Just under a decade ago, made it possible for the average shopper to slip into an Oscar de la Renta dress for the night and return it the next day without burning a hole in their wallet. Now, through , that same accessibility will be available in the home space.
“This is a monumental moment for Rent the Runway and the sharing economy as a whole,” says Rent the Runway co-founder and CEO, Jennifer Hyman. Just as shoppers turn to RTR for special occasions or commitment-free retail, they will be able to rent from a variety of high-end home goods at a fraction of the typical price.
Starting this summer, West Elm will offer RTR subscribers 26 exclusive home bundles for the bedroom and living room, including decorative pillows, quilts, coverlets, shams, and more. Each West Elm bundle will count as one item in their subscription package, which costs $159 per month.
This partnership marks West Elm's first-ever offering of products for rent, and is the beginning of Rent the Runway's foray into the home space. "We are making it easier than ever for customers to discover great design for their spaces,” says West Elm president Alex Bellos. “Each of our curated home bundles encourage subscribers to translate their playful and bold style to decorating, and allow them to experience West Elm’s original, modern products from the comforts of home.”
The partnership is significant for both the home and fashion industries, and speaks to the increasing importance for companies to provide accessible and sustainable home goods to an array of consumers. “We know that clothing is often a vehicle to help people feel confident and expressive, and this new partnership will unlock that feeling through home decor,” Hyman says.
While the partnership does provide a noncommittal opportunity for both the aesthetic-hungry millennial or budgeting homemaker, it also underscores the missions of both companies. By encouraging a sharing economy and more sustainable way of living, Rent the Runway and West Elm are speaking to a new type of relationship between consumers and material items—one where ownership is valued less, and a dynamic exchange of goods is preferred. In a recent press release, the companies said that this new renting mentaility in the home space allows consumers to "focus on owning the most important thing in their lives, themselves."
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