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Side hustle earning Aussie $6,000 a week ahead of Melbourne Cup

More women are renting or sharing their clothes rather than buying new, and some Aussies are cashing in.

Melbourne mum Mia Roth rents out her wardrobe to other Aussies and has seen demand skyrocket in the lead-up to the Melbourne Cup and racing season.

“It initially started as a side hustle and was meant to be an extra bit of pocket money for me hiring out a few of my own dresses. But it took off quickly and now it is almost my full-time job,” Mia told Yahoo Finance.

Mia - who also runs a jewellery business - now has more than 150 items listed on dress-hire business LONE, including from popular brands like Alemais, Rachel Gilbert and Scanlan Theodore.

Mia Roth and side hustle renting out dresses.
Mia Roth started a side hustle renting out her wardrobe last year and has seen demand double this month. (Source: Supplied)

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With the racing season now in full swing, Mia said she’d seen demand for dresses double month on month and made $6,000 last week alone.


“Last week, beginning with Derby Day and going through to this week, will be the two biggest weeks I’ve done. It’s not just Melbourne Cup, it’s the whole racing week and particularly being Melbourne based,” she said.

Mia said she’d noticed a “huge shift” in the demographic of women renting out clothes for big events.


“People on a higher income are starting to hire clothes now as well and a lot of my customers are pulling in in their Audis and Mercedes,” she said.

“It’s not just about cost saving. It’s also a more efficient way to have new dresses for every event now and it’s convenient as well.”

Composite image of Mia Roth with her family and her dress hiring business.
The Melbourne mum of two now has more than 150 items listed for rent. (Source: Supplied)

Mia said the extra cash she was earning was going straight back into her business.

“I’m taking the money and buying new dresses with the hope that, the longer the lifecycle of the dress, the more profitable they become,” she said, noting that some of her more popular dresses had been rented out 30 times.

Rentals surge in popularity

The Volte CEO and co-founder Bernadette Olivier said more women were opting to rent or share their clothes rather than buying things brand new.

“Bookings have gone berserk this week with the Melbourne Cup carnival,” Olivier said.

“Sales are also up 300 per cent and we are seeing new dress-hire listings on the same trajectory. There’s been a real shift in consumer behaviour and we hope it continues as it will eventually mean fast-fashion won’t be a consideration if you can rent a beautiful designer dress.”

Mia said she expected rentals to continue in popularity heading into the Christmas party season. The March-April wedding season and end-of-financial-year events are also popular times of year.

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