Australians throw out 6,000 kilograms (six tonnes) of clothing and textiles every 10 minutes, most of which are cheap fast fashion items that are poorly made, built long enough to be trendy and designed to be disposed of when the season is over.
With global sales of clothing doubling from one trillion dollars in 2002 to 1.8 trillion dollars in 2015, and projected to rise to $2.1 trillion by 2025, the writing is on the wall – a rise in fashion production means a rise in clothing purchases and consequently, an increase in clothing and textile waste headed straight for landfill.
One great way to combat this foreseeable fashion problem is to turn to the sharing economy; more specifically, encouraging the use of fashion rental services and wardrobe sharing platforms.
Below are some wonderful Australian online clothing rental sites and wardrobe sharing platforms that will allow you to explore your love of fashion and style creativity – without the corresponding impact to the earth or your bank account.
Sydney-based fashion rental platform GlamCorner was founded in 2012 and is Australia’s most popular rental site, hiring out thousands of dresses, gowns, jackets and fashion accessories to customers right across the country. The business is known for its vast range of designer fashion collections, stocking more than 200 international and Australian designer labels including Camilla and Marc, Shona Joy, Manning Cartell and Alice McCall.
In April 2015, GlamCorner received investment from AirTree Ventures, a Sydney-based venture capitalist fund and raised another round of funding in July 2017 which helped to make it Australia’s largest fashion rental service.
Why we love the business: It’s B-Corp certified, caters to women up to size 22, website has a clean design, all rentals come with accidental damage insurance, and they offer a ‘Try On’ service, which is perfect if you’re sussing out whether that expensive once-in-a-lifetime dress rental will suit.
Best for: Special occasion dresses and glamorous party frocks.
Shipping: $10.95 – $15 (prepaid roundtrip).
Rentals price range: 10-15% of the item’s retail value.
2. Rent a Dress
Established in 2014, Melbourne-based clothes sharing rental site Rent a Dress has been around a while and knows a thing or two when it comes to delivering a service that customers actually want to use, and stick around for. Touted as ‘Australia’s first shared rental platform’ it now boasts over 3,000 items from over 1,000 lenders across the country. If you have time, feel free to grab a cuppa and trawl the seriously huge list of offerings or just do a quick search using the category subheadings or even search by item and state, to quickly find what you’re after.
Why we love the business: You can either borrow or lend out your wardrobe, the lender profiles are easy to read and contact information such as phone/email is readily available, you’ll find the latest trendy items from some well-known brands including Alice McCall, Zimmerman, Camilla and Bec and Bridge.
Best for: Clubwear, head-turning dresses and stylish outfits to wear to fabulous parties.
Shipping: Negotiated by both parties.
Rentals price range: From $20
Melbourne-based wardrobe sharing platform Tumnus was founded by stylist Shanya Suppasiritad who, after watching The True Cost doco which revealed the social and environmental impacts of the fashion industry, began questioning her attitude towards fashion. She realised that slowing down the rate of consumption could help reduce these devastating impacts. From here, Tumnus was born.
The online platform provides a way for style-conscious people to share their wardrobes with each other, giving lenders the chance to make some cash from idle clothes, and borrowers the chance to wear a new outfit, without actually buying anything new. Win-win.
Best for: Melbourne-based women with an eye for indie design.
Shipping: Negotiated by both parties.
Rentals price range: From as little as $5 (an upfront refundable deposit required).
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4. Her Wardrobe
Founded in 2014 by a shopaholic who realised that she had spent the equivalent of a house deposit on fashion, Her Wardrobe was subsequently launched to help other style-obsessed women indulge in their love of fashion – without the same financial stress and credit card debt. The brand also offers fashion accessories including exquisite millinery from designers such as Viktoria Novak.
