tailor's dummy with measuring tape

You’ve likely rented apartments, movies on Netflix, moving trucks, and even vehicles on vacay, but clothing? Tailored tuxedos aside, chances are you didn’t even know renting designer clothes was an option, an eco-friendly one at that.

Studies reveal that 63 percent of consumers worldwide consider sustainability in their purchasing decisions. However, while more of us want to green our closets, many people just don’t know where to start.

While the thought of your overpriced designer duds ending up in a landfill isn’t exactly screaming Stella McCartney, the majority of us are disposing of 81 pounds of textiles each year, according to the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART). And, let’s not even mention the microplastics that shed from laundered polyester and other synthetics fabrics that end up contaminating our waterways, as reported by Environmental Science & Technology. This alone is wreaking havoc on marine animals and their habitats.

Fear not, fellow frugal fashionistas. Meet two clothing rental companies that are taking the fashion world by storm and giving fast fashion a run for its money.

woman in green party dress
Why pay top dollar for a designer dress you’ll only wear once or twice? Photo by Anne on Pexels

Rent the Runway

Rent the Runway, or RTW, is an online service that offers designer clothes and accessories for rent at a fraction of the retail price. Whether you’re headed to Aunt Edna’s anniversary, a glamorous gala or a redoubtable reunion, eco-savvy shoppers like you are more careful about how they spend their money. Why pay top dollar for new designer duds that you’ll likely only wear once or twice? 

Rent the Runway offers three types of clothing rental programs that make it easy for you to look your best without purchasing a lot of clothing you don’t need. The price of the service includes dry cleaning and insurance for each order. They even provide a prepaid shipping label when it’s time to return your clothing items.

  • Rent the Runway Reserve: Want to make an entrance at an upcoming soirée without breaking the bank? RTR Reserve offers designer styles starting as little as $30. Select your style for tonight or a month from now and keep the clothing item for four to eight days. When done, just mail it back. You’ll even get an extra backup size with every order.
  • Rent the Runway Update: With four rentals per month, you’ll have new looks for the office or happy hour for under $90 a month. Sign up for a trial and save 20 percent. You can even purchase your favorite threads at a discount, if you decide to keep the rental.
  • Rent the Runway Unlimited: Pay just $159 a month for unlimited designer duds. Just rent, wear, and return. Start a trial for as little as $99 a month. Similar to the Update plan above, you can also purchase anything you fall in love with at a discounted price.

Le Tote

Offering both clothing and accessories, Le Tote offers a service similar to RTR’s Unlimited program.

No need for Rachel Zoe to pay you a visit, because, for a mere $69 monthly investment for the Classic plan, or $79 a month for the Maternity plan, membership includes your own personal stylist to help you select looks tailored to your preferences. You can wear the rented items as much as you like. Once finished, just return the items in the prepaid envelope provided by Le Tote. You can also purchase any piece for up to 50 percent off the retail price

Yes, you really can look amazing, help the planet, and save money just by shopping — or, in this case, renting — your dream closet!

Feature photo by Fancycrave.com from Pexels

By Lisa Beres

Lisa Beres is a healthy home authority, Baubiologist, published author, professional speaker and Telly award-winning media personality who teaches busy people how to eliminate toxins from their home with simple, step-by-step solutions to improve their health. With her husband, Ron, she is the co-founder of The Healthy Home Dream Team and the 30-day online program Change Your Home. Change Your Health. She is the author of the children’s book My Body My House and co-author of Just Green It!: Simple Swaps to Save Your Health and the Planet, Learn to Create a Healthy Home! Green Nest Creating Healthy Homes and The 9 to 5 Greened: 10 Steps to a Healthy Office. Lisa’s TV appearances include "The Rachael Ray Show," "Nightly News with Brian Williams," "TODAY," "The Doctors," "Fox & Friends," "Chelsea Lately" and "The Suzanne Somers Show."