M&S Launches Its First Clothing Rental Trial With Hirestreet

M&S has launched its first clothing rental trial – following its latest Founders Factory Joint Venture investment in the Zoa Group, the operator of leading clothing rental website Hirestreet.  

First launched in 2018, the M&S & Founders Factory Joint Venture is designed to identify and accelerate emerging businesses and provide M&S with valuable insight into industry change and trends. With the clothing rental market set to grow exponentially in the next decade[i], the new partnership allows M&S to conduct its first ‘test and learn’ trial in this important growth market. 

Launching ahead of the busy Christmas party season, M&S’s first rental edit is made up of over 40 womenswear pieces from its elegant Autograph range, with a focus on premium fabrics such as leather and silk, and the very latest dresses from its popular M&S X Ghost collaboration. 

M&S x Ghost 

The collection items have a selling price of between £69 – £299 with M&S and will be available to rent on Hirestreet from just £13 for four days. 

M&S Chief Operating Officer, Katie Bickerstaffe said:

“Clothing rental is a growing market and working with Hirestreet through our Founders Factory joint venture gives us a huge opportunity to learn from the leading start-up in this space, operate in an agile way and better understand what our customers want from rental services.  

“As we grow M&S clothing, we want to be more relevant more often and we know customers are increasingly interested in the circular fashion economy. Our partnership with Hirestreet means we are putting M&S clothing in front of new customers and our first rental edit doesn’t just showcase the style we have on offer, it also highlights the value and quality of clothing that is made to last.”

Customers growing sustainability concerns is a key factor in the rental market’s growth and according to The M&S Family Matters Index Report, over a third of consumers now consider the climate crisis when purchasing clothes. M&S’s trial on Hirestreet, follows its recent reset of Plan A, its sustainability programme to have an unrelenting focus on becoming a fully net zero business by 2040. One of the pillars of the retailer’s roadmap to net zero is driving the circular economy and its new partnership with Zoa reflects its commitment to innovate and invest in products and services that help customers enjoy lower carbon lives. 

Isabella West, Founder and CEO, Zoa Rental and Hirestreet said: 

“At Zoa we’re on a mission to transform the future of fashion. M&S is one of the largest clothing retailers in the UK with a reputation for quality and well-made clothes – their move into rental is a hugely positive step forwards for the fashion industry.

“True sustainability does not exist without accessibility. Rental fashion is more than just providing temporary access to designer items, it’s about giving consumers alternatives to traditional consumption and making the best use of the resources we have.

I’m delighted to have M&S and Founders Factory on board as we power the sharing economy of the future.”

The full M&S rental edit is live on Hirestreet from today. 

[i] According to GlobalData, the UK clothing rental market value is expected to reach £2.3 billion by 2029, a stark increase compared to the estimated £400 million in 2019.

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