Exploring the spectrum of fashion rental

Amira Mukendi, Claudia Henninger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose – Currently, fashion rental is suggested as being a way to bring about sustainability in the fashion industry. Although there has been some success for brands in this space, as of yet fashion rental remains a niche form of consumption. This study aims to uncover consumer perspectives of fashion rental to identify opportunities for developing a fashion rental business that meets the needs of current consumers. Design/methodology/approach – This is a qualitative study utilising semi-structured interviews combined with brainstorming and drawing exercises. Interviews were conducted with 17 women and three men. Findings – Findings indicate that considerations around fashion rentals are utilitarian in nature focussing on functional benefits rather than more hedonistic ones. A spectrum of products that people would be most interested in renting is given. Research limitations/implications – Although the study invited male and female participants, the sample is more female-heavy, which may reflect the fact that women tend to be more open to alternative modes of consumption. Practical implications – An important implication is that asking consumers to rent clothing requires a significant change in mindset. Brands need to ensure that their services "make sense" for the consumer to consider it as a viable alternative to purchasing new clothing. Originality/value – This paper proposes a spectrum of fashion items that consumers may be interested in renting; this aims to help brands develop services that meet consumer needs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-469
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Fashion Marketing and Management
Issue number3
Early online date11 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2020


  • sustainable fashion
  • ethical fashion
  • sustainable business models
  • fashion rental


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