Shoppers are more aware than ever of the environmental impact of clothing consumption, with many turning to rental platforms in a bid to make a more sustainable choice and save money in the process. However, new research has revealed that conscious consumers could be paying up to 113% more for popular dresses, depending on where they borrow from.
The study by savings site VoucherCodes.co.uk compared the price of renting 10 popular wedding guest dress brands, including Reformation, Rixo, and Ganni, for a duration of four days, across three rental platforms – By Rotation, HURR, and Selfridges Rental.
Of all platforms analysed, Selfridges Rental offered the cheapest prices overall, with the total average cost for all 10 popular wedding guest brands totalling £637.17. HURR is the second cheapest at £795.50 for the same items, and By Rotation is the most expensive, totalling £1,049.34, for all 10 items – two thirds more than the total cost of Selfridges Rental.
Looking at each dress individually, nine out of 10 are priced lowest on Selfridges Rental, compared to just one on HURR and none on By Rotation.
For fans of Reformation choosing a rental platform wisely is important, as rental prices differ the most of any of the brands analysed. Selfridges Rental provides the best value for money, with dresses available to rent at an average of £45.50. At the other end of the scale, By Rotation lists Reformation dresses at £96.85 on average – a difference of 113%.
16Arlington dresses have the second largest price difference, with costs varying up to 91% between platforms, and Selfridges Rental offering the cheapest options. Dresses from Stine Goya have the third highest price variance at 80% between its lowest listing on Selfridges Rental, and largest on By Rotation.
At the other end of the spectrum, guests looking to wear a Zimmerman dress to an upcoming wedding will find the least difference across all three platforms. The dresses have the smallest, yet still significant, price variance at 39%. By Rotation lists on average the most expensive (£156.78), followed by Selfridges Rental (£113.84), and lastly HURR (£112.59).
Maureen McDonagh, managing director, VoucherCodes.co.uk, said: “Renting clothes for special occasions is becoming more and more popular amongst consumers, as it’s not only kinder for the planet, but often, it can be kinder on their bank balances, particularly for fans of designer fashion.
“As our research shows, rental prices can vary widely between different platforms. It’s unsurprising that rental services offered by retail giants, such as Selfridges, provide their customers with the best value for money, as their business models create cost savings that are reflected in the prices offered to customers.
“For smaller, up-and-coming rental services, offering customers value for money in alternative ways is key for business growth. Investing in a personalised customer experience will attract customers seeking help in selecting items that suit their style, occasion and budget. Loyalty schemes, off-season discounts and bonus discounts, such as birthday offers will help rental platforms stay competitive in this relatively new and exciting market.”