Rntr.: making luxury clothing accessible through the re-commerce economy

Published: 1 December 2022

A woman-owned Australian startup, Rntr. is an all-in-one clothing rental platform that offers customers an alternative to fast fashion. Via the platform, users can access high-end brands at an accessible price point. The Rntr. model meets the increasing eco-savvy consumer demand for participation in the re-commerce (rental and resale) economy.

Rntr. provides an accessible, sustainable and profitable fashion ecosystem. This counters the more common linear model of low-use and low-recycling of garments made largely with non-renewable resources. By enabling fashion brands to earn more with fewer items, production quantity is reduced, fewer raw materials are used, less waste is produced, and landfill contribution is lower. In addition to lowering textile output and reducing waste, the clothing rental model works to extend the lifespan use of each individual garment. This maximises the return on the resource investment involved in its production.

Garments are sent to customers and returned via carbon neutral delivery services, using recycled, reusable, and renewable packaging made from plant-based and/or bio-polymers.

Rntr. controls the dry-cleaning processes, and offers GreenEarth cleaning to customers as an additional service. GreenEarth uses non-petroleum based cleaning solutions to minimise environmental impact, safeguard the health of both the cleaner and the wearer, and extend the life of the garment. Effluent left over from the dry-cleaning process is then monitored every 22 days to ensure it complies with industry standards before being released into the environment.

Rntr. is developing a dual-use operational space: combining the warehouse and cleaning facility reduces the transportation impact. Rntr. will also engage in an end-of-rental-life management process, where items are upcycled and resold, donated or recycled. Through their partnership with Blocktexx, a textile recovery company, Rntr. will facilitate textiles re-entering the loop for recycling and reuse into other products.

Challenges and insights

The rental/resale/re-commerce industry model in clothing and textiles is not new, however it has faced challenges integrating into retail norms. Business models that prioritise profit over sustainable change still dominate.

The global re-commerce market is predicted to reach $77 billion by 2025 – growing at a rate that outstrips fast fashion. However, here in Australia, Rntr. have found 50% of customers are new to the rental model. Customers cite issues around trust in the existing rental infrastructure (peer to peer, and fashion rental houses) as dominant factors. Building trust would help customers to engage with the re-commerce economy.

Rntr. reiterates that while recovering materials from end-of-life clothing is essential, the volume of fast fashion textile ‘waste’ that’s produced in Australia far outpaces the companies and technology that can perform this task optimally. So, while we should invest in such technology, we need to be continuing to slow fashion down through product extension and rental models, like Rntr.

Recommended Actions

All businesses along the supply and distribution chain need to incorporate re-commerce principles to support more sustainable practices to collectively build future infrastructure with a circular economy in mind.

Government and industry could support these efforts by introducing and supporting an environmental profit and loss account. This account measures and economically quantifies environmental impact of business practices – such as emissions, land use, water pollution, and waste generation. This should be compared with annual net profit to ensure economic growth aligns with environmental impact reduction.


Learn more

See Rntr.’s website for more information www.getrntr.com