Supermarkets and retailers are doing what they can to help customers cope with the cost of living crisis, including John Lewis. The retail giant’s eco-friendly rental program will allow shoppers to rent seven items at a time, which can then be swapped out for a new design or larger size.
John Lewis’ subscription service will offer parents the option of renting children’s clothes from just £18 a month.
Six or seven items can be rented at a time and, when the kids have grown, returned to the store for a new design or larger size.
Returned items will be cleaned so they can be rented again and again, making this program both environmentally friendly and financially viable.
Customers will know if the clothes they are renting have been rented before, as they will be sorted into three categories: new, gently used or beloved.
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These categories will depend on the number of times the clothes have already been rented.
The cost of renting an item will also take into account its condition.
John Lewis is offering a range of monthly and quarterly subscription plans available from today, May 26, ranging from £18 per month or £50 per quarter for 100 credits, £27 per month or £75 per quarter for 150 credits, and £36 per month or £100 per term for 200 credits.
For example, a gingham dress that costs £19.45 would be available for 13 credits, and dinosaur print joggers that retail for £9.50 could be rented for seven credits.
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Other children’s clothing among the 51 items available for rent include a yellow hoodie, available for rent for 11 credits, a navy twill vest for 14 credits, and a green raincoat for 20 credits.
The program, which is in collaboration with clothing rental company Thelittleloop, is the right step forward in a world of fast fashion and endless dumping.
According to environmental charity Hubbub, an estimated 183 million pieces of oversized baby clothes are currently forgotten in UK wardrobes.
But John Lewis isn’t the only major UK retailer to jump on the new rental trend.
Last year, Marks and Spencer teamed up with online rental store Hirestreet to allow shoppers to rent outfits for four to 30 days from just £13.
And there are many other rental services like Hirestreet available online.
There’s Hurr Collective for high-end clothing without damaging your bank account, Rotaro for wedding dresses or other occasion dresses, Cocoon Club for vintage classics, and Baukjen for enduring basics.
The latter allows customers to hire everything from dresses to jackets for just £13 for two weeks.
According to the Waste and Resources Action Program (WRAP), Britons throw away £140million worth of wearables every year.
Meanwhile, demand for raw materials is expected to triple by 2050, with the textile industry considered the world’s second largest polluter, responsible for 92 million tonnes of waste annually.
Fashion rental may be the best way to go.
Glynis Williams, head of baby and children’s clothing at John Lewis, commented on the retailer’s new program. She said: “We are delighted to launch a collection of baby and children’s clothing with Thelittleloop, giving customers a more sustainable option to rent high quality John Lewis clothing through a trusted partnership.”