I’ve made over $22,000 giving away clothes — including wedding clothes | Popgen Tech
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- Fashion rental programs offer users the opportunity to earn passive income from the clothes in their closet.
- London resident Camilla B. has earned over £18,000, or about $22,000, by renting out her designer items on apps.
- Camille paid for her wedding looks by posting them on a bride-to-be rental app.
This essay is based on a conversation with Camille B., a 31-year-old French-born Londoner, about her hustle with peer-to-peer clothing rental apps ByRotation and HURR. An insider confirmed her identity and app income with documentation. The following has been edited for length and clarity.
I’ve always been more inclined to buy quality items that I know I’ll wear a few times and that will last. This is a very French mentality. Craftsmanship and quality are important.
Now, whenever I buy something new, I put it right in the app after I take a few photos. I’ve noticed that when I post my photos of London or the park in the app and on my Instagram (@dutempsetdesreves) they turn out better than if I just took a photo of the item from the website.
Using the programs is very easy. It takes two minutes per item; Only 20 minutes. All you have to do is upload photos, enter the price of the item and the app will tell you an approximate daily rental price.
I usually just select the recommended amount, then select the minimum rental period I want (usually two or three days, depending on the item). The app will recommend a weekly amount (usually with a 50% discount) and a monthly amount for long-term rentals.
The costs and expenses of using trendy programs for rent
I am responsible for cleaning and shipping each item – I get a dry cleaning discount because I rent out a lot.
I pay an average of £50 to £60 a month for dry cleaning, or about $60 to $70, and postage for each item is about £8, although I only charge tenants £4 to £5, or about from 5 to 6 dollars, for accommodation for rent. I decided to subsidize the shipping cost to make renting my things more affordable. I could get the post office to send my items for less, but I prefer to use the highest and most expensive service that is tracked, insured and guaranteed to arrive the next day by 1pm. For last minute rentals, I also give people the option to come pick it up.
ByRotation also offers managed rentals where they take care of postage and cleaning, but they charge a higher commission. However, they don’t manage my products, so they take a 15% commission.
I have a spreadsheet with all the numbers and the number of times I’ve rented each item because I need to keep track of all the platforms. This is a considerable amount of money every month. My combined earnings from various programs is over £18,300, or about $22,000, since I started renting out clothes during the pandemic.
Before I got married, I used my rental income to buy wedding dresses. Now that I don’t have any wedding expenses, I can use it for something else, like paying off my student loans, which are around £450, or around $548 a month.
I rented out my wedding dresses to other brides
Due to Covid, my fiance Nathan and I had to postpone our ceremony, so I split my wedding into two parts.
First, a micro-wedding in my hometown in the south of France: Villeneuve-Loubet, between Antibes and Nice. I wanted to wear something really simple, so I bought a camisole dress from Anine Bing. It was a pleasure to wear, cost AU$349.25, or $233, and I’ve rented it out a few times already, including to someone who wanted a dress for their wedding.
When she sent me the pictures, I was so touched that I could be a part of the best day of someone’s life. She looked beautiful in the dress.
After easing the Covid restrictions, I had a weekend of celebrations with a pool party, rehearsal dinner and my proper wedding ceremony in Sicily. Two weeks after the wedding, I posted the Dolce & Gabbana dresses I wore to the rehearsal dinner and pool party on the app and immediately got requests.
I even added the Dolce & Gabbana earrings I wore to the wedding. They rent very well. Any accessory works: I rent belts, earrings, brooches. People don’t necessarily want to invest in these products, and renting accessories is usually quite affordable. My mom is into fashion and a few years ago she gave me her vintage Chanel metal belt from the 80’s or 90’s. I put it on ByRotation and it was worn for a photoshoot by a well-known influencer in London. It was rented four times for 114.05 pounds, or about $138.
Clothing rental apps have changed the way I shop for clothes
It has definitely changed the way I shop. Now, when I see an item I want, I think: Is it suitable for rental? Can I get my investment back? I will buy what I know I can rent.
The dresses are the best fit and are most often rented, especially brands like Jacquemus, Cult Gaia, and brands I don’t personally wear like The Vampire’s Wife and Rixo – trendy British brands that have things that people would only be worn once for an event.
I have a yellow Jacquemus dress that was rented 30 times for £1,651.71, or about $2,000. I paid £729 for it, or about $887.
Some of the most popular dresses that I rent the most, I have two different sizes so they are rented even more often. My item sizes range from a 6 to a 10. If you are new to the program, as part of onboarding, they will have you sign up with specific lenders in your size.
In the summer I rent a lot of dresses, and in the winter I rent ski gear all the time, so those are the busiest months. I have a Chanel jumpsuit that I found used on Depop. I got a great deal on it and it is rented out every week during the winter months.
You can chat in apps like ByRotation. Most often, people ask questions about the style or length of the dress. I like the community aspect of this app because you can meet like-minded people who think about sustainability. It’s wonderful. On the one hand, you make money, but on the other, you also feel like you’re making friends and helping the environment.