The fashion rental industry has challenged the findings of a recent high-profile report that suggested renting clothes is “less green than throwing them away” , based on the environmental impacts of transportation and dry cleaning. The study, published by the Finnish scientific journal Environmental Research Letters, assessed the environmental impact of five different ways of owning and disposing of clothing, including renting, resale and recycling. “We believe that rental needs scrutiny to make it as ‘green’ as possible, but we’re worried that encouraging people to throw clothes away doesn’t help the industry, let alone the planet,” says Tamsin Chislett, CEO and co-founder of rental business Onloan. The study’s assumptions around transportation, based on a Finnish business, do not reflect the reality of the rental market in the UK, according to Chislett. The study was modelled on each rented item being collected by a car journey. Companies including Onloan and Hirestreet send garments by post, while My Wardrobe HQ use cycle couriers and electric vans. There are also bricks-and-mortar businesses which enable customers to choose pieces on foot, including HURR at Selfridges and My Wardrobe at Harrods. Transportation was a key area of scrutiny in the study, which said that, […]

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