Rent the Runway, Inc., the clothing rental pioneer, announced its Impact Strategy, which outlines long-term ambitions as well as specific and measurable short-term goals to address pressing environmental and social issues that the brand is uniquely equipped to address as a rental subscription model.
One of the company's most notable commitments is its intention to eliminate the need for half a million garments by the end of the fiscal year 2026, as part of its ongoing efforts to combat widespread overproduction and waste in the fashion industry.
More broadly, the targets aim to encompass the full scope of RTR's operations, from continuing to divert almost 100% of unrentable apparel from waste to offsetting 100% of carbon emissions from shipments to and from clients beginning in FY22.
Anushka Salinas, President and COO, Rent the Runway, said that being a change agent is part of Rent the Runway's DNA: they created a more sustainable business model for fashion by encouraging customers to buy less and wear more, and they know it works. RTR subscribers have confirmed that renting reduces their consumption, with 89% reporting they buy less garments than they did before joining RTR. Now, they're taking their mission to the next level by tangibly laying out how they expect to address their effect even more comprehensively through their Impact Strategy. And, unlike the majority of fashion companies, their actions add to rather than detract from their bottom line. They are confident in their platform's ability to drastically alter the industry's trajectory, and they are dedicated to leading this shift.
In its efforts to drive progress in the fashion industry, the company has also committed to additional, foundational work, including achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2040, minimizing waste from packaging, prioritizing workforce diversity, and using its platform to support and amplify diversity in fashion, among other goals detailed further below.
Over the last 18 months, Rent the Runway has performed a number of operations to measure its baseline impact and deepen its understanding of the most important commercial opportunities. Most importantly, Rent the Runway collaborated with two third-party consultancies to conduct its first-ever Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).
The study found that renting clothing from RTR saves the environment in terms of water, energy, and CO2 emissions as compared to manufacturing and purchasing new clothing. Given the volume of items rented on the RTR platform, this LCA may be used to evaluate not only Rent the Runway's impact but also the apparel rental business model in general vs buying.
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