Rentorbuy 2
16 Sep 2021

TO RENT, OR TO BUY?

To be or not to be, to rent or to buy: questions as old as time itself. Okay, maybe not. But choosing how to shop with Endless Wardrobe is important. Taking that little bit of time to decide how to shop more sustainably is a significant part of trying to be more conscious and mindful in general. Also, in a more practical sense, having a little ponder about how you’re going to shop can prevent the guilt that comes with pieces you panic bought gathering dust at the back of your wardrobe. 

To put it simply? Let’s take a breath and think about whether the piece we’re coveting is just a one-time affair or something destined for our forever wardrobe. You guessed it: we’re here to help. Here’s some handy ways to decide whether to rent or buy.


THE THIRTY WEARS CAMPAIGN

In 2016 Livia Firth, the founder of sustainability consultant Eco Age, started the thirty wears campaign. The aim? To ask yourself one simple question before buying something: “will I wear this thirty times?”. While this might seem like a simple question, this is a super easy way to deduce whether the piece you’ve got your eyes on is a viable purchase. If your answer is a definite yes, then go ahead and buy it. Keep it forever and enjoy making it part of your wardrobe rotation. If the answer is a no (and you’ll be surprised by how often this is the case) then rental is probably the better option. Wear the piece, give it a little debut and then return to us without any of the commitment of buying.

Ask yourself one simple question before buying something: “will I wear this thirty times?”. While this might seem like a simple question, this is a super easy way to deduce whether the piece you’ve got your eyes on is a viable purchase.

COST PER WEAR

While we're not the biggest fans of maths, this simple equation can actually be a handy little tool when trying to shop sustainably. To figure out whether something is better for renting or buying all you have to do is divide the cost of the item by the amount of times you envisage yourself wearing it. The lower the outcome, the more cost effective the piece is. While a statement dress you adore and a pair of classic jeans might be a similar price, you’re going to get more wear out of something you can wear everyday. And unless you’re the Queen, it’s probably going to be the jeans. Just like that you’ve got a pretty clear answer of what would be better to rent versus buy. 

TRY BEFORE YOU BUY

Online shopping is an incredibly exhilarating experience. Two clicks and something is on your doorstep and then on your body. After that routine little try-on, it’s then in the cupboard waiting for its debut… Or not. So often the clothes we compulsively buy online end up at the back of our closets, not getting the love they deserve. This is where Endless Wardrobe comes in. Our nifty little “try before you buy” feature revolutionises the try-on process. We see the rental as an extended test-run. Take whatever you’ve rented out on a spin and see if you really like it before it gets to become yours forever.

IS IT A ONE TIME AFFAIR?

This one's super easy: simply watch out for these telltale signs that mean the piece you’ve got your eye on might not make a graceful transition into your capsule wardrobe. First of all, look out for overly trendy pieces. While there’s no harm in trying out the trend, it might be better suited to a rental situation as it’s unlikely you’ll wear this piece next season. Unless they’re basics that you’ll return to time and time again, maybe reconsider buying any pieces that are out of your usual budget too. You might not get the wear out of them to justify the price.

Look out for overly trendy pieces. While there’s no harm in trying out the trend, it might be better suited to a rental situation as it’s unlikely you’ll wear this piece next season.

CHOOSING TRANSEASONAL PIECES

The perfect way to ensure you’ll get ample wear out of your desired piece of clothing is to make sure it will work season to season. If it only works for a select few months of the year, renting it might be a shout. If you’re coveting some cardis that you can see slipping off your shoulders from spring to summer, go ahead and buy it. To make this nice and easy for you, we did a transeasonal edit a few weeks back. Yeah, we’re good.

The perfect way to ensure you’ll get ample wear out of your desired piece of clothing is to make sure it will work season to season.

THINK ABOUT THE LOGISTICS. 

Online shopping was a welcome break from the endless doom scrolling that characterised the lockdown. And that’s fine, but our wardrobe space certainly suffered. The upside? Let this be a good indication of whether to rent or buy. If you can’t fit in a new piece without fracturing an arm trying to wrestle with existing clothes, probably just rent it for now. If you want to buy, do a Maria Kondo style wardrobe streamline before making any purchases. 

Well, Miley Cyrus said it best, didn't she? It’s about the climb: it’s about the journey to becoming a more sustainable, conscious customer. And the best thing? We’ll be there trying to make it a little bit easier. Head to our how it works page for more information on how to shop Endlessly. 

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