Bad news for Carrie Symonds! Renting clothes is ‘less green than throwing them away’ because of delivery, packaging and dry cleaning, new study finds
- New study has found renting clothes is ‘less green than throwing them away’
- High environmental costs include delivery, packaging and dry cleaning
- Carrie Johnson is a big fan of renting, hiring her wedding dress and G7 wardrobe
- Prime Minister’s wife pays £9.99 a month membership to My Wardrobe HQ
Hiring clothes is ‘less green than throwing them away’ because of delivery, packaging and dry cleaning, a new study has found.
Rental services have been popularised in recent years by eco-conscious public figures including Carrie Symonds, who rented her wedding dress when she married Boris Johnson as well as her wardrobe for the G7 conference in Cornwall last month.
However the study, published by the Finnish scientific journal Environmental Research Letters, investigated the impact of five different ways of owning and disposing of clothing, including sharing items, reselling clothes and recycling.
It discovered that the lowest global warming impact could be achieved by reducing the amount of purchases made, while renting clothes had the highest effect on the environment.
Hiring clothes is ‘less green than throwing them away’ because of delivery, packaging and dry cleaning, a new study has found (pictured, Carrie Johnson wearing her rented wedding dress with Boris Johnson)
The study assessed five ownership and ‘end-of-life’ scenarios of creating and using a pair of jeans, looking at basic use with waste disposal, extending the use of the items as long as possible, reselling the garment, recycling the item and sharing it using a rental service.
Transportation was among the environmental impacts of renting services, with clothes being ferried back and forth between warehouses and the renter.
Meanwhile the study also found there was a higher packaging cost with rented clothes.
Dry cleaning, an essential part of rental services to ensure clothes can be shared between customers, is also harmful for the environment.
Eco-conscious Carrie hired multiple pieces for the G7 summit last month in Cornwall – two collections from dress hire companies My Wardrobe HQ and Hurr Collective were delivered before the summit
It suggested that there was a higher risk to the environment if clothing rental services happened on a large scale.
However it also revealed that if rental companies changed logistics, such as delivering packages by bicycle, the impact could lessen.
Speaking to The Guardian, Dana Thomas, author of Fashionopolis: The Price of Fast Fashion and the Future of Clothes, said: ‘We should think of renting like second-hand shopping.
‘[It’s] not something we do all the time, instead of buying our clothes and swapping out outfits nonstop, but on occasion, when the need arises, like proms [or] weddings.’
Carrie has been hiring her designer outfits, rather than buying them outright, for years and pays £9.99 for a monthly membership to My Wardrobe HQ
One of the biggest profile advocates for hiring clothing as opposed to buying is Boris Johnson’s wife Carrie, who married the Prime Minister in a rented dress.
She has been hiring her designer outfits, rather than buying them outright, for years.
In 2019, it was reported she pays £9.99 a month membership to the website My Wardrobe HQ, which allows her to supplement her day-to-day high-street outfits.
The service has been described as a ‘private members’ club for the fashion world’.
At the time, a source close to My Wardrobe HQ said: ‘Carrie loves eco fashion so borrowing clothes for special occasions means they aren’t just left hanging in her wardrobe and rarely worn. One dress can go a long way.’
And earlier this year, the 33-year-old mother-of-one tied the knot in a stunning boho-chic gown by Greek designer Christos Costarellos, which costs £2,870 new – but just £45 a day from My Wardrobe HQ.
Carrie hired another three decoy gowns from the eco fashion business to allegedly throw snoops off the scent ahead of her and Boris Johnson’s big day, with the company only finding out they supplied the UK first lady’s dress when they saw the photos.
Eco-conscious Carrie then hired multiple pieces for the G7 summit last month in Cornwall – two collections from dress hire companies My Wardrobe HQ and Hurr Collective were delivered before the summit.
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