“Build a Sustainable Closet” is a blog series about slow fashion, minimalism and building a closet that you actually wear and cherish. Each blog post offers tips and tricks on how to discover your style, buy less and buy better. If you’ve ever cared about curating a high quality wardrobe, check out this blog series on Styles For Thought.
So far in the series, we have only talked about buying clothes that fit your style. But I have to admit, part of the fun about fashion is the trends! It’s exciting to try on new clothes to look and feel different. And that’s exactly why we shop at fast fashion stores: they offer trendy clothes at a very cheap price. Fast fashion doesn’t have the best qualities, but it works because most of us don’t wear outdated trends as soon as the novelty wears off and most trends only lasts for a year or two. Even though we all know that fast fashion is not sustainable, it is economical and practical. But I believe there is a more sustainable way to wear trends.
Clothing Subscription – A Sustainable Way to Wear Trends
Clothing subscription is a great way to explore the latest trends and reduce our clothing waste. From a financial perspective, some may not think clothing subscription is a great deal because you don’t own the clothes, but I have a different opinion. When you think about your clothes, you wear them for as long as the trends last. After the novelty wears off, you just put away the clothes and never wear them again. Given that used clothes have almost zero resale value, I think clothing subscriptions offer way more value than buying. For a set amount of money I spend on clothes, clothing subscriptions allow me to try way more trends. Also, with clothing subscriptions, I don’t ever have to worry about dry-cleaning, having a congested closet or selling used clothes. I believe that clothing subscription is not only economical, but it’s also a very sustainable way to wear trends. There are a couple clothing subscription services that I personally like:
Rent the Runway offers “Unlimited” where you can rent up to 3 designer pieces at a time for roughly $151 (tax included) a month. I personally love this service because they offer mostly high-end design clothes, and they take care of the dry-cleaning part. What makes Unlimited different from other clothing subscription is that you also get to choose what you want to rent. You can also keep the clothes for however long you want as long as you have an active subscription. When you find a piece that you love and want to keep, Rent the Runway gives you a steep discount (up to 80%). Personally, I still buy clothes on the side, but the clothes I decide to buy are going to be classic essentials such as jeans and white shirts. For trendy clothes and special event items, Rent the Runway is way more sustainable and practical than buying.
Stitch Fix is another popular clothing subscription option. But what makes Stitch Fix really different from Rent the Runway is that a stylist picks your clothes rather than you. This is good for people with a more busy schedule and people that want professional styling services. Stitch Fix is also way cheaper ($20 a month). You are essentially paying $20 a month to rent 5 items that are sold for $50 apiece. Isn’t this way more economical than buying clothes yourself?
Update: Instead of a rental clothing company, Stitch Fix is actually a try-before-you-buy marketplace. When the box arrives, you have 3 days to try on the clothes at home. All tags must remain on the clothes before you can ship them back. However, if you are too busy to go shopping, this is a great shopping alternative. From my friend’s experience, she said that fitting is her biggest concern when she online shops, but Stitch Fix always manages to find her well-fitted clothes.
Le Tote is a cheaper clothing rental subscription. The way it works is similar to Unlimited, but it provides different tier options. For those who like Anthropologie and Shopbop, Le Tote may be a more fitted option because it carries similar brands. I personally find that Le Tote has more classic, basic clothes, while Unlimited has more designer, unique clothes.
Switch is a designer jewelry rental subscription. They carry high end brands such as Chanel, and the monthly subscription rate starts at USD $29 a month. You can keep your pieces for however long you want as long as your subscription is active.
I have actually used Rocksbox before, and I highly recommend it to people who likes to wear fashion jewelries. Personally, I am not much a jewelry person, but this is a good way to explore trendy accessories without having to commit. Plus generally, fashion jewelries wear out fast so I don’t think buying is a wise choice. For roughly $20 a month, you get rent up to 3 pieces at a time.
Besides the 3 mentioned above, here are more clothing subscription options that you may be interested in:
- Box of Style (Accessories and makeup)
- Truck Club (Offer men’s fashion)
- Elizabeth & Clarke (Work Clothes)
Clothing Subscription V.S. Buying
Clothing subscription is definitely something to consider for short-lived fashion items such as special event dresses, trendy clothes and jewelries. I personally think it’s best for maternity clothes because the body change is only temporary. But for wardrobe essentials and classic pieces, I still think it’s worth buying and keeping.
What do you think about clothing subscription? Will you give it a try? Please comment below to let me know what you think!
Smile and Style On!