Updated: Feb 10, 2020
By Ilaria Perry
A week ago I had the opportunity to travel with CDR to New York City to meet with several fashion and communication companies. One of our stops was at Rent the Runway! They are a company that rents clothing to women - whether they're looking for high end dresses or street style.
Their goal is to “make women feel empowered and self-confident every single day.” Rent the Runway allows women to rent clothing for a specific occasion, or to have a membership that allows them to rent out four items at a time for a monthly fee.
We got to travel to their flagship store. At this location customers could pick up and drop off orders or look around at what they have in stores that day. We went at a “slow” time of day, but the store was still buzzing with people. We were told that the New York location alone sends out around 500 orders a day! They also change the floor display every day, and phase out pieces within two weeks.
Since the company is so fast paced they put a strong emphasis on logistics and tech. They created their own systems to make sorting the clothes and getting them to customers easier. They even have own their own laundry warehouse in order to clean the clothes after each use. Each item gets rented out about thirty times before it is retired.
With such a fast moving business, I wondered what was done with the clothes once they were no longer being rented. Similarly to CDR, Rent the Runway has a focus on sustainability. They partner with several organizations to donate the clothes, one of which is Operation Prom. They also hold sample sales for the retired clothes. I still thought that going through so many clothes so fast was wasteful, but, if you think about them compared to a store that sells clothes that people may only wear once, it is a step in the right direction. By reusing clothes they are ultimately trying to save the water, energy, materials, and labor needed to make a new garment.
If you have interest in Rent the Runway you can check out their website at renttherunway.com!