Rental fashion in India refers to the growing trend of renting clothing and accessories instead of purchasing them. The rental fashion industry is one of the fastest-growing segments in the Indian retail sector. The market size of the rental fashion industry is estimated to grow at an exponential rate. The rental market offers the best possible opportunity to both existing fashion brands as well as new entrants that have recently entered the arena. It is anticipated that the global online rental fashion market will be worth US$4,828.3 billion with overall demand growing at a robust CAGR of 9.2% from 2022-2023.
Why are fashion rentals in demand?
The concept of rental fashion is becoming popular in India for various reasons, including cost-effectiveness, sustainability, and the ability to wear designer and high-end clothing for special occasions without having to pay full price. Renting clothes and accessories is significantly cheaper than buying them. This is especially beneficial for those who want to wear designer or high-end clothing for special occasions or events, but don’t want to buy them. Rental fashion also allows people to experiment with different styles and trends without making a long-term commitment or spending a lot of money.
Rental fashion is a mindset change business. The youth of today favors access over ownership. The Millenial and GenZ fashion-forward crowd favors rentals because it helps them access and experiment with different styles on a budget and in a sustainable manner. In addition to saving the buck, rentals are free from the storage hassle which is a major problem in all Indian households. Rented garments don’t require any maintenance or dry cleaning at the consumer’s end.
Are fashion rentals environmental friendly?
While the consumers save money, they are also helping in saving the environment. Fashion rentals increase the life of clothes and delay them from ending up in landfills for a very long time. About 99% of what we buy ends up in the trashcan within the first six months. The fashion industry produces and sells somewhere between 80-150 billion garments a year globally. Extending the life of clothes by an extra nine months reduces their carbon, water, and waste footprint by around 20-30% each, and cuts the cost of resources used to supply, launder and dispose of clothing by 20%.
The fashion rental business model is designed to follow the circular fashion model. When people rent outfits as opposed to buying, the outfits are circulated multiple times among different consumers all over the country. When the outfits have completed their rental life they are repaired and sold off as pre-loved outfits for them to be worn a few more times.
To achieve circularity in its true sense, rental fashion companies now work on a C2C model as well. This provides everyone in PAN India with an opportunity to share their closets and earn money. Individuals can now give their outfits like heavy Indian wear which is expensive and hard to maintain to rental fashion companies and earn a rental share each time their outfit is rented out.
Renting is Trending
Another important aspect with fashion rentals is to stay one step ahead of the latest trends. The rental fashion companies work tirelessly to stay updated and make the trendiest of outfits available for their consumers at the right time. The most trending category amongst fashion rentals is occasion wear or single-use outfits. Everyone loves to maintain their social media feeds these days and aspire to wear new outfits to each event. It is neither sustainable nor affordable to buy each of those outfits, everytime.
70% of our wardrobe is made up of everydaywear and 30% of it is occasion wear. However, this 30% contributes to 90% of our spend on clothing and is the hardly been worn section. Renting these outfits instead of buying and storing saves money and is healthy for the environment. Outfits like heavy Indian wear are super expensive and are worn only once or twice. Especially bridal lehngas and sherwanis are amongst the most expensive and least worn category. It just makes a lot of sense to rent such outfits and create beautiful memories in them.
2023 rental fashion trends
We live in an era where trends change with the blink of an eye. For a lot of people, this is an overwhelming situation and therefor listed below are some of the latest wedding fashion trends of 2023.
- Viva La Magenta
This particular hue of red was announced as the color of the year 2023 by Pantone and is expected to be seen a lot in the upcoming wedding season.
- Anarkali Silhouettes
Fashion designers have been experimenting with different lehenga lengths and cuts but anarkali silhouette still tops the list. Be it a modern bride or a traditional one, the more kalis the better!
- Unconventional colors
The 2023 brides and grooms along with their squads are expected to be seen flaunting bright and electric shades in their outfits. Unconventional colors combinations like turquoise and lavender, orange and grey, techni color outfits etc. are expected to be seen this year.
- Love for florals and pastels
While some brides and grooms are opting for loud color combinations, a huge lot wants to keep things minimal and chique. The craze of gold and white, pastel shaded combined with floral prints has come from the recent bollywood brides and is undoubtedly here to stay.
- Glitz and glam
The 2023 brides are not shying away from being the centre of attraction. They are opting for outfits adorned with tone on tone embellishments and lots of glitter and shimmer for their big day. This trend is also being followed in tuxedos and indo-western menswear outfits.
The rise of e-commerce, the technologically advanced and environmentally sensitive youth, as well as the affordability issue, are all responsible for the rental fashion industry's boom. The growth trajectory has been favourable, and it is only anticipated to get better.