Irish dress rental service takes on the fast fashion industry. A Tipperary woman is taking on the fast fashion industry and its environmental impact by starting her own designer dress rental service.
Edel Lyons, a former marketing executive and fashion blogger, started Rag Revolution just three months ago from her bedroom in Dublin.
The premium fashion rental service allows customers to rent dresses for special occasions, pay a fraction of the price and return the item when the event is over – saving money and the planet.
Second only to oil, the clothing and textile industry is the largest polluter in the world, producing more than 20% of global water waste.
According to the Ellen McArthur Foundation, clothing production has approximately doubled in the last 15 years, while the annual value of clothing discarded is more than 350 billion euro.
As people are becoming more environmentally conscious, Ms Lyons saw a gap in the market for Ireland’s fashion industry to become more sustainable.
“I had a lot of events over the last three years, balls or weddings and work functions and was struggling to find something a bit different but that wasn’t really expensive, and I didn’t like the fact I was only wearing things once, it wasn’t good for me money-wise or the environment,” she told the Irish Mirror.
“I kept seeing expensive and real statement pieces that I knew if I bought, I wouldn’t wear again.
“We’re not like our mums’ generation, we don’t keep pieces anymore for a long time.
“With social media having such a presence in our lives, we’re less likely to re-wear outfits, people don’t want to keep wearing these statement pieces because there’s already a picture of them wearing it on Instagram or Facebook, and it sounds awful but that’s how people are now.”
“While all this was going on, I was becoming more and more aware of the effect ‘fast fashion’ was having on the world.
“I am very environmentally conscious and I wouldn’t buy a lot of clothes, and stick to key pieces, and that’s how I fell into this idea.
“I did some research and I couldn’t see anything that offered style that I would wear, and saw the gap and thought; ‘I should do this’.”
Rag Revolution offers dress from labels such as Reformation, Rixo, Olivia Rubin and Self-Portrait, where dresses can cost up to €400, and rents them out for as little as €70.
Lyons also shared her thoughts on where she thinks the fashion industry is going.
“I’m quite interested in the industry and they’re predicting in a few years we’re not going to be buying clothes like we are now”
We’re all headed toward buying key pieces, good jeans and boots – things like that, but you’re not going to have a wardrobe full of dresses from the high street or occasion-wear.
“At this rate the industry can’t keep going as it is, even in regard to the disposal of clothes.
“90% of fashion goes to a landfill and isn’t recycled.
“It’s on a lot of people’s minds now about how and where they shop, people used to want to have loads of clothes, but that’s a thing of the past, people are looking for something more sustainable.
“I’ve always wanted to do something like this and I just took the leap, it’s not for the fainthearted but it’s really satisfying, I’d tell anyone who has an idea to just go for it.”
Irish dress rental service takes on the fast fashion industry