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Berlin’s clothing rental revolution: Climate-conscious couture

Get to know Berlin's go-to spots for climate-conscious couture. Say bye-bye to buying and hello to clothing rentals!

Photo: James Cochrane / H&M Mitte Garten

Fashion rentals aren’t a new concept, but with people growing wary of wastefulness, more and more retailers from high-end heaven all the way down to fast-fashion hell are hopping on the rental bandwagon. Here’s where climate-conscious fashion lovers can grab garb for all occasions – and then bring it right back.

Hot Top Pick

HIGH-END A must-know for the fashion and environmentally conscious. Rental-only POOL boasts a highly selective squad of pret-à-porter fashion’s most sought-after names. From Ganni and Acne Studios to Schnayderman’s and Percival to exclusive designer collabs, browse the extensive catalogue of clean cut, pattern-strong and, for the most part, unisex fashion. To rent, sign up for free on the website and get access to their separate ‘inventory’ Instagram account, then browse and DM your choices – or peruse the wardrobe in person. Either way, you can keep your chosen items as long as you’d like or swap for items of the same price category for no added charge.

  • POOL, Große Hamburger Str. 42, Mitte
  • €9, €29 or €49/month depending on the item
  • Browse the showroom and register here or follow them on Instagram at @pool.berlin.inventory
Photo: POOL

Stroll Down Saville Row

VINTAGE Appointment-based OFT offers (more or less authentic) fashion from the last century. Their 1930s flapper dresses are imitations made in the US in the 1980s, but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t be the showstopper at the next Great Gatsby party. Original pieces from the 1950s-80s are easier to come by: looking for a metallic unitard with trumpet sleeve a la ABBA’s Agneta? OFT is your best bet. Owner and stylist Marita Makasch helps customers find exactly what their old soul desires, whatever the fashion era and item. From photo shoots to theme parties, customers can rent Makasch’s pieces for up to two days at a quarter of the retail price, which – being actual vintage – tends not to be cheap.

  • OFT, Chausseestr. 131b, Mitte
  • 25% of the retail price
  • Visit their website for booking details
Photo: Marita Makasch / OFT Vintage

Next Best-Dressed

SECOND-HAND Love a trend? Upscale thrift shop Homefullofclothes reliably stocks everything touted by Fashiontok and Berlinfluencers: cowboy boots and Afghan coats, (lots of) leather bombers and moto jackets, and – perhaps most importantly for the Berlin fashion scene – ubiquitously-worn New Rocks as well as 2010s-nostalgic George Gina & Lucy metal-hardware handbags, saving those twentysomethings who now find themselves full of regret after having long gotten rid of the GG&L bag they owned in high school. While Homefullofclothes is a boutique first and foremost, nearly all pieces can be rented for up to a week. Hop on popular used clothing app Depop and email the owner, Laura Piotrowska, a photo of your chosen item to reserve it or book an appointment, or visit one of the store’s two locations.

  • Homefullofclothes, Urbanstr. 52, Kreuzberg & Homefullofclothes, Gaudystr. 3, Prenzlauer Berg.
  • €20-30
  • Browse the collection on Depop, or visit their website for booking details.
Photo: Marita Makasch / OFT Vintage

Casual Fridays

EVERYDAY WEAR A fairly new arrival in Berlin is the rental Kleiderei, imported from Cologne. Since 2022, Berliners brave enough to commit to a membership have been able to choose from an extended, “eternal” wardrobe, as they call it. Here, you’ll find a wide range of all your classic wardrobe staples: jeans, t-shirts, coats, hats and jewellery from second-hand and vintage but also brand-new fair fashion brands, such as Christiane Stroble, Dzaino and IKIGO. Everything can be rented out as long as needed and, if desired, added to your own wardrobe permanently at a discount price.

  • Kleiderei, Oranienstr. 44, Kreuzberg
  • €29 for 4 items per month; €39 for 6 items per month
  • Visit their website here
Photo: @homefullofclothes

Fake it ‘Til You Make it

FAST FASHION Running a rental doesn’t make a fast-fashion brand sustainable, but as a consumer, it’s more eco-friendly. Renting can seem expensive compared to buying, so H&M Mitte Garten’s rental might be a feasible option for fast-fashion addicts wanting to dip their toes into short-term ownership – provided they’re H&M members (which, let’s face it, they probably are). The brand’s not-in-stores rental collection, which launched in 2021, includes seasonal statement pieces for special occasions, like weddings or the annual Christmas work party. Think H&M on steroids: bright pink blazers, pearl-embellished jackets, dotted tulle dresses and accessories with a lot of bling, which can be rented for up to five days.

  • H&M Mitte Garten, Neue Schönhauser Str. 13, Mitte.
  • €10-45
  • Book your appointment here