British start-up The Devout is launching a fashion rental subscription, offering consumers the option to pay £79 a month to get five items of their choice from a selection of premium brands.
The service will offer menswear and womenswear including everyday essentials, workwear, loungewear, and eveningwear. Designer staples and vintage items will also be on offer.
The new rental service comes as recent research from the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) warned that Covid-19 will force changes in the way consumers shop. Among other things, consumers are expected to buy fewer items of clothing and 50% think that the industry should do whatever it takes to become more environmentally sustainable.
The Devout said its service will counteract the throwaway nature of the fast fashion industry. Every month, users can choose a fresh set of five items and wear them as much as they like, getting a chance to try new brands.
The selection will include clothing from brands such as Whistles, Selected Homme, Selected Femme, Levi’s, Tommy Jeans, Calvin Klein Jeans, Jack & Jones, Farah, Original Penguin and vintage Ralph Lauren, with further independent and vintage fashion labels to be added later.
Once the clothes can no longer be rented, they’ll be put in the outlet for sale. Any unsold items will be passed on to The Devout’s charity partner, Shelter, which supports people struggling with bad housing or homelessness.
Additionally, The Devout said it can help fashion brands reduce the amount of unsold stock ending up in landfill. The offer that might seem particularly attractive now that the UK is facing a crisis of excess fashion stock.
Steve Bryant, founder of The Devout, said: “Fashion will never and should never be the same again. There is a real opportunity to do fashion differently and for the better – moving away from an over-reliance on fast fashion towards a subscription-based rental model, where pieces are worn and returned.
“Up until now, fashion rental has only really been focused on women and renting one-off, occasionwear pieces. Lockdown has accelerated the desire to dress sustainably and responsibly, while also ensuring we don’t lose the feelgood factor or the self-confidence, personally or professionally, that a new outfit can bring. This is also the first time that men have been specially catered for and we’re excited to be able to bring them as much choice and flexibility as the female market.”
The Devout launches on 18 June. The waitlist is open now and includes £10 off the first month’s box at launch.