Why we love the business: The site is beautifully laid out, the founder’s story so very relatable, there is an abundance of dresses for hire from some incredible Australian fashion designers including Yeojin Bae, Josh Goot, White Suede, Rachel Gilbert and Aurelio Costarella, and you can also go to their showroom in Melbourne to try frocks on or use their $30 Try On Service.
Best for: Race day wear, special occasion dresses and stunning designer gowns.
Shipping: Express postage $10 to all major cities. Return postage is free.
Rentals price range: From $59
Another wonderful luxury dress rental business is Sydney-based Your Closet, which stocks a wide selection of high-end Australian and international designers. The website is sleek and it’s easy to find items based on categories such as price, size, occasion, formality and designer label.
Why we love the business: The site has a clean, easy-to-navigate design, there are pics of actual borrowers wearing the garment at the bottom of each page (so so helpful!), the fashion is clearly on trend and it stocks recognisable Australian designers such as Rebecca Vallance, Camilla and Marc, and Zimmerman, and you can pick up items from their Sydney store free of charge if you prefer.
Best for: Head-turning, flirty designer dresses and special event pieces.
Shipping: Express shipping is $9.95 to all major cities and free return postage.
Rentals price range: From $79
Another Sydney-based rental hire business offering some of the most stunning dresses, Dress For A Night will make you a Cinderella for the night. It stocks a huge range of dresses, more than a thousand different styles, so you’re bound to find the right dress, for that special occasion.
Why we love the business: Gorgeous website, gorgeous dresses (think low back, low cut, high slit, knockout) from popular labels such as Jadore, Nadine Merabi, Alice McCall, Bronx & Banco, Elle Zeitoune, Portia & Scarlett and Nicholas.
Best for: Head-turning gowns, sexy and flirty dresses, and memorable ‘you’ll never forget me in this dress’ dresses.
Shipping: $30 round trip anywhere in Australia or pickup from their North Sydney store
Rentals price range: From $69
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Low back goals ???? The Nadine Merabi Stella Gown in White has the most amazing sequin detailing ??. RENTAL PRICE: $199. SIZES available : XS, S & M. COLOURS: Black, White & Gold. Rent this for 4 DAYS or 8 DAYS ???? More details on our story* ?DRESS FOR A NIGHT Boutique – located at 5/245 Pacific Highway NORTH SYDNEY. Open from 12pm weekdays and 11am Saturdays. _______________________________________________________ Visit us at our boutique during Opening ??Hours + NO Appointment needed ?? _______________________________________________________ ?POSTAGE / PICK UP options Australia wide. ______________________________________________________ ??NEXT DAY DELIVERY: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth CBD, Adelaide, Gold Coast, Hobart and Canberra. ??*anyone outside or near these areas please call us on ? 8904 0635 as we may need to allow for extra days* Darwin will need 2 extra days! ????????? ____________________________________________________ All Dresses are listed on our Website ?View our full range and Live Booking System for dress availability on www.dressforanight.com.au ? ____________________________________________________ ?Any questions or queries please call us on ? 8904 0635 x #dresshire #hireadress #rentadress #designer #dresshire #australia #sydney #designerhire #dresshiresydney #dresshiremelbourne #dresshireperth #goldcoastdresshire #dresshireadelaide #fashion #sydneyfashionblogger #designerhireau #dressforanight #northsydney #boutique #sydneydresshire #melbournedresshire #brisbanedress #adelaidedresshire #perthdresshire #pretty
7. The Volte
The Volte is an Australian online wardrobe sharing marketplace that provides community members a platform where they can borrow and lend high-end dresses and other fashionable clothing. Works similarly to Tumnus, but this business focusses specifically on stylish dresses, accessories and millinery and preferably on trend, with a retail value of $100 and above.
Why we love the business: Such a broad range of stylish garments on offer from lenders across the country; has an extensive categories list including mums to be, plus size, racewear and most popular; there are lots of fashion labels represented too including Self Portrait, Alice McCall, Camilla and Marc, For Love and Lemons and Zimmerman.
