If you’re anything like me, picking out what you’re going to wear on holiday can be almost as fun as the vacation itself. I consider putting together an outfit for a new exotic locale or special event to be one of life’s greatest thrills, and I unfortunately have the closet to show for it. I use to blow entire paychecks on the perfect sand-grazing maxi-dresses or faux-fur, snow-bunny jacket, only to chuck them to the back of the closet once the trip was over (and Instagram photos posted).
Since starting my journey to fashion sustainability, I now adhere to the 30 wears rule when buying something new. Purchasing items for a single occasion or trip will ultimately only add to the 16 million tons of textile waste being generated in the United States each year. That means if I can’t see myself wearing something at least 30 times then it’s not allowed in my shopping cart, and that includes vacay-wear and wedding guest dresses.
However, I firmly believe that you shouldn’t need to sacrifice personal style and self-expression in order to live a sustainable lifestyle, so for my recent trip to Australia I found a way to have the vacation wardrobe of my dreams without adding a single thing to my closet, and that was with Rent the Runway Unlimited.
How Rent the Runway Unlimited works.
If you’re not familiar, Rent the Runway is an online platform that allows you to borrow clothing and accessories for a set period of time at a small fraction of the retail cost. You may remember that I had a wonderful experience using their One-Time Rental service in the past for a winter wedding guest dress.
What makes their Unlimited service different is that you can rent up to four items for an unlimited amount of time (you get charged a monthly subscription cost), and get to swap them out for new styles anytime. Domestic shipping and dry cleaning is included, so you simply slip the clothing back into the shipping bag they came in when you’re done. I found the service to be perfect for my two week trip to Australia, as international shipping isn’t available and I was able to wear the items as much as I wanted while away. Here’s what I got:
Rental #1: the Pink Priscilla Gown by AMUR.
The real purpose of my trip down under was to attend the weddings of two of Sam’s closest friends, so a dress to fit the black-tie dress code for the first was needed (I luckily already had something fitting for the second). I’ll never forget how much of an absolute princess I felt like in this Pink Priscilla Gown by sustainable brand AMUR. It was formal yet light and flow-y enough for an Australian summer soirée.
Rental #2: the Cream Popover Dress by Love Shack Fancy.
The temperature in Adelaide was forecasted to be in the nineties some days, so I knew a light and airy mini dress was in order. I thought the prairie-like print on the Cream Popover Dress from Love Shack Fancy seemed very Australian Outback, and I liked that the long sleeves still offered a bit of modesty around Sam’s family members. I wore it to go wine tasting in the Barossa Valley, a friend’s birthday barbecue, and explore the hills of Port Elliot in (where we saw some wild kangaroos!). I couldn’t have loved this dress more.
Rental #3: the Floral Wrap Skirt by Derek Lam 10 Crosby.
The trip fell over the holidays, so I wanted something festive enough for an Aussie Christmas. Instead of choosing another dress, I opted for a wrap skirt that I could style a few different ways. I wore it with a short sleeved tee for Christmas lunch, with this faux corset sleeveless top and slip-on sneakers for another barbecue, and even as a bikini cover-up at the beach. Seriously loved it!
The fourth item I rented for the trip, a striped jumpsuit, didn’t end up fitting me very well and I left it behind. If I had planned better then I could have easily switched it out for something else beforehand, but I loved the three items that I had rented so much that it didn’t bother me very much.
Try Rent the Runway Unlimited.
You have the option to end the service after a month if you want to just use it for a certain trip, but I think it’s also a smart and sustainable way to try new trends and styles throughout the year. You’re also accessing $50,000 worth of clothing for only $159 a month (and there are deals for new customers) so the savings really add up. If you would like to try the Rent the Runway Unlimited Service, click here.
Photos by @sdrpick.
Rent the Runway provided products in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own.