British multinational retailer, Marks & Spencer, has partnered with the clothing rental website, Hirestreet to launch its first clothing rental trail with the first edit to include 40 womenswear pieces from its Autograph range and the M&S x Ghost collaboration.
The decision comes after M&S's Founders Factory Joint Venture invested in Hirestreet's operator, Zoa Group. The Founders Factory Joint Venture was formed in 2018 with the goal of identifying and accelerating emerging enterprises while also providing M&S with important information into changing market trends.
According to GlobalData, M&S's cooperation would allow it to "test and learn" in the rental arena, which is one of fashion's fastest-growing businesses, with the UK garment rental industry valued at £2.3 billion by 2029 (up from £400 million in 2019).
The M&S items on Hirestreet range in price from £69 to £299 and will be available to rent for as little as £13 for four days.
Katie Bickerstaffe, M&S Chief Operating Officer, said that clothing rental is a growing market. Working with Hirestreet through their Founders Factory joint venture gives them a significant chance to learn from the leading start-up in this sector, operate in an agile fashion, and better understand what their customers want from rental services.
Bickerstaffe added that as M&S Clothing expands, they want to be more relevant more frequently, and they know that people are becoming more interested in the circular fashion economy. Their relationship with Hirestreet allows them to introduce M&S clothes to new customers, and their first rental edit not only displays the range of styles available, but also the value and quality of clothing that is built to last.
Isabella West, Founder and CEO, Zoa Rental and Hirestreet, said that at Zoa, they're on a mission to revolutionize the future of fashion. M&S is one of the UK's top clothing businesses, with a reputation for high-quality, well-made garments; their move into renting represents a huge step forward for the fashion industry.
West added that without accessibility, true sustainability does not exist. 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. She is thrilled to have M&S and Founders Factory on board as they help to power the future sharing economy.
Hirestreet, which was formed in 2018, was one of the first in the UK fashion rental sector. The startup made its proprietary rental platform software, Zoa, available to the general public in May of this year.
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