Over two thirds of Brits to use clothing rental companies this party season

  • Over a third (38%) of Brits have previously hired outfits
  • Guilt over the fashion industry’s environmental impact is primary reason for renting over buying according to a third of Brits (33%)
  • Gucci is the most lusted after luxury brand for UK consumers looking to hire their outfits

Eco-conscious consumers are set to shun shopping trips in favour of renting their outfits this Christmas, a new study reveals.

The research, by VoucherCodes.co.uk1, examines attitudes towards clothes hire, with more than two thirds of Brits (69%) stating they would use rental services for special occasions like the upcoming festive season, up from 38% of UK consumers who have hired previously.

Sustainability is the leading factor for those who’ll use a rental service. A third (33%) of shoppers say it helps keep the feelings of guilt over fast fashion at bay, as they worry about the environmental impact of the industry. The fear of outfit repeating is real for 16% of shoppers who prefer renting as it eases their shame over wearing an outfit only once.

Brits’ top five reasons for using clothing rental services:

Rank Reason for renting clothes Percentage of consumers
1 Prevents them feeling guilty over the industry’s environmental impact 33%
2 Enables them to wear expensive accessories without the high cost of purchasing 32%
3 Allows them to be adventurous and try items they wouldn’t usually buy 23%
4 Saves them money 22%
5 Less guilt over only wearing an outfit once 16%

While the proportion of people set to rent clothes has risen, a number of Brits are still sceptical. Over one in three (34%) refuse to hire because the thought of pre-worn clothing grosses them out. However, hygiene isn’t the only barrier: the fear of damaging clothes is enough to put close to a quarter of Brits (23%) off the idea. Additionally, 21% are too embarrassed by the thought of others finding out they have rented rather than bought and potentially judging them.

For those who opt to buy over rent, the data shows Brits spend £204.36 on three new outfits each year for special occasions such as Christmas parties and weddings, and an alarming 12% will only wear an outfit once. Men are prepared to spend more getting ‘suited and booted’ on their perfect outfits at £76 per every brand-new look, versus the £61 spent by women. On the other hand, when it comes to renting their attire, Brits are willing to lay out £45 per outfit on average, costing them 35% less than buying a whole new look.

Anita Naik, Lifestyle Editor at VoucherCodes.co.uk commented: “With Christmas parties firmly back on the agenda for the first time since 2019, many people will already be thinking about what they are going to wear over the festive season.

“With climate change front of mind for many of us, it’s no surprise that environmental concerns caused by the fashion industry are leading more people than ever to consider hiring outfits on special occasions, such as this Christmas.

“There is an ever-growing roster of rental sites offering popular luxury brands for a tiny fraction of the price of their retail costs. It’s great to see high street stores now getting in on the action too.

“Christmas is the perfect time of year to consider renting a bold party look you’d only wear once, whether it’s sequins, bold colours, glitter or feathers, renting can offer the perfect way to embrace party dressing in a way that’s guilt-free and kind to your bank balance.”

1VoucherCodes.co.uk conducted the consumer research between 1st October 2021 and 7th October 2021. The sample size comprised of 2,000 UK adults.   

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