The collections are part of a full-fledged rally against fast fashion, or the aptly named “Fast Fashion Free” campaign launched Tuesday. Talent like Intersectional Environmentalist cofounder Leah Thomas, “Seamoss Girlies” podcast host Kate Glavan, Goingzerowaste.com founder Kathryn Kellogg, The Naked Diaries founder Taylor Giavasis (who YouTubers may know from her marriage to Nash Grier) and more will endorse the campaign in anti-haul videos.
A series of marketing messages like “Fast fashion is garbage” already appears over New York City, Los Angeles and across digital channels in the meantime.
“In January, many of us are already generally reconsidering our behaviors — resolving to break bad habits and live more healthfully and mindfully. This is the ideal time to issue a targeted challenge, asking people to stop buying fast fashion, which we know in large part is fueling rampant overproduction and overconsumption — not to mention knock-off culture — across the industry,” said Rent the Runway’s senior vice president of brand marketing Jess Burns. She believes subscribing to Rent the Runway offers the “fix” of fast-fashion newness with a lot less environmental hurt.
At month’s end, the collected goods will then be recycled into insulation through a partnership with New York-based Green Tree Textiles recycling, which Rent the Runway has worked with since 2020, sending old inventory and damaged garment bags.
At the end of the campaign, Green Tree Textiles will release an impact report showcasing just how many goods were recycled (mechanically shredded and used for insulation) or repurposed by nonprofit partners.
The pilot pairs with Rent the Runway’s ongoing quest to make rental the first choice in circular fashion and prove its case to investors as a now public company. According to Rent the Runway’s first life-cycle assessment, its business model has led to the displacement of 1.3 million garments over time, although critics have emerged since the increased attention on clothing rental footprints.
Eyeing new subscribers in the new year, Rent the Runway counted 116,833 active subscribers at year-end, a 78 percent year-over-year increase from 65,545 subscribers compared to the same quarter in 2020.