photoshoots and filmmaking. There is a rise in fashion-conscious individuals who are equally inclined towards sustainability while also not burning a hole in their pockets. There is an emerging trend of wearing designer apparel without actually owning them, especially among millennials, to keep up with the ever-changing fashion trends.

Additionally, increasing awareness regarding sustainable clothing and positive environmental effects of sharing and reusing apparels is another factor favoring the market growth. Sustainability approaches, such as reusing pre-owned apparel, utilizing minimal plastic packaging, efficiently using recyclable, renewable and production resources such as, power, water and other materials. Here are some key trends for the future of The Clothing Rental Startups -

1 - Increased emphasis on sharing instead of owning - Renting platforms have been in India since long, however the increased awareness came when such platforms started coming online thus being available for the masses. Today a consumer is not interested in storing a heavy piece of clothing but rather does not want to repeat a particular outfit that becomes redundant once kept in the wardrobe, feels heavy on pockets yet is unable to yield a good marginal utility as well. Thus considering this issue when a lot of rental-platforms are available then it becomes easier for the consumer to look fashionable and follow trends at a given time. They can easily repeat the outfit by their favorite designer without having to worry about the upkeep and the worry about repeating the same outfit.

Online clothing rental services enable the brand- and price-conscious consumers to try a wide variety of outfits without purchasing them. Other factors, including the ease of going through the available options online, rising internet penetration rates and increase in disposable income levels, are projected to drive the market further.

2 - Increase in Online Retail - The impact of covid has also made a lot of businesses move to online, especially the ease that online shopping offers to the customers. Thus there has been a considerable increase in online businesses for even renting the clothes. Earlier people were never aware of how to monetize their expensive-clothing, but today they’re conscious and believe in sustainability yet cater to such marketplaces for renting. Businesses for The Clothing Rental has seen an upward surge as well, while the initial few years saw the business being just a passion project with extremely low expectations, things changed after the third or fourth year when they got a mentor to guide them to see the potential in the model and think commercially.

3 - Cultural Shift towards the Thrift Stores - Today an audience is not ashamed of repeating clothes rather they equally flaunt it. With the rise in the number of thrift stores as well, there has been a steep rise in the audience who wishes to rent, slay and repeat. With the increase in the users on Social Media Platforms, today it is easier for brands to communicate directly with their customers while they share their story. We can see a lot of brands directly renting clothes, selling thrift clothes, influencers promoting such platforms and even brands directly interacting with their customers. There is a market for clothes, Jewellery, Furniture, Pre-Loved toys and even books for children.There is a market for everything today that can be bought pre-loved until it reaches the landfill. According to the market research by the global thrift retailer ThredUp, second-hand apparel is becoming a global phenomenon and is expected to grow 127% by 2026, with Asian countries witnessing a 3-fold growth.

4 - Constantly Changing Fashion - Today Fashion is evolving and with the constant change in the trends, the demand and supply of the market is constantly changing. Thus the consumers no longer wish to keep the clothing in their closet forever rather they wish to mix and match with the available options. Luxury doesn’t have to be a commitment anymore, the customers don’t have to pay super high prices to style their outfits, The Rental Platforms are working hard towards bridging the gap between the trends and their demand, while the designers who have made their collections with so much effort also don’t want to it to be stale thus renting makes their cycle moving. Thus concluding the same, the clothing rental industry will see a steep-rise in future as well, with more individuals drifting towards making a decision that is suitable for the environment and also keeps their requirements in number.

About Author

Sharing a story of a Fashion Stylist Shilpa Bhatia, who turned into an Entrepreneur, she runs The Clothing Rental, what started as a clothes renting website and now they their offline in Bandra while rent clothes all over the world.

Since childhood she used to love styling mannequins and wanted to become a stylist. After continuing her journey she realised that she wishes not only to design but sell designs to the audience.

The startup was founded by Shilpa Bhatia, an entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience as a stylist, public relations, brand building and business development specialist. She lives and works between Mumbai and New York. Shilpa holds degrees in Sociology, Fashion Design and Fashion Marketing from SNDT, IED Milan and Parsons New York. She keeps her self-updated on the latest consumer trends, finance, business and technology.

She is also an active member of National Entrepreneurship Network and  Women Entrepreneur Groups. Shilpa has styled some of the top celebrities and done costume designing for films and commercials.Curating products as pieces of art, Terra Inde aims at bridging the gap of mainstream with small scale artists. Terra Inde is Based in New York, New York.

Apart from The Clothing Rental, Shilpa also runs Terra Inde, Terra Inde is New York based platform that curates the best Indian wear collection for the international audiences.

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