This party season, you might be in the market for a new dress.
M&S have decided to try to take the ‘fast’ out of fast fashion, by making a selection of womenswear available to rent to shoppers before Christmas.
At a time of mass shopping, it’s an initiative many environmentally conscious consumers will be grateful for.
Dresses that retail for up to £299 will be available at a significantly lower cost to rent, meaning your work do and Christmas party outfit can be sorted without breaking the bank – and more importantly, benefitting the environment too.
A sustainability becomes an increasing concern for many, multiple M&S party products – including dresses from the popular X Ghost collaboration – will be listed on rental platform Hirestreet.
Initially the partnership will run as a trial, with shoppers able to rent items costing between £69 and £299, from just £13 for a period of four days.
M&S chief operating officer Katie Bickerstaffe said of the new collaboration: ‘Clothing rental is a growing market and working with Hirestreet through our Founders Factory joint venture gives us a huge opportunity to learn from the leading start-up in this space, operate in an agile way and better understand what our customers want from rental services.
‘As we grow M&S clothing, we want to be more relevant more often and we know customers are increasingly interested in the circular fashion economy.
‘Our partnership with Hirestreet means we are putting M&S clothing in front of new customers and our first rental edit doesn’t just showcase the style we have on offer, it also highlights the value and quality of clothing that is made to last.’
The move comes as MPs are calling for real change when it comes to fast fashion.
Retailers and manufacturers were the target of a report in 2019 by the Environmental Audit Committee (ECA). It looked at sustainability and clothing, with recommendations being made of charges on each item bought to help fund recycling.
The report shared that £140m worth of clothes get sent to landfill in the UK each year, which is higher than any other country in Europe.
Since then, pressure has continued to mount and renting has become more normalised.
This is also an opportunity for M&S to develop their business model, given that for years they’ve seen a decline in female fashion sales – though their latest readings a little more optimistic.
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