Chana Baram
Chana Baram is an Analyst at Mintel focusing on the Retail sector. She harnesses her previous experience to analyse and write reports on the UK market.

Fashion rental options in the UK have certainly picked up over the last few years with retailers from Selfridges to Urban Outfitters launching rental services, but Moss Bros is now the first menswear retailer to offer a dedicated rental service. The ‘Moss Box’ offers subscribers two items for a monthly fee of £65, and shoppers can choose from a range of 180 products including shirts, blazers, trousers, shorts and jumpers.

The ‘Moss Box’ by Moss Bros

Source: Drapers

Customers also have the option to buy items for up to 50% of the retail price. Moss Bros said the launch is a result of COVID-19 which has seen a demand for rental wear as customers moved away from fast fashion and looked for more sustainable options.

Casual office attire is set to make a comeback

The retailer is also using this as an opportunity to build up a reputation outside of formalwear as more people work from home and casual office attire is likely to become more popular even when people do return to the office. Data from Mintel’s latest Menswear report shows that over two in five menswear shoppers bought casual clothing for work over the last year and nearly a quarter anticipate doing so over the next 12 months. In addition, 15% of men have taken part in and 18% more would be interested in a subscription service – like the one Moss Bros has added. 

Moss Bros offers free exchanges, free deliveries and free dry cleaning of the clothes for convenience

Source: Moss Bros

What we think

There remains a question mark over how popular and sustainable fashion rentals truly are. There’s certainly a need for fashion retailers to take sustainability seriously and think of alternatives as there is a lot of unwanted clothing ending up in landfill, although this is more often an issue with fast fashion rather than the more upmarket brands offered by Moss Bros. 

Our fashion and sustainability research shows that just a quarter of men have either rented or would be interested in renting fashion items and while rentals certainly work well for special occasions, with this being a good alternative to buying a new suit that will only be worn once, it is unlikely to have the same appeal for everyday clothing.