Will Renting Clothes from a Stranger Be a Game Changer? Exploring Danish Consumers' Evaluation of Peer-to-Peer Clothing Rental

Sara Johanna Amalia Gustafsson & Melanie Spitzbart

Student thesis: Master thesis


Background and purpose: The fashion industry is the world’s second largest polluter, fueled by ever-changing trends and consumers’ desire for newness. Current unsustainable fashion production and consumption practices call for the development of sustainable business models, enhancing the circulation of existing garments while still meeting consumers’ need for constant change. The concept of peer-to-peer (P2P) clothing rental addresses these environmental issues by enabling consumers to rent clothes from other individuals to constantly change their wardrobe without harming the environment. Taking the theory of planned behavior extended by the construct of self-identity as the theoretical foundation, this research aims to gain a deeper understanding of Danish female millennials’ perceptions of P2P clothing rental by identifying the factors that influence their intention to rent clothes from peers, as well as potential differences between existing users and non-users of other forms of collaborative fashion consumption (CFC).
Methodology: This research followed a qualitative and abductive research strategy. Based on a review of the existing literature, empirical data was collected via twelve semi-structured interviews. The informants were selected basedon demographic and behavioral criteria and recruited following a combined approach of judgmental and snowball sampling.
Findings and conclusion: The findings facilitate a better understanding of consumers’ perceptions of clothing rental in general and P2P clothing rental in particular. The thematic analysis identified numerous factors influencing consumers’ intention to participate in P2P clothing rental. Motivating factors include the concept’s perceived sustainability, the opportunity to experiment with different trends and styles, and personal innovativeness. Identified barriers include habits and routines in regard to fashion consumption, the lack of ownership and control, and hygiene concerns. The findings do not indicate clear differences between users and non-users of CFC in regard to their intention to engage in P2P clothing rental. Based on the empirical findings, several recommendations are provided for actors within the fashion industry as well as academia.

EducationsMSc in Brand and Communications Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2020
Number of pages116
SupervisorsMeike Janssen