Brides traditionally choose something borrowed for luck on their wedding day – and a trend for renting among millennial shoppers means this is increasingly likely to be their dress.
Now Selfridges is launching a second-hand wedding dress boutique in a bid to woo brides hoping to emulate Carrie Johnson’s rented gown.
For her wedding to the Prime Minister in May Mrs Johnson, 33, wore a tulle dress from Greek designer Christos Costarellos, which was worth £2,830 but reportedly cost just £45 to rent from the website My Wardrobe HQ.
Upmarket department store Selfridges is now seeking to jump on the trend, launching a service for couples to rent, refurbish or buy second hand to keep down the cost and environmental impact of their big day.
Sustainable fashion company Reture will also “upcycle” old clothes such as a mother’s or grandmother’s wedding dress or suit and repair broken handbags or scuffed heels.
Prices for a four-day rental start from £20, and dresses, menswear and accessories will all be available at the company’s Oxford Street branch in London.
Fashion rental has become increasingly popular as a backlash grows against cheap “fast fashion” which carries a greater environmental impact in making, transporting and disposing of clothes.
Cotton requires large amounts of water and pesticides to grow, while newer fabrics such as polyester rely on plastic fibres which take centuries to break down and can lead to microplastics accumulating in the ocean.
The trend also means cash-strapped buyers can afford high-end designer clothes that would otherwise be out of their reach.
For those with slightly bigger budgets, the second-hand range includes a Gucci red velvet suit made famous by Gwyneth Paltrow at the 1996 MTV Awards, on sale for £4,340.
Sebastian Manes, Executive Buying and Merchandising Director, said: “This year more than ever, our customers are being more considered in how they live and shop and weddings are no exception.
“As we continue exploring circular models through Project Earth, we’re excited to bring a unique experience to Selfridges for brides, grooms and guests looking to celebrate weddings in a more earth-conscious way.”