Would you ever rent out clothes for a formal event? I think it’s a cool, sustainable way to experiment with new styles, outfits and potentially save cash. Since the Rana Plaza factory collapse in 2008, there’s been ongoing discussions and awareness surrounding the horrific conditions created to make cheaper clothes.
It’s no secret that the fashion industry is one of the biggest contributors to global pollution. And no matter where you turn now, there are people telling you to thrift more, buy local and support sustainable businesses.
However, the most sustainable thing you can do is use what you have, and outsource what you need. But if you’re someone who requires something different for an event – where exactly can you rent out clothes in South Africa?
Renting clothes certainly isn’t a new thing and you’ll find plenty of local brick and mortar stores that offer this service, from costume hire to bridalwear. The advent of popular US-based online retailer, Rent The Runway, changed everything. Founded in 2009, this online service offered consumers a subscription service where you could rent out designer outfits (think GANNI, 3.1 Phillip Lim and Helmut Lang amongst others) for a 4-day or 8-day period.
Anyways, I was wondering if anyone South African had jumped on the band wagon and offered an easy way to rent out clothes for local consumers.
Founded in 2013 by two close friends, Cleo and Tash, Style Rotate hit the online streets round about last year? I kept seeing ads for it on my Insta-feed and went to have a look. The website is easy to browse through and clothes are organised by occasion and size (4 – 18). You need a bouj brunch look? They’ve got something for that. Style Rotate offers a standard four-day rental, which is perfect for anyone with a special event coming up. Big concern for you is cleanliness? SR gets all their garments cleaned professionally.
And yes, they deliver nationwide.
Being passionate about the future of fashion, as well as empowering women by allowing them to look and feel their absolute best, we’re on a mission to make renting an everyday occurrence for the South African fashion loverStyle Rotate
Trying to find a new outfit often started with going through your best friend’s closet (and still is the case for some of us). Love, rent and return is the tagline of this online business. Best Friend’s Closet offers a variety of dresses, formal wear and accessories to rent out. If you want a closer look, feel free to book a private appointment at the Cape Town studio and try items on. My personal fave thing is that BFC is involved with the Princess Project, an initiative that helps source gorgeous dresses for learners who can’t afford the expenses of a matric dance.
Once the formal dresses have been rented out to their capacity, the dresses are donated to the Princess Project. And if you’ve got dresses you’d like to donate, you can drop them off at BFC’s headquarters.
Want to rent out your own clothes but don’t want the hassle of Facebook Marketplace or Instagram DMs? Founded in 2018, Little Borrowed Dress is a local company that provides a shared platform for national clothing rental. You need a matric dance dress and don’t want to spend a ton of money around it? Browse the website and have a look at what’s on offer. Alternatively, you can rent your pieces online and make some cash on the side.
Want to know more about selling your clothes and buying secondhand? Have a read about Yaga Marketplace and why you should try it out.