How Indias fashion rental companies are carving a niche amid

How India’s trend rental firms are carving a distinct segment amid sustainability issues

When former Delhi Excessive Courtroom lawyer Aanchal Saini determined to alter tack in 2016 and arrange a web based firm to supply luxurious garments for rent, she confronted some scepticism from her friends, questioning whether or not there was even a marketplace for trend rental.

However greater than 5 years on and she or he has not seemed again. Two years in the past, Ms Saini’s firm, Hire it Bae, acquired India’s market chief within the trend rental sector, Flyrobe, to merge the 2 companies.

Working beneath the Flyrobe model, the corporate at the moment has greater than 1 million prospects, providing attire by its on-line platform, which companies greater than 30 cities throughout India and its shops in Bengaluru and Delhi.

An embroidered silk bridal lehenga by prime Indian designer Sabyasachi, is, for instance, obtainable for hire for 4 days for 9 per cent of the garment’s 500,000 rupee ($6,631) price ticket, whereas a males’s three-piece go well with might be employed for about 20 per cent of its worth.

With the rental business making its area in India slowly, persons are changing into extra conscious of the business and its advantages

Rohan Gupta, managing director, Gargee Designer’s

It has not been a simple journey for the corporate, nevertheless, to persuade folks to attempt renting as an alternative of shopping for in terms of their wardrobe.

“I at all times inform folks that this can be a ‘client mindset change’ enterprise,” says Ms Saini, chief govt of Flyrobe. “It requires some years to be spent on this area. When all of us first got here to this market, folks did not even know this service existed.”

Style rental remains to be a distinct segment phase globally, but it surely has grown in recent times in western markets, particularly – underscored by Hire the Runway within the US making its debut on the Nasdaq in October with a $1.7 billion valuation. Whereas the sector remains to be in nascent phases, business observers see potential for additional enlargement of trend rental in India.

Components driving the market in Asia’s third-largest financial system embrace rising consciousness about sustainability, rising web utilization and an rising urge for food for branded and designer garments at an reasonably priced price.

The worldwide on-line trend rental market is about to nearly double to greater than $2bn by 2026 in comparison with simply over $1bn in 2021, in response to Market Knowledge Forecast. Some analysts see India’s on-line trend rental market rising sooner than the common world tempo over the subsequent few years.

Alongside FlyRobe, different firms that provide garments rental companies in India embrace The Stylease and The Clothes Rental, based mostly in Mumbai.

The sharing financial system typically has made features globally and India is a part of this pattern.

Kuntal Malia, co-founder of StyleNook, an Indian on-line private styling and procuring service for girls, which makes use of synthetic intelligence, says that renting garments doesn’t have mass attraction by any means, but it surely “speaks to our era”.

“One state of affairs the place it really works wonderful is the super-premium phase that has a one-time use, for instance, an outfit to attend a marriage,” explains Ms Malia. “The opposite is the place customers are extraordinarily acutely aware of at all times sporting a model’s newest season however value turns into an element.”

Style rental firms usually professionally clear clothes between makes use of and purpose to ship them to prospects in “as-new” situation.

Nonetheless, elements similar to hygiene “do concern Indian prospects, particularly amid a pandemic”, she factors out.


There have been different main challenges through the Covid-19 pandemic which meant that trend rental firms in India, together with Flyrobe, have been severely affected, says Ms Saini.

Flyrobe’s enterprise largely relied on weddings and plenty of of those have been postponed in 2020 and the primary half of 2021, when the pandemic and lockdown restrictions have been at a peak within the nation.

Indian weddings typically span a number of days and are extraordinarily lavish, requiring a number of adjustments of outfits for these attending.

These are high-ticket objects and a single wedding ceremony for Flyrobe might typically lead to about 200 orders. As this commerce dried up for some time, it hit the corporate’s income arduous.

“We needed to lay off folks, shut down shops,” says Ms Saini.

The scenario additionally pushed a few of their competitors out of enterprise.

However now, with restrictions easing and the financial system recovering, weddings are going down once more and enterprise for Flyrobe is again on observe, she provides.

The corporate now goals to open extra shops throughout the nation and is searching for funding for enlargement.

Althoug Flyrobe is dealing with elevated competitors from new gamers coming to the market, as demand picks up, it has placed on maintain a plan to launch a subscription programme to generate extra revenues from western put on, since it might largely be geared toward workplace staff.

“Due to Covid, persons are not going out as a lot, persons are working from dwelling, so we’ve shelved our subscription plans for some time,” says Ms Saini.

Flyrobe caters to each women and men, and whereas the vast majority of its customers are girls, 55 per cent of the spending comes from its males’s assortment.

The corporate holds its personal stock of garments in addition to enabling designers to hire out their clothes by its platform. Flyrobe additionally permits its prospects to lease their garments, if the clothes meet their requirements.

Business insiders say that the pandemic has in truth in the end boosted customers’ issues concerning the surroundings and sustainability typically, together with the influence of quick trend, in addition to prompting many individuals to tighten their belts in terms of spending on garments.

“When the pandemic hit the world, folks began [thinking] that they won’t want so many garments in any case,” says Rohan Gupta, managing director of Gargee Designer’s, a luxurious menswear model, which presents the choice to rent its outfits. “They began considering that they have already got sufficient.”

The corporate has ambitions to assist “change the style consumption views too”, he provides.

Japnah Gambhir, founder and designer at Indian trend home Majestic by Japnah, says that customers have gotten extra within the choice to entry high-quality garments on hire. On the identical time, the attain of the business can also be quickly increasing with the expansion of e-commerce.

“Costly issues aren’t only for a sure part,” says Ms Gambhir.

Some folks “really feel that it’s higher to maintain an merchandise of clothes for 2 to 3 days, make reminiscences and lower your expenses for future wants. It certainly seems higher to spend simply 10 per cent of the product value than spending enormous sums”, she factors out.

As well as, it additionally appeals to the ethics of many millennials and “trend rental platforms are developing with plans that may assist the surroundings and make this world trendy with an moral strategy”.

“With the rental business [carving] its area in India slowly, persons are changing into extra conscious of its advantages,” Mr Gupta says. She believes that “it would take a while for everybody to adapt to this idea and the business to increase”.

Rising web utilization and elevated publicity to trend tendencies in India is simply fuelling the demand for garments that might not be reasonably priced for everybody to purchase. The web is creating the chance for them to simply entry these things by on-line trend rental platforms.

“With the web and social media, persons are getting extra model and high quality acutely aware,” says Mr Gupta.

Ms Saini anticipates that it will solely assist the market to surge as acceptance of renting clothes grows. She is assured that there can be a shift ultimately as firms like hers deal with an issue lots of people can relate to.

“We at all times moan that our closets are full however we’ve got nothing to put on,” Ms Saini provides.

Up to date: December twenty sixth 2021, 7:00 AM

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