M&S moves into clothing rental

‘Alternative to traditional consumption’: M&S teams up with Hirestreet for clothing rental

Marks & Spencer (M&S) has launched its first clothing rental initiative, in partnership with specialist website Hirestreet.

The clothing rental offering from M&S, one of the UK’s largest retailers, follows its latest Founders Factory joint venture investment in the Zoa Group, which operates Hirestreet.

Over the last three years, the M&S and Founders Factory joint venture has existed to identify and accelerate emerging businesses and provide M&S with valuable insight into industry change and trends. The clothing rental tie-up is the latest example of the partnership doing just that.

Analyst group GlobalData predicts the clothing rental market is set to grow exponentially in the next decade, jumping to £2.3 billion compared to £400 million in 2019. Working with Hirestreet, M&S aims to “test and learn” within this burgeoning market, which it acknowledges is being fuelled in part by consumers’ desire to shop more sustainably.

M&S’s first rental edit is made up of over 40 womenswear pieces from its Autograph range, with a focus on premium fabrics such as leather and silk, and dresses from its M&S X Ghost collaboration. Items have a selling price of between £69 – £299 but will be available to rent via Hirestreet from £13 for four days.

M&S chief operating officer, Katie Bickerstaffe, said: “Clothing rental is a growing market and working with Hirestreet through our Founders Factory joint venture gives us a huge opportunity to learn from the leading start-up in this space, operate in an agile way and better understand what our customers want from rental services.

“As we grow M&S clothing, we want to be more relevant more often and we know customers are increasingly interested in the circular fashion economy.”

Isabella West, founder & CEO of Zoa Rental and Hirestreet, commented: “True sustainability does not exist without accessibility.

“Rental fashion is more than just providing temporary access to designer items, it’s about giving consumers alternatives to traditional consumption and making the best use of the resources we have.”

Read more about clothing rental on Green Retail World

[Image credit: Green Retail World]

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