Rent the Runway has assured worried customers that its cleaning practices are “designed to kill viruses” as fear of the coronavirus spreads.
The rental service emailed its subscribers to “proactively provide details and additional transparency around our cleaning processes” in an attempt to assuage concerns that its garments could spread COVID-19.
Rent the Runway charges customers either $89 or $159 per month for a subscription, which allows them to rent high-end cocktail dresses for important events rather than splashing out on an item for one-time use.
It has seen a dramatic rise to popularity over the past decade, and its model has been replicated by a range of retailers including Bloomingdale’s and Urban Outfitters.
“First, according to Harvard Health, there is currently no evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted from soft surfaces like fabric or carpet to humans,” the company said.
“In addition, our cleaning agents and practices are designed to kill viruses such as the common cold and flu. While scientific information is still developing, we have no reason to believe that our processes are ineffective against COVID-19.
“All garments go through a wet or dry cleaning process. They also go through an additional steaming process which heats items to between 248°F and 302°F with the exception of faux fur, select outerwear, leather and faux leather garments, which still go through our standard cleaning processes.
“According to the CDC, flu viruses are killed by heat above 167°F. Every garment is then enclosed in plastic for protection and cleanliness, which we ask customers to return for recycling.”