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  • From today, customers can rent M&S clothing on the UK’s leading rental website, Hirestreet – including its new season M&S X GHOST dresses 
  • Hirestreet is operated by the Zoa Group, which M&S has invested in through its Founders Factory Joint Venture accelerator programme
  • Announcement supports M&S’s commitment to drive the circular economy as part of its Plan A target to become a Scope 3 net zero business by 2040 

Today, (Tuesday 16th November) M&S has launched its first clothing rental trial – following its latest Founders Factory Joint Venture investment in the Zoa Group, the operator of leading clothing rental website Hirestreet.  

First launched in 2018, the M&S & Founders Factory Joint Venture is designed to identify and accelerate emerging businesses and provide M&S with valuable insight into industry change and trends. With the clothing rental market set to grow exponentially in the next decade[i], the new partnership allows M&S to conduct its first ‘test and learn’ trial in this important growth market. 

Launching ahead of the busy Christmas party season, M&S’s first rental edit is made up of over 40 womenswear pieces from its elegant Autograph range, with a focus on premium fabrics such as leather and silk, and the very latest dresses from its popular M&S X Ghost collaboration. 

M&S x Ghost 

The collection items have a selling price of between £69 - £299 with M&S and will be available to rent on Hirestreet from just £13 for four days. 

M&S Chief Operating Officer, Katie Bickerstaffe said:

“Clothing rental is a growing market and working with Hirestreet through our Founders Factory joint venture gives us a huge opportunity to learn from the leading start-up in this space, operate in an agile way and better understand what our customers want from rental services.  

“As we grow M&S clothing, we want to be more relevant more often and we know customers are increasingly interested in the circular fashion economy. Our partnership with Hirestreet means we are putting M&S clothing in front of new customers and our first rental edit doesn’t just showcase the style we have on offer, it also highlights the value and quality of clothing that is made to last.”

Customers growing sustainability concerns is a key factor in the rental market’s growth and according to The M&S Family Matters Index Report, over a third of consumers now consider the climate crisis when purchasing clothes. M&S’s trial on Hirestreet, follows its recent reset of Plan A, its sustainability programme to have an unrelenting focus on becoming a fully net zero business by 2040. One of the pillars of the retailer’s roadmap to net zero is driving the circular economy and its new partnership with Zoa reflects its commitment to innovate and invest in products and services that help customers enjoy lower carbon lives. 

Isabella West, Founder and CEO, Zoa Rental and Hirestreet said: 

“At Zoa we’re on a mission to transform the future of fashion. M&S is one of the largest clothing retailers in the UK with a reputation for quality and well-made clothes - their move into rental is a hugely positive step forwards for the fashion industry.

“True sustainability does not exist without accessibility. Rental fashion is more than just providing temporary access to designer items, it’s about giving consumers alternatives to traditional consumption and making the best use of the resources we have.

I’m delighted to have M&S and Founders Factory on board as we power the sharing economy of the future.”

The full M&S rental edit is live on Hirestreet from today. 

[i] According to GlobalData, the UK clothing rental market value is expected to reach £2.3 billion by 2029, a stark increase compared to the estimated £400 million in 2019.

Images: The latest M&S X Ghost collection arrives in Hirestreet’s warehouse ahead of the M&S rental edit launch. 

ENDS


Notes to editors: 

For further images or spokespeople please email the Corporate PR team on corporate.press@marks-and-spencer.com or call 020 8718 1919. 


M&S and Founders Factory (Founders Factory Retail):

M&S’s partnership with Zoa Rental comes through its joint venture with Founders Factory. Established in 2018, the joint venture investment vehicle aims to increase M&S’ exposure to start up and emerging businesses with a specific focus on harnessing the power or digital and technology within retail. Zoa is the most recent start-up under the JV and the latest example of the benefits of building access to innovation via external partnerships. 

From product development to the way customers are served in stores, establishing a constantly innovative culture is a vital part of M&S’ growth as it focuses on moving to the next phase in its transformation. The retailer recently announced its cornerstone investment in True Global’s new retail focused seed stage fund which will enable M&S to take its commitment to innovation to the next level and ensure it is at the forefront of offering best service and experience to its 30m customers.

M&S collaboration with Ghost:

The M&S X Ghost Autumn 21 Collection is available exclusively at M&S from Tuesday 16th November 2021. 

The newest collection, the fifth collaboration between M&S and the iconic British brand, encompasses a stellar line up of statement dresses, cords and separates embodying Ghost’s signature aesthetic and timeless detailing. Championing quality and attention to detail, this collection offers an elevated look for the festive season ahead; from the everyday to the extra special. 

The incredibly popular Ghost x M&S collaboration delivered 18% of all dress sales in H1 of 2021.

M&S and Circular Economy: 

As part of the Plan A journey to net zero, M&S has committed to rapidly reduce emissions by a third by 2025 and more than half by 2030.  Its investment in Zoa forms part of a wider commitment to the circular economy which includes the launch of a new incentivised Shwopping scheme to reward the retailer’s 12.5m Sparks customers every time they Shwop and a pledge to extend the use of sustainable materials with a commitment to use 100% verified recycled Polyester in all its products by 2025. 

Hirestreet Limited:

Founded in 2018 Hirestreet is the UK’s leading accessible fashion rental platform. Hirestreet stocks thousands of items from over 50 brand partners, and outfits can be hired from 4 to 30 days from as little as 18% of RRP

Zoa:

Zoa is propriety software that is owned by Hirestreet Limited. Having powered Hirestreet for a number of years, Zoa’s technology platform was made available to the wider UK fashion market in May 2021 in response to retailer demand for own-brand rental. This technology is already powering several UK based fashion rental start-ups.