Press release: The Ateljé rental company studied the climate effects of renting: the first results were published

Press release XX2022, Released immediately

The Ateljé, a multi-channel company specializing in renting women's clothing, aims to find out how the climate impact of clothing rental services is comparable to traditional clothing ownership. The calculations were made by the climate emissions expert company Spark Sustainability.

The results are positive: significantly fewer emissions from renting a party dress than from owning it

Since most of the customers of The Ateljé clothing rental company are looking for a great outfit for a party, a dress was chosen for the study. The calculations show that in almost all scenarios (11/12), rental services are a more climate-friendly option than buying new.

"The everyday life of a clothing rental company has been behind us for more than two years now, and we have accumulated a nice amount of data about our operations and thousands of rentals: we finally got to research what it says. It's really interesting to see how thousands of customers have changed their consumption behavior by trying a clothing rental service for the first time in their lives." says Mari Kekäle, one of the founders of The Ateljé.

In the picture: The more purchases are replaced by rent, the lower the climate impact of wearing a party dress for four years. Although emissions from user traffic are increasing, emissions from production, distribution and retail and end-of-life emissions are decreasing. This is because "fixed" emissions are shared with other renters, and rental dresses are estimated to be used more often than purchased dresses.

Summary of the study

  • Using rental services instead of buying dresses is the most climate-friendly option in almost all scenarios. (11/12)
  • Buying a dress instead of renting it is a better option only if the dress is used a lot and the user drives to the rental place every time he rents the dress.
  • If the driving distance to the rental company is long, it can change the results even in medium or low-use scenarios
  • The extra washing and maintenance associated with renting clothes has very little effect on the results. This is partly due to the fact that Finland's electricity production is relatively clean. In addition, the delicate clothes modeled in this study are not tumble dried and are washed at low temperatures in a water wash.

Change in the clothing industry requires a change in culture

Clothing rental companies are examples of business models based on the circular economy, which are often established with the aim of reducing the environmental impact of the industry. Still, these services have sometimes been accused of putting a higher burden on the environment compared to traditional ownership scenarios.

"The textile industry is one of the world's most polluting industries. Today, its share of all emissions is estimated to be up to 10 percent: if nothing is done, in 2050 the share will already be a quarter.* Through our company, we want to inspire the entire industry to change: new operating models are needed to change our consumer-oriented culture. Our journey to sustainable growth is just at the beginning, and these emissions calculations are a good place to start - we will continue reporting as the journey progresses." decides Kekäle.

Additional information:
Mari Kekäle, founding member, The Ateljé Helsinki Oy
+358 40 567 8908,

The Ateljé Helsinki Oy is a Helsinki-based company launched in August 2020 that develops a multi-channel clothing rental service. The company offers clothes for rent in Finland both via an online store and a store located in Helsinki's Punavuori. Currently, the company employs four employees.

Spark Sustainability uses emission data to involve personnel, customers and partners in the organizations' climate goals. Our service has been developed to help organizations build sustainable brands and bring about real change through people's climate-smart lifestyles.


The climate impact of Renting versus buying outfits for special occasions

SANDIN, G., ET AL., 2019

Environmental assessment of Swedish clothing consumption - six garments, sustainable futures

* Ellen MacArthur Foundation: A New Textiles Economy: Redesigning fashion's future .

Niinimäki, K. Peters, G., Dahlbo, H., Perry, P., Rissanen, T. and Gwilt, A. (2020) The environmental price of fast fashion. Nature Reviews; Earth and Environment.