Best for: Party frocks and gorgeous outfits that people will remember long after the event is over.
Shipping: The maximum shipping cost is $15.95.
Rentals price range: From as little as $49 per item.
8. Dressed Up
The first website of its kind to launch – founded in 2008 – you’ll never wear the same frock with Dressed Up. Specialising in the hire of designer clothing and dresses for special occasions such as cocktail parties and weddings, with a decade of experience, their offerings are truly spectacular. Make yourself a cuppa and give yourself plenty of time, you’re going to need it with the stunning choices on offer.
Why we love the business: One of the oldest fashion rental platforms in Australia earns them brownie points given they’ve been helping to stop women buying clothes they don’t need to really own; stocks well-known designer fashion and designer accessories from labels such as Dion Lee, Ginger & Smart, Manning Cartell, Bianca Spender, Louis Vuitton and Yves Saint Laurent, and has boutiques in a few main cities including Melbourne so customers can go and try on.
Best for: Exquisite dresses and gorgeous outfits and accessories that will have people asking: “Where did you get that from?”
Shipping: $12.95 which includes pre-paid return postage.
Rentals price range: From $45
EKOLUV is the hottest fashion rental business in Sydney town which doubles as a consignment boutique allowing stylish women the opportunity to sell their gorgeous designer wares. Founded by eco-model turned ethical fashion entrepreneur Emily Kate Symes, EKOLUV is helping to change the way people consume fashion and transform the way they see fashion ownership.
Why we love the business: We adore the founder Emily who has been advocating for ethical fashion and sustainability for many years and is a mainstay of the Australian ethical fashion community; they also have a Paddington showroom so customer can try items on, from a mix of labes that include well-known brands such as Alice McCall and Ellery and lesser-known but ethical brands such as Lalesso; and we love that the business gives back, donating a percentage of its profits to Opportunity International Australia.
Best for: Party wear and special occasion dresses.
Shipping: Delivery is calculated at checkout.
Rentals price range: From $49.
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Come by and say hi @ekoluv is Australia’s First Luxury Zero Waste Sustainable, Dress Hire & Consignment Boutique. All of our shop fittings and furniture were sourced second hand or upcycled from @gumtreeaus Beautiful 100% Australian grown flowers in store by ethical florist @petalpostsyd and incredible sustainable upcycled artwork by the talented @marinadebris We are here to change the game and show that fashion and sustainability can go hand in hand. We are located at 14 William St, Paddington, Sydney. Trading all day 10am-6pm all week and 11am-5pm Sunday’s or book in an appointment for a fitting for your next upcoming event. We hope to see you all in store x @ekoandlux ??????
For pregnant mums, we recommend renting maternity clothing from Brisbane-based rental platform Lána. It offers premium, fashionable maternity wear that expecting mums can rent or purchase outright. Brands stocked include maternity and non-maternity focussed labels such as Gorman, Ripe Maternity, The Great Beyond and its own in-house brand, Lána the Label. Don’t worry, the clothes are definitely for expecting women – they’re actually modelled by ladies at different stages of pregnancy!
Why we love the business: The business is founded by the same crew of people behind Australia’s first ever sustainable fashion show, Undress Runways, the website has a crisp, minimalist aesthetic, you can hire for up to 21 days and the use of culturally diverse pregnant women in its fashion shoots deserves a standing ovation.
Best for: Seriously stylish maternity wear.
Shipping: Express shipping for a flat rate of AU$10.
Rentals price range: From $20+
Disclosure: The curated list is based on the writer’s research and does not fully take into account all ethical criteria that are unique to each individual. Before subscribing or purchasing from any of the above platforms, we encourage you to do your own research into the sites and fashion brands, paying particular attention to customer reviews, business supply chain and your own particular set of ethics. We also recommend you review customer ratings if any on the site and online. This list also contains affiliate links. For more information, click here.
Title image credit: Alice McCall.