Wardrobe Rotation with
New Year, new you, new choices! Isn’t that what the turn of the calendar is all about? Shedding the old of the past and welcoming the new year full of changes and possibilities. At the end of last year, I decided to get a head start on change. Firstly, by the famously frenzied, frivolous, and celebratory month of December, I knew I would be putting a moratorium on any shopping in the new year. It was less about the financial and more about environmental aspect for curbing my habit. And partly because I had begun to feel bad about my barely worn clothes never getting their turn in the limelight – or even making it out the door at all, only to be buried under new trendy things or remain in the graveyard of all those pieces that are“new with tags” and forgotten. To psych myself up, I thought Sprout Collection would be the perfect step to ween myself off a habitual shopping problem. The Sprout Collection is a fashion rental subscription service whereby clients pay a monthly free, select garments to wear, enjoy, then pop them back in the mail. No dry cleaning or shipping and return fees. Wear – return – repeat.
By Lauren Walker – Lee
Sprout Collection offers three packages to suit your needs. The Rejuvenate package costing $119 per month offers the choice of four items each month, to be exchanged for new pieces the following month. The Revitalize package coming in at $199 per month is for the woman who does it all and is a lover of fashion. With unlimited access to styles, this package allows the subscriber to stay on top of trends and experiment with personal style whilst being economically and environmentally conscious. For one time rentals, they offer the Renew package, for someone who has a big event or important meeting coming up. Business or pleasure, this option at $79 is great for those occasions that might need a little extra help without the commitment of buying elsewhere.
With December full of events and parties, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to finally give fashion rental a try. The sharing economy doesn’t seem to be going anywhere and there is ample proof that fashion is the number two polluter, with an eye-watering amount of garments ending up in landfills. For both the environment’s sake and your bank account, the future of fashion just might be rental – a sustainable option good for both the planet and your closet.
I must note that Sprout Collection first solved the great problem for maternity wear, coupling the genius rental subscription model with the finite time period of pregnancy that finds people wary to invest in maternity specific clothing, making it the perfect opportunity to rent. Now with the rise of the switched on and savvy consumer who wants an alternative to traditional shopping, Sprout has moved on to include traditional Ready-To-Wear for those interested in buying less and renting more. The site boasts brands like Judith & Charles, Rebecca Taylor, and Faithful The Brand amongst many more.
The process was very seamless. Just like online shopping, I had a browse around and selected my four items. I thought it would be a great chance to try something I might not necessarily select in my normal day to day, so I went with a sheer floral peasant top by Equipment. The site had a Ganni dress I jumped at but alas was too slow and it was out in my size when I was ready to check out. I switched gears to a very of the moment camel vegan leather dress by Hide that I ended up wearing to dinner and a musical. Wanting to try the British brand Sister Jane, a favourite of mega influencer Blaire Eadie, I selected pink peg leg trousers. A small blip was that they were too short for me, a potential downside for someone needing to wear that specific item in a specific way at a specific time. Fortunately for me, I was able to style them tucked into eighties style knee high boots- problem solved. Lastly, to round out my selection, I went with a tried and tested choice, wide leg blue trousers (no shock there) by Ghospell.
The website is very easy to use, with great filters to help you select. You can browse by designer, categories, colours, or collections like black tie or day time. In a way you can be strategic or experimental in how you fill your box. The mechanics of the whole experience was also brilliant. I receive my mail at one of those super mail boxes down the street, and my Sprout Collection box arrived perfectly to fit into one of the larger lockers made for parcels. I was pleased to not have to go to the post office to collect it. The pre-paid return label and sturdy box made it the easiest e-commerce return I have ever done – ever. And upon return to the post office as if by magic, you receive an email notifying you that it’s almost time to select your next box to start a new rental cycle.
There are myriad reasons to give fashion rental a test drive. Whatever your personal circumstances are, you will benefit from trying this new form of consumerism. As a fan of fashion who both loves and has the time to shop, the argument could be environmental sprinkled with the excitement of still wearing something new each month. For the person short on time, the benefits are very straightforward, and if economical is your motivation, you can’t argue with the prices.