Food For Thought | Is renting better than buying clothes?

Food For Thought | Is renting better than buying clothes?

Renting vs Owning…ever wonder if renting is a better option for you than actually owning a garment? With the rise of buzz around sustainability, many consumers are leaning towards renting. The idea may initially sound fascinating and calling since you are led to believe that it is sustainable in more than one way.

When promoting the concept of renting, the terms ‘flexibility’, ‘financially feasibility’, and ‘go green’ are thrown around, but have you stopped to give this a thought?

The true environmental impact that rental firms have is unknown to anyone. A multitude of steps takes place before a garment reaches you, namely, dry-cleaning, packaging, and transportation. These processes are part of a cycle where-in each step is repeated after a garment is rented and returned making the concept of sustainability around renting questionable.

Renting leads to the emergence of uncommitted consumption. Everything in the rental economy is transient. There is no real bond shared with the garment and the relationship with the clothes has become fleeting and hollow as a result of the sharing economy. What the idea of renting promotes as flexibility is an absence of emotional connection.

You do not own any of the apparel when you opt to rent. The scale of caring about the clothes you rent shows that rented clothes do not signify anything to you. While clothes that are rented might give you the sense of feeling wonderful momentarily, their sentimental worth is essentially not present.

On the contrary, when you own a garment, it provides a deep sense of fulfillment. While it offers the momentary thrill of the purchase, it also gives the long-term satisfaction of ownership. As Vivienne Westwood once said, “Buy less, choose well, and make it last”. These are words that can have a huge impact if you choose to live by them. Consuming consciously will not only allow you to make sustainable choices but also leave you with the possession of garments that hold value for you in a deeper sense. 

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