LONDON — The importance of shoppers making more sustainable choices — or shifting to renting fashion — has been discussed at length, especially when shopping for one-off occasions like birthdays or weddings. But what about a travel wardrobe?
With COVID-19 restrictions easing and travel set to resume, this could become sustainability’s next frontier.
It’s certainly not very sustainable to travel with multiple overweight suitcases or to panic shop during a trip for clothes that don’t fit into one’s day-to-day reality. That’s why peer-to-peer rental app By Rotation wanted to experiment in the sector, inking its first hospitality partnership with Page Hotels.
As hotels reopen and indoor socializing resumes in the U.K. as of May 17, By Rotation will launch an in-room rental concierge for the residents of Page8, the group’s central London location.
The idea is to provide a sustainable solution and prevent travelers from impulse shopping. Guests will be able to pick up to 10 items from a dedicated edit that By Rotation has created for Page8. They will be delivered to guests’ rooms within 90 minutes.
“We believe it will be a new way to advertise holidays altogether: less planning, less luggage, less impulse and rushed purchasing. It’s funny that hotel room bars are always fully stocked, but not the wardrobes — and that’s what we’re changing for good. Imagine the excitement of walking into your new room — and a new wardrobe,” said By Rotation founder Eshita Kabra-Davies.
She added that rental can satisfy that urge for newness while traveling, while also minimizing the environmental impact. She believes it can also prove a handy solution to inappropriate packing or luggage lost in transit.
The edit on offer to Page8 guests includes a mix of London labels from heritage names, including Burberry and McQueen to contemporary favorites including Rejina Pyo, Rixo, The Vampire’s Wife and Galvan. Labels you’ll likely see on the streets of London, from Ganni to Jacquemus and Rotate, are also part of the mix.
“I’ve too often purchased a new outfit (or two) while on holiday to ‘dress like the Romans,’ so we’ve curated two collections to give our guests the London look,” added Kabra-Davies.
Prices range between 24 pounds to rent a Jacquemus top for three days to 75 pounds to rent an evening dress from The Vampire’s Wife.
The tie-in will also offer By Rotation more exposure to international guests as it gears up to expand into three new markets in the next 18 months.
There are also plans to expand into new product categories and to develop the app’s social networking features further — building on the momentum rental fashion has had even during lockdown, when By Rotation users still rented up to five items a week.
Since lockdown started lifting in the U.K. in April, the app’s user base grew from 12,000 to 60,000 according to Kabra-Davies, and rental volume increased 20 times compared to last May, with interest quickly switching from lounge wear and knits to loud dresses and bags.
“We have revised our full-year forecast significantly upwards just from April and May’s progress. With the news of (peer-to-peer resale platform) Vinted — which is barely even 10 years old — being valued at $4 billion, I couldn’t be more excited about leading the peer-to-peer fashion rental movement. If there’s any philosophy that’s going to help create the next unicorn in the fashion rental space, it’s going to be purity of purpose, and a continued focus on sustainability and the end customer,” added Kabra-Davies.