W Hotels, the global hotel chain owned by Marriott International, has just launched a Closet Concierge in partnership with subscription platform Rent the Runway. Guests can now have their Rent the Runway customised orders delivered directly to their hotel rooms at select W Hotel locations, lightening their baggage load and reducing the need to shop for new items specifically for travel. Upon checkout, guests can simply drop off their rented clothing items at their hotel lobbies. On top of being a convenience perk, the move by W Hotel is a win for sustainability: lighter baggage loads on flights means lower carbon, more fuel-efficient flights, and encouraging clothing rentals instead of purchasing new outfits reduces textile waste.
W Hotels, the global hotel chain with 55 locations across the world, has just collaborated with popular fashion subscription platform Rent the Runway to launch a new feature dubbed the RTR Closet Concierge. The concept allows hotel guests to choose up to 4 styles during their stay from Rent the Runway’s Unlimited Closet, including apparel across all categories from formalwear to skiing gear, athleisure, accessories and bags. The service comes at a price tag of US$69 per complete order, and is inclusive of shipping and dry cleaning of all four items. Upon checkout, guests simply drop off their rented clothing items at the Welcome Desk at their hotel lobbies.
Launched just earlier this month, the concept is still undergoing its pilot stage at 4 W Hotel locations in the United States – the W Aspen, W South Beach in Miami, W Washington D.C., and W Hollywood – before the company scales up the programme across more states.
The move is touted as a convenient service that helps travellers pack light. “The ability to travel without luggage and have the perfect Rent the Runway travel wardrobe waiting for her when she checks in – no shopping, packing or baggage required – is redefining luxury,” explained Jennifer Hyman, the CEO and co-founder of Rent the Runway.
But on top of being an added convenience perk to travelling guests, the RTR Closet Concierge serves from a sustainability perspective too. Rent the Runway is a platform that runs on proprietary algorithmic data to act as a “digital stylist”, which recommends users tailored looks on hand, tied to individuals’ tastes in colour, designers and even climate to curate the outfit suited to their destination.
What this means is that travelling no longer requires lugging around a heavy bag without sacrificing on style and needs. Carry-ons will be lighter in load, which reduces the carbon footprint of travel, easing the fuel usage of flights. In addition, if travelling won’t require purchasing a specific item for a different climate, as guests can simply rent an appropriate outfit for the duration of their holiday, reducing the astonishing waste, pollution and emissions associated with creating new garments.
Now putting the sustainable fashion element into accommodation, the W Hotel’s move comes as the loaning and resale fashion sector has become the latest trend. Rental platforms have become hugely popular in China, set to take over a fifth of the country’s GDP in just 5 years time, and with more options flooding the market, like COS’s new monthly subscription service. Luxury preloved online consignment shop The RealReal has seen their revenue soar by 50% within just the first quarter of 2019 compared to the same period the year before.
Travelling responsibly and sustainably as become more popular as well. We’re seeing an uptick in taking trains over flights, and choosing to offset air travel when its unavoidable. Accommodation wise, luxury no longer means waste. Consumers want to stay at eco-friendly hotels, successfully pressuring the biggest global hotel chains like the InterContinental and Mandarin Oriental to phase out single-use plastics.
As a first-ever crossover between the fashion and hospitality industry to offer a service like the Closet Concierge, it reflects changing tides in the way consumers make their decisions, and the need for business leaders across different industries to accomodate to shifting demands. Aware of the environmental impact of their decisions, from choice of transportation to the clothing they wear, consumers are more than ever factoring in sustainability in their spending choices. It has become clear that in order to stay relevant, companies must transform the way they operate, and take into account the impact they leave behind on the planet.
All images courtesy of W Hotel x Rent the Runway.