Higher and hire: as Carrie Symonds rents her wedding dress from My Wardrobe HQ, we take a look at how the clothes rental market is booming

By Suzanne Baum | 03 Jun 2021 | Style, Design

As an ambassador for My Wardrobe HQ, Suzanne Baum knows only too well the importance of eco-friendly fashion. So, it seems, does the new Mrs Johnson, who opted to hire her wedding gown from the luxury rental platform

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Last weekend, when Carrie Symonds married Boris Johnson in a secret ceremony, the picture issued by Number 10 showed the couple gazing into each other’s eyes. For the rest of us, it was all eyes on THE DRESS, a long ivory tulle and silk gown by the Greek designer Christos Costarellos. As the fashion mill went into overdrive, it was reported that the dress had been available to buy for £2,870 as part of an exclusive collection for Net-a-Porter. However, the 33-year-old bride had in fact spent a far more down-to-earth amount of money on her dress of dreams.

Confirming it had in fact been hired from the website My Wardrobe HQ - for just £45 a day- co-founder Sacha Newall, exclaimed: "We didn't know what it was for. We were just asked to supply some items. Then we saw what happened last weekend. It was all a bit of a surprise."

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However, it is not the first time Carrie has rented from the platform. The Prime Minister’s wife is known for championing environmental causes, and has used it to rent clothes for several previous appearances. When her now husband was sworn into office, the striking Ghost dress that she wore was one example.

Although there is an option of buying the item, garments can be rented for between four and 14 days at a time. As one of no doubt thousands of users have tried, I attempted to hire the dress myself, only to be told: “Oops, someone else has rented this item.”

And, on asking if I could join the queue, I was told it was, unsurprisingly, a very long one. For not only has Carries dress caused so many people to want it, the interest in rental has shot through the roof. And I’m not surprised.

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From dresses and shoes to hairbands and handbags, the clothes hire industry is growing fast. It’s no secret now that overconsumption and waste in the fashion industry is destroying the planet. What is a secret though is the fact – whoever their client – My Wardrobe does not let on, and treats everyone the same.

From the PM’s wife to myself, who, as one of its ambassadors, not only gets to talk the eco-friendly talk, but also walk the walk (in a pair of Chanel heels that I could only dream about), the hiring process is seamless, professional and ever so friendly.

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Although rental fashion isn’t a new trend, an increase in environmental concerns has made hiring clothes more popular than ever. And with more brides now choosing to rent designer gowns as a sustainable option, it's just going to grow and grow. 

So to the Carrie effect: You don’t always have to say I do in something new.