Even though splashing out on a new dress can spark joy and give you that injection of dopamine we all crave, there’s nothing like a dose of guilt to bring you back down to earth and the realisation that the phrase money-well-spent did not apply, when the said dress was worn once and inevitably thrown into the ‘get-rid’ pile to eventually find itself in a landfill.
What if there was a way to satisfy your shopping impulses without polluting the planet? Well… yes there is and it’s something that is becoming more and more popular. Accessory and apparel rental services have been popping up in the UAE over the last number of years where users can rent an item for a fraction of the cost of buying it. As we all become painfully more aware of the impact that the production of clothing is having on our planet, many of us are trying to shop less, buy better and nowadays – turn to the rental, rather than buying something new.
Kate Middleton, the Princess of Wales, who herself, a champion of sustainability when it comes to fashion, rented a dress for The Earthshot Prize awards ceremony in Boston last December. The dress – a lime green Sabrina dress from Solace London was hired from Hurr, a UK rental platform, at a cost of only $91 per night.
Along with the sustainability benefits involved when renting your wardrobe, the process enables you to save money – especially if you’re the type of person that doesn’t like to re-wear the same thing too often. In addition, renting fashion doesn’t require storage space – a win, win all around.
Below are some places in the UAE where you can rent an outfit for a fraction of the retail price.
Rent Your Wardrobe (Online)
This affordable clothes rental service offers monthly, quarterly and annual clothes subscription packages, which offer customers a choice of garments to suit their requirements, free cleaning and sanitisation services as well as free pick-up and drop-off services. It offers a womenswear collection including casual wear and occasion/party wear with subscriptions starting from AED599 for five rentals in three months. The service also helps people sell their pre-loved clothes and in turn promotes circular fashion. Currently only available in Dubai, the online business plans to expand across the rest of the UAE.
D24 (Online & JLT)
Specialising in luxury fashion and for those ultra-glamorous events where you’re at a loss as to what to wear, D24 offers dresses, accessories, bags and more. Customers can make an appointment to visit the showroom in JLT for complimentary advice from a stylist who will guide you to pick outfits suited to the desired style, budget and occasion. There’s also an online service where you can choose what you want to rent after browsing the website. All rentals at D24 come with free delivery services, insurance and dry cleaning.
SW ONE Fashion (Umm Suqeim)
SW ONE Fashion is a unique and exclusive fashion experience, based in Umm Suqeim in Dubai, offering lavish, special occasion, ‘extra’ looks. It’s the place to go if you’re looking for an OTT look. It offers a hair, makeup and style consultancy service making it a one-stop shop and making you feel like a princess for the day. They have pieces by famous fashion houses like Ellie Saab, Oscar De La Renta and Roberta Cavalli which are just a few of their amazing collections.
The Hour Dress (Online/Citywalk)
Offering glamorous evening dresses and a wide range of accessories, The Hour Dress is the place to go when you want to wear something special. Located in Dubai’s City Walk, the company has a variety of designer wear for rent, including Versace, Maison Geyanna and Mohammad Murad. Prices range from about AED200 to hire sparkling hair jewels to more than AED9,000 for a Zuhair Murad gown that costs AED182,000 to buy new.
Your Bagsy (Online/Business Bay)
Your Bagsys’ mission is to ‘empower all women to extend the lifespan of their wardrobes, one rental at a time’. Female-owned and Emirati-founded, the brand is going from strength to strength with over 30 bags, ranging from cute dainty clutches to limited edition totes, available to rent. If you have an important event coming up or if you want to simply try a bag before making a big purchase, Your Bagsy has you covered. Luxury labels include Dior, Chanel, Fendi and Jacquemus, plus it also boasts a collection of catwalk-eque dresses.
Best Kept Shared (Online)
Dubai’s first peer-to-peer luxury fashion rental platform, Best Kept Shared is aiming to become the AirBnB of designer fashion. The platform will feature women’s designer clothing, handbags and accessories from member’s closets with garments rentable by all verified members in the platforms community. A concierge service will wait outside a renter’s home once items are delivered so that they can be tried on as per the brand's ‘fit guarantee’.