Rent the Runway, a rentable clothing subscription store, is making waves in the fashion market by offering monthly subscriptions that allow customers to regularly switch up and refresh their wardrobes with new, on-trend styles.
Rent the Runway’s most recent goal is to enable its student customers to enjoy an up-to-date wardrobe without spending large amounts of money on individual pieces that will only be worn a handful of times.
In an effort to reach that goal, Rent the Runway is currently offering an ongoing 25 percent off discount for all undergraduate and graduate students that will go live on March 28.
The discount can be applied to the Update subscription option for Rent the Runway, which is one of two subscription options, and allows subscribers to choose four items from more than 200 top brands to keep and wear each month.
At the end of the month, subscribers to the Update subscription can send their four clothing items back and choose new items or they can keep the items for another month.
Paige Purvis, senior in apparel merchandising, is a campus coordinator at the University for Rent the Runway and an Update subscriber.
“I personally have this subscription, and I love it because it lets me choose everyday items like jeans or a sweater, but also dressier items like a semi-formal dress or a nice handbag and try them out for the whole month,” Purvis said.
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Purvis said every month she chooses her rentals based on special events she has going on, and she also is able to select special items she would not normally buy, but has a chance to try out with no commitment.
The other subscription option, Unlimited, allows subscribers to choose, receive and switch out an unlimited amount of rentals each month.
For Rent the Runway, shipping both ways is included in the monthly subscription fee.
When it is time for subscribers to return their rentals, they can change out the shipping labels for the pre-printed return labels that are included in the packages. The packages can then be dropped off at the local UPS store or the UPS drop box on Auburn’s campus.
Purvis said Rent the Runway is able to make shipping quick and convenient for most of its 10 million subscribers, as it ships to 76 percent of United States zip codes.
For many of those women, Rent the Runway has also proven to be a significant money saver.
“Instead of paying for an expensive formal dress I will only wear once or a new outfit for a career fair, I can rent one for cheaper, while also being able to stay up-to-date with the latest trends,” Purvis said. “Their collection of designer clothes and accessories allows me to try trends and wild outfits without wasting money on an outfit I will only wear once.”
According to Purvis, many fast-fashion companies lead to a significant amount of clothing waste every year.
By renting clothes, Rent the Runway subscribers can decrease their impact on clothing waste.
Purvis said Rent the Runway is transforming the way modern women get dressed and is disrupting the $1.7 trillion fashion industry by empowering women to rent rather than buy clothing.
Subscribers are also utilizing the Unlimited subscription for everyday use, wearing Rent the Runway an average of more than 120 days each year. The average Unlimited subscriber also wears 15 different brands during the first 90 days of using Unlimited, and 98 percent of customers regularly try out brands they have never worn before, according to the website.
Rent the Runway was founded in 2009 with a vision to build the “closet in the cloud,” intending for women everywhere to eventually have a subscription to fashion.
The company aims to make apparel and accessories an indispensable utility, while also empowering women to feel their best every day.
Rent the Runway carries apparel and accessories by more than 600 designer partners, a number that doubled over the past two years, with outfit options appropriate for work, weekends and special occasions.
“Rent the Runway helps me feel confident for any event I have,” Purvis said. “Instead of spending hundreds of dollars keeping my wardrobe up to date, I can subscribe to Rent the Runway Update and try even nicer pieces than I would not normally buy.”
Currently, Rent the Runway has 10 million members and 1,200 employees, a group primarily comprised of women with 73 percent of the employees being female.
The company has built in-house proprietary technology and a custom designed reverse logistics operation that is used to fuel the rapidly growing business and retail stores of the future.
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