PUNE: Breaking social stigma, the new age brides and bridegrooms are considering using rental marriage apparel instead of spending large sums of money on purchasing it. It was once considered a taboo to use rented garments for special occasions and marriages. Today, more and more practical-minded youth are endorsing the rental concept.
From ethnic wear to western wear and light dresses for a friend’s wedding to a designer outfit for one’s own wedding, the young generation has started looking up to online and offline rental studios to dress up for special occasions. Speaking to Sakal Times, city-based ‘Rent An Attire’ Founder Laveena Laitonjam said Punekars have shed the reluctance to rent outfits. The business has grown about three to four times in the past one-and-a-half years. “When I started ‘Rent an Attire’ in 2014, the idea was appreciated by many but there was reluctance among people to actually rent an outfit. But this has changed in the last one to one-and-a-half years. We see three to four times the business,” she stated.
Laitonjam added that men and women’s attires are in demand for special occasions like pageants, pre-wedding shoots and others. “The cost starts at Rs 1,000 for light dresses and can go up to Rs 25,000 for heavy designer lehengas. We can understand the acceptance for rentals as families come along when a couple comes by to the offline store to try wedding outfits. We have seen the change in perception. Families are open to the idea of renting out of apparel and spend the money saved to travel or any other purposes,” she explained.
Flyrobe Founder and Chief Operating Officer Pranay Surana said, “The demand for rental apparel is growing steadily, especially in the ethnic wear segment. The reason is that if one purchases a heavy outfit, he or she is not going to repeat it multiple times as they don’t want to be seen wearing the same outfit multiple times. This mindset is driving the rental apparel business. Renting outfits has become the smarter way of consuming fashion.”
He said not only women but also a large number of men are coming forward to rent sherwanis and other designer outfits. “The new generation is more digital and practical. They understand that spending so much on purchasing outfits is not practical. Thus, they are moving towards renting. About 25 per cent of our business comes from rentals by brides and grooms for their own wedding. We have a range of apparel for men starting at Rs 1,000 to Rs 15,000. For women, it starts at Rs 1,400 and goes up to Rs 35,000 to suit the consumers’ needs,” Surana explained.
Both stated that they do not own their own inventories and either have a tie-up with designers, wholesalers and retailers or engage in customer-to-customer (C2C) business, which benefits the outfit owners with some earnings, too. Both believe that in line with the western world, the trend of renting outfits is only going to grow in the coming years.