21st December 2021

Beg, borrow, or rent: how you can look sustainably fabulous this festive season

If you want new outfits but don’t feel like buying new clothes. Click here to read how you can stay sustainable this festive season while still looking fabulous
Beg, borrow, or rent: how you can look sustainably fabulous this festive season
Photo Credit: Creative Commons CC0 @Dana Tentis

The festive season is one of the most destructive for our planet as over-consumption always hits an all-time high during this period. 

The fashion industry, like always, is no exception to this issue as the festive season has become an excuse for everyone to buy a new outfit every year. However, there are plenty of ways you can be more sustainable this season besides thrifting your outfit. Here are our tips on how to save the planet and your wallet this festive season: 


The most sustainable thing you could do is re-wear the clothes you already have and let’s face it: you probably already have an unnecessary amount of glittery clothes that only got worn a few times. Re-styling your pieces could allow you to feel like you have a fresh outfit without the environmental and financial consequences of actually getting new pieces.

Try layering a sweater over a dress to make it into a skirt or putting a shirt under last year’s slip dress. Mix and match your tops and bottoms to create new fits. Essentially playing dress-up with your wardrobe could be the best thing you could do for the planet, isn’t that fun? 

And, if you’re feeling a bit crafty, maybe cutting some pieces could give them a life you never knew they could have: Do you have a skirt with an unflattering hem? Cut it a shorter! A dress with a lovely neckline but an over-the-top bottom that just feels too much? Cut it and turn it into a top! 

Borrow or swap 

If you truly cannot look at the clothes you already have, maybe try looking at someone else’s wardrobe. Whether it’s your flatmate, your sibling, your friend or your parent, there is surely someone in your life that has a cute fit they’d be happy to lend you for a night. 

Alternatively, you could also organise a swap with your flatmates and your friends to snatch a brand new fit for free while also ensuring that the old pieces you weren’t going to wear again will get a new loving owner. 

There are also online platforms like Nuw that allows you to link up with other swappers in your local area to swap or borrow clothes. The app is free and allows you to list your under-loved pieces to either be swapped or borrowed. You earn ‘coins’ which you can use to borrow or swap other people’s pieces. Alternatively, you can also pay 99p for each swap.  

If you want something a bit more fancy: Hurr is a website that specialises in mid-range designers like Jaquemus, Ganni, Rixo etc. While you can borrow from other people directly, the platform has also official renting partners from which you can borrow clothes. 

In a similar range: By Rotation is an app that links up lenders and renters. There is currently a special edit for festive dresses under £50 from brands like Kitri, Ghost, Shrimps and more!


Finally, if you really just want a fabulous designer piece but don’t want to pay the full price, renting your festive outfit could be the solution for you. 

Although Gen Z is notorious for being less attracted to the idea of renting as thrifting on depop seems cheaper and more convenient there are now plenty of renting platforms out there that cater for our generation. 

Onloan is a UK based clothes renting website which you can subscribe to on a monthly basis. They currently have two membership plans: 2 items/month for £69 (Items worth  ~£500) and 4 items a month for £99 (Items worth  ~£1000). While this may seem like a lot, many already spend that much every month and this would allow you to wear different high-end pieces every month. 

Rotaro on the other hand, lets you rent find the perfect outfit, select a rental date and duration and will deliver your pieces the very next day. If you’re looking for a one-off outfit, this is probably the way to go as you won’t have to think about cancelling your membership and you can find high-end pieces for a real steal! 

If you’re on a tighter budget, HireStreet is really easy to use and has a wide selection of high-street pieces like M&S x Ghost, Whistles or French Connection. 

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