Clothing rental in particular has always been linked to occasions. Brands such as Moss Bros just about cornered the market for formal menswear and weddings. A niche market indeed.

So, unless marriages are significantly on the increase, it seems logical to assume that the rapid growth in fashion rental must be linked to a shift away from renting for occasions to renting for the everyday.

True to a point, however I suspect that rental is still just as intrinsically linked to occasions as ever, but just not to the invitation only events we are so familiar with. Rather that our lives are becoming a perpetual series of occasions. We are fuller and richer in the variety and diversity of the things we do, celebrating the little wins that we experience more frequently in our lives.

This new intensity of occasions can come with a price tag, however the resurgence of rental allows for the ownership of the occasions rather than the investment in products.

New businesses such as Loanhood and Swoperz are building communities around this new rental dynamic. They are facilitating a generation who live for these small but special occasions in their busy lives.

Whilst other brands such as EcoSki are adding new and sustainable life, dynamics, and ownership models to more traditional and seasonal rental occasions such as skiiwear.  

Where there is a repetition of individual behaviour or the replication across community behaviour, events, and activities, then there is also a big opportunity for rental collaboration. If rental can make the shift from dressing occasions to enabling them, then it crosses the boundary from disposable income into worthwhile investment.

And there is little to suggest that the rental market cannot make this shift. Rental is built around communities of people who borrow, so the evolution of networks of collaborative lenders seems a natural step.

From the renting of the ski-hut, the skiis, the skiwear, and the snow, to the hiring of the DJ, the music the lights and the outfit, occasional renting can become a lifelong investment.

It’s an exciting scenario to consider our lives more exciting, more full of social adventures, and personal occasions, enabled and enhanced by a great pool of rental goods and services, which ultimately consist of fewer physical products, fewer materials, less waste and less pollution.

And in a world brainwashed and often greenwashed with the undoubted benefits but inconsistent truths surrounding recycled and recycling, it is this lower consumption, this paucity of purchases, that makes the rental market so sustainably attractive.