Urban Outfitters is now offering a renting service to its US customers. The service, called Nuuly, will allow people to borrow six items to wear a month before swapping them.
The clothing retailer recognises the growth in interest of sharing-economy platforms and subscription services. This service aims to offer a sustainable solution to the variety they seek in their wardrobe.
This demonstrates the positive effects of a circular economy has for business; Urban Outfitters’ chief digital officer David Hayne expects Nuuly to generate $50m in sales in its first year. As more young people are concerned about fashion's impact on the planet, sharing economy platforms such as Depop have seen huge success; according to GlobalData, the market for online clothing rental is set to grow to $2.5bn by 2023.
It is evident that fast fashion retailers are recognising that if they do not join this sharing-economy, their profits will suffer, let alone the planet. Cutting out clothes disposal will significantly reduce the 15 millions tonnes of textile waste per year and lessen the strain on landfills. Additionally, reducing the demand for fast fashion manufacturing could improve the lives of clothing factory workers by creating more achievable targets without reducing their pay.
Is this beginning of a new era of subscription services for all brands? How will retailers alter their supply chain and manufacturing processes to suit the needs of a sharing economy whilst ensuring job security for their employers?
Other brands are following suit signifying an evident shift in the fashion system and there hope for a circular industry.