The fashion industry is causing a lot of pollution, especially as fast fashion expands. One answer to this problem may be clothing rental.
People are buying more clothes than ever thanks to fast-changing trends and lower prices.
“The average consumer is now purchasing 60 percent more items of clothing compared to 2000, but each garment is kept half as long.”- The Apparel Industry’s Environmental Impact in 6 Graphics
The environmental cost of our increased consumption of apparel is very high. Everything from water pollution to climate change can be linked to the apparel industry.
About 20 percent of industrial water pollution comes from the industry and about 1.3 trillion gallons of water is used for the fabric dyeing process alone.
Apparel also is a large source of micro-fibers polluting our water and the synthetic fabrics are also filling up our landfills. The chemicals use throughout the apparel creation process is also very high.
Overall it’s an industry that is causing a lot of environmental harm and currently, the fast fashion trend is only growing. There are things we can do to improve the fashion industry and make it more sustainable.
Using organic cotton, reducing chemical use, recycling clothing, buying less, these are all things we can do to make a difference.
NRDC has created a program called Clean by Design which is helping address many of the environmental impacts of the apparel industry. It has been very successful and has partnered with a lot of big apparel brands to make a difference.
“With successes now in hand, Clean by Design is poised to become a self-sustaining tool for change within the industry. In 2015 and 2016, NRDC is partnering with the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, which represents more than 30 percent of global clothing manufacturing, from discount retailers to sports labels to high-end fashion. The group’s membership is committed to assessing and improving the environmental performance of factories in their supply chains; Clean by Design offers the system to achieve these goals.” – Encouraging Textile Manufactures to Reduce Pollution
Something you can do to help is reducing the number of new apparel items you are buying. This doesn’t have to mean you can’t have a new piece in your wardrobe all of the time thanks to the increasing popularity of clothing rental.
Clothing rental used to be something done just for fancy occasions but there are now a lot of great services out there that rent a wide range of pieces, including everyday apparel.
Each service works a little differently but the general idea is that you subscribe to the service and get items sent to your home for you to use and wear until you are ready for new pieces.
It’s like sharing a closet with hundred’s of other people. It allows you to have new-to-you things to wear all of the time without the environmental impact of buying new pieces all of the time.
Clothing Rental Services
There are many clothing rental options available and more are created all of the time. Try a few and find the one that works for you.
- Le Tote (Le Tote Review)
- Rent The Runway
- The Ms. Collection (The Ms. Collection Review)
- The Mr. Collection
- Gwynnie Bee
- Infinite Style by Ann Taylor
- NY&C Closet
- Express Style Trial
For many of these services, you can get cash back when you use Ebates.
If you are looking for more reviews and information on clothing rental services check out the Facebook group Clothing Rental Services Reviews.