Rentable looks and recycled style...

by - Thursday, January 31, 2019

What still fits? is a question I ask myself anytime I peer into the closet these days. Not the best way to begin the morning, but nonetheless an answer emerges once I pick out a couple of options. Yes, I gained about thirteen pounds over the past few years, although only the carefully concealed muffin-top would actually give my secret away. Okay, actually my candor has now spilled the beans! 
There are some items I refuse to part with - a Donna Karan silk dress (bias-cut, still fits), embroidered jeans with hibiscus and birds (can barely get a leg in), a Byron Lars safari jacket (cannot close the solo button, still looks good worn open). But a few of my once-upon-a-time favorites are ready to be retired. Donate them to Goodwill? Pack a plastic bag and dump it in the nearest clothing bin? I admit I have done both with out-of-sight-out-of-mind abandon. But what if there was another option, one to help keep accouterments out of landfills for a sustainable future? There is - some retailers offer incentives for getting and giving, bartering style with support.
First on my list is Rent the Runway with the belief that "renting is the future of getting dressed" to "unlock an unlimited rotating closet". Co-founders Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Fleiss say, "Some call it fashion freedom. We call it a fashion revolution." With a paid membership, by renting four styles on rotation chosen from their selection of designer pieces with the option of swapping anytime, you acquire an extensive wardrobe. Once you send a style back, you can choose something fresh. You get free shipping, dry cleaning, and there are no commitments so you can pause or cancel a membership anytime with no strings attached. Women can more freely express themselves and dress for the incredible lives they lead, whether fulfilling a need for a big event or just exchanging outfits for everyday. What will you do with your closet now that you Rent the Runway?
Next is Le Tote, another endless-closet fashion rental service that lets you wear the clothing and accessories you choose, with different monthly subscriptions including a convenient maternity option. Your monthly "tote" (or two totes, as per selected plan) is packed based on your input. You can change items and decide what ships to your door with free two - three day priority shipping. Wear the clothing and accessories out and about for as long as you’d like, with an option to keep the pieces you love for up to fifty-percent off retail, and simply return the rest. A United States Postal Service prepaid shipping label and return bag is included with every tote to send back the pieces. Just wear, return, repeat.
Want to change things up with just your accessories? Become a Switch member and gain unlimited access to designer jewelry. At Switch, they "believe that a bracelet can tell a story; that a necklace can be an act of rebellion; and that a pair of earrings can both capture and dictate your state of mind... Life is best lived authentically - that you should wear what you want, when you want. And have fun doing it." They are very hot right now, so there is a wait-list. Once available, sign up and pick from one of three membership plans to fit your budget and style, access their curated collections, pick a piece and check out. For each month that you're a member, you get ten dollars of credit that you can put toward buying a piece at a special member price. Free and unlimited shipping both ways is always provided to send pieces back and pick something new. Authenticity reigns supreme - if a piece says diamonds, it means diamonds; if it says Chanel, it means Chanel. We like to keep it real. In fact, we swear by it.
Salvaging your clothes is becoming easier when big names like H&M step up to the plate. They believe it’s senseless that castaway textiles and a multitude of clothing end up in landfills. Recycling has become one of many ways they have fulfilled their goals for a sustainable future. "In 2017 we collected more than 17,771 ton of textiles - the equivalent of 89 million T-shirts." Impressive, right? H&M was the first brand to launch garment-collecting boxes in all stores around the world. “Drop off clothes and textiles from ANY brand, in ANY condition”, makes it as easy as possible for customers to give their garments a new life. When you drop off your unwanted textiles in an H&M store, you’ll get rewarded with a ten-percent off voucher. Recycle old clothes and discarded textiles - instead of throwing them away.
Since 2009, Eileen Fisher has taken back more than one million pieces of clothing. In true spirit of recycle and reuse, once you bring back your old Eileen Fisher clothing items and receive a five-dollar reward card for each one, the process is just beginning. First, they find them another home or turn them into one-of-a-kind designs. Roughly eight-hundred pieces of clothing arrive at their recycling centers every day. Each piece is sorted through and anything in good condition is resold. Pieces with minor color flaws are over-dyed with plant-based ingredients giving them a new lease on life. Reweaving and patching repair the lovingly-worn ones creating rich stories to tell, only making each piece more beautiful. A portion of profits from the sale of renewed clothes go to programs that support positive change for women, girls and the environment. Where others see waste, we see possibility.
Last but not least, we have LuxAnthropy, a high fashion resale website dedicated to giving back to charitable partners. They carefully select, authenticate and curate each luxury and designer item, generously provided by top celebrities, stylists, Hollywood insiders, fashion houses and influencers. Sellers make money and give money, determining the percentage of their commission to donate to a partner charity. LuxAnthropy contributes five-percent of its proceeds to the same charity. "We believe that conscious consumerism, environmental awareness, along with small but thoughtful acts of generosity, breeds global change." We believe resale has the power to revitalize.
These are certainly fabulous ways to reinforce and assist conscious consumerism. Rentable looks and recycled style are the way of the future...xoxo-Sonya

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