Look into renting your dress during the wedding season

The wedding season is here, and if you’ve been given an invitation, you’ll doubt be pondering the normal thoughts about what you’ll wear. However, the clothes we purchase for special occasions typically are left in our closets, collecting dust before they become outdated.

A 2019 study carried out by a UK charitable organization for children, Barnardo’s, found that 10 million wedding gowns were planned to be purchased in the hopes that they would only be worn once. It can be expensive. In the same survey, Britons said they spent around PS80 on wedding attire.

It’s not just the burden on our finances that can begin to accumulate. As a business, fashion is a major environmental burden. Carbon footprints of the carbon footprints of a cotton shirt, for instance, can be equivalent to 5.5kg of CO2 on average, whereas the carbon footprint of the same garment and a shoe made of leather weighs 22 and 15kg, respectively.

This piece is part of Quarter Life, a series on issues that affect those in their twenties and 30s, from the challenges of starting an occupation and taking good care of our health to the joy of having a child or adopting a pet, simply making acquaintances in adulthood. The articles in this series will explore the questions and offer solutions as we go through this tumultuous time in our lives.

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Instead of buying something new, consider borrowing something this wedding season.

Renting clothes is now an industry of its own. Rental companies for fashion like My Wardrobe HQ and Hurr in the UK and Rent the Runway in the US have already allowed customers to borrow and return clothes. The market for rental clothing is predicted to grow to an amount of around PS7.5 billion in 2026.

Here are five reasons you should consider renting a wedding dress for this year’s weddings.

Reduce your environmental footprint.

All over the world, we are purchasing more clothing. However, the frequency with which we use each item is decreasing. It is a clear issue. Materials, manufacturing, and the transportation, use, and disposal of our clothes are all entailed with environmental costs. Every second, what is the equivalent of an entire garbage truck filled with clothes being buried in a landfill or burned?

Renting an outfit means it is able to be worn multiple times by various individuals instead of only by one person now and then. The dress that you rent through Rent the Runway, for instance, is rented out at least for 30 days per month before it’s sold.

However, it’s important to consider that renting clothes can have hidden environmental expenses, too. When a rental piece is returned, it’s likely to be dry-cleaned. Dry cleaning is extremely energy-intensive, and the solvents used in the process can cause contamination of water and soil sources.

The rented clothing will also need to be transported to and from your residence and comes with protective packaging. This raises additional concerns regarding its environmental impact.

However, research has discovered that renting clothes is still the greenest alternative for formal wear (like dresses like the one that you could wear at an event). If you rent, the amount of times they are worn is increased in such a way that the emissions of greenhouse gases for each outfit are drastically decreased.

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