British start-up The Devout is urging consumers to do “fashion differently” with the launch of what they are calling the UK’s first fashion rental subscription, offering a monthly service to help counteract the throwaway nature of the fast fashion industry.
The monthly subscription service is tapping into consumers desires for more sustainable fashion choices, offering British shoppers five items from everyday essentials to high-end party wear, which can be swapped at the end of the month for five fresh items.
Launching on June 18, The Devout will offer designer and everyday menswear and womenswear to rent every month, from brands including Whistles, Selected Homme, Selected Femme, Levi’s, Tommy Jeans, Calvin Klein Jeans, Jack and Jones, Farah, Original Penguin and vintage Ralph Lauren. With more brands, vintage and independent fashion labels to be announced when the service launches.
The service is aimed at “fashion-savvy” men and women in their 20s and 30s, explained the start-up, and will cost 79 pounds a month while providing up to 500 pounds worth of designer casual, workwear, loungewear and eveningwear.
The Devout members get to pick five new items or choose to keep some pieces for longer, and there is also the option to buy the pieces they love. In addition, washing, ironing, quality checking and insurance against light damage are all included in the monthly fee, and no contract means consumers can pause or stop the service easily.
Once the clothes can no longer be rented, they’ll be put in the outlet for sale, and any unsold items passed on to The Devout’s charity partner, Shelter. The items will then be sold in Shelter’s charity shops to raise funds to help fight against homelessness.
British start-up launches monthly fashion rental subscription for men and women
The idea is to present fashion “differently and for the better,” to allow consumers to move away from an “over-reliance on fast fashion towards a subscription-based rental model, where pieces are worn and returned,” explained the fashion brand, in response to research prior to Covid-19 that 350,000 tonnes of clothes, with an estimated value of 140 million pounds, went to landfill every year in the UK.
Steve Bryant, founder of The Devout, said in a statement: “Fashion will never and should never be the same again. Up until now, fashion rental has only really been focused on women and renting one-off, occasion-wear pieces. Lockdown has accelerated the desire to dress sustainably and responsibly, while also ensuring we don’t lose the feelgood factor or the self-confidence, personally or professionally, that a new outfit can bring.
“This is also the first time that men have been specially catered for and we’re excited to be able to bring them as much choice and flexibility as the female market.”
Ahead of the launch, The Devout commissioned independent research conducted by OnePoll that showed that over half (51 percent) of 23-38-year-olds said they would be interested in a fashion rental service. Of those interested, nearly half (47 percent) said they were interested in this service because they like the idea of wearing high-end brands, while 44 percent said they were interested in sustainability and preventing clothes from ending up in landfill.
Bryant, added: “Renting gives us the joyous hit of new clothes, but without acquiring more and more in your wardrobe that you will either never wear again or wear once and throwaway. There will always be the demand for the latest and different looks, and renting provides that in a much more sustainable way.
“People’s buying habits and attitudes to fashion are changing and right now, we want to wear more comfortable casual clothing, something that The Devout deliver, alongside the ultimate party dress or tux.”
As the UK faces a crisis of excess fashion stock due to the coronavirus pandemic, The Devout is also calling on fashion brands and retailers to partner with them to help reduce the amount of unsold stock ending up in landfill.
The Devout launches on June 18 and consumers can sign up to the waiting list to receive 10 pounds off their first box.
Images: courtesy of The Devout