The Latest Updates from Rent the Runway On Warehouse Safety & Operations

May 13, 2020

This page will be updated regularly with the latest information from Rent the Runway including updates from state and local government due to COVID-19.

Last updated on May 13 at 10:30AM EST.

We know firsthand the psychological impact of getting dressed, and the effect it can have on mental health and well-being — in good and tough times. Rent the Runway’s mission today remains the same during this new normal: to continue to make women feel empowered and confident every day.

As we remain committed to serving the RTR community safely, a top priority will always be to support the health and safety of our teams. We’ve taken a number of steps in support of both our team and customers, with increased safety measures and operational changes, many of which are outlined below. 

Our Warehouses are Open

Like all warehouses and e-commerce fulfillment centers, Rent the Runway is explicitly permitted 

to continue operating our warehouse facilities in New Jersey and Texas. We made the decision to keep our warehouses open for three reasons. First, to be able to continue to pay warehouse associates who wanted to come to work. Second, so we can serve our customers who still want to use our services during this time. And finally, so we can continue to bring sales into our business to ensure there is a business in the future.

As our warehouses are open, we have been focused on employee safety from the onset of COVID-19 and have been continually evolving our safety protocols to meet or exceed state and federal guidelines. We instituted social distancing measures, staggered shifts and implemented new cleaning protocols throughout our warehouses. Masks and gloves were provided to each associate, and wearing them continues to be mandatory. In addition, we continue to support our warehouse associates with health benefits, bonus cash payments and more options for them to have the control and flexibility about working during this time. 

Our Retail Stores Remain Closed

While all five of our retail store locations are currently closed (and we miss seeing you!), the Rent the Runway website and app are always open. Visit us online! 

We officially closed our stores in mid-March, which you can read about here. We will provide updates on this page when we have more information about the status of our stores and Drop-off Boxes. 

Delivery & Returns During COVID-19

  • For deliveries: Rent the Runway orders arrive directly to your address. No-touch delivery is available through our shipping and delivery partners. Due to increased safety measures in our warehouses and delays from shipping carriers nationwide, there may be some delays in your RTR deliveries during this time. 

  • For returns: As our stores and Drop-off Box locations remain closed, please use the printed prepaid shipping label included with your RTR order and your reusable RTR garment bag to return your rentals via mail. Your garment bag can be dropped off at your nearest shipping UPS location using the prepaid shipping label, or you can schedule an at-home pickup with services like UPS for an additional fee. 

Warehouse Safety Protocols

In late February, we began sharing COVID-19 updates and recommendations to our employees. We have continued to comply with evolving health and safety guidelines and regulations  designed to protect the health and safety of our dedicated associates in our fulfillment centers. We’ve implemented the following measures: 

  • Protective Equipment: All employees are provided with gloves and face masks, which are mandatory to wear at all times. 

  • Enhanced Cleaning Protocols: Multiple professional cleanings per day, weekly deep cleanings and widely available hand sanitizer stations to ensure a clean working environment for all. 

  • Social Distancing Measures: Rearranged workstations to reduce density of workers, reduced and staggered schedule to abide by social distancing recommendations for all employees, and mandatory spacing and clear markings in common areas such as break rooms and our cafeteria. 

  • Expanded Options for Associates: In addition to relaxing our attendance policy, we are supporting warehouse associates through several expanded initiatives and new efforts. Read more about those here.  

Garment Cleaning & Care During COVID-19

We're dedicated to ensuring every item looks and feels like new — every time you rent. All our garments, accessories, hangers, and reusable packaging are meticulously cleaned each time they are returned to us. Our conscientious cleaning processes, focused on both wet- and dry- cleaning, use biodegradable detergents that are free from added fragrances and zeolites. We do not use (and never have used) any halogenated cleaning solutions such as toxic Perchloroethylene (PERC). 

After going through our rigorous cleaning processes, most pieces pass through a steam tunnel between 248°F and 302°F. Our cleaning agents and practices are designed to kill viruses such as the common cold and flu. According to the CDC, flu viruses are killed by heat above 167°F. Based on current guidance, there is no reason to believe that our processes are ineffective against COVID-19. 

After cleaning, all garments are sealed in plastic to protect them from any elements, including human touch, that they may encounter on their journey to the next customer. Sealing items also helps preserve the quality and life-span of a garment, bolstering the sharing economy and ultimately contributing to less clothing waste. We ask all our RTR customers to return their plastic coverings and hangers when they return their rentals in our reusable garment bags so they can be recycled and reused. Our recycling partner, Trex, transforms our plastic poly bags into wood-alternative building materials, which we think is an amazing way to reuse and extend the life of plastic. 

Supporting Communities with Face Masks

Finally, as parts of the country begin to reopen, we want to continue doing our part to help slow the spread of COVID-19. That’s why we’re mobilizing our Rent the Runway teams to create non-medical face masks for the general public, ensuring that medical-grade masks are prioritized for healthcare and other COVID-19 front-line workers.

We developed our protective masks with an eye towards fashion and sustainability, so they’re washable and reusable. Made from 100% cotton or cotton blend and lined in cotton/poly, the fabric we are using has been salvaged as scraps from prior production runs or purchased as unused surplus from textile mills. 

Now available for purchase on, for each 5-pack sold, RTR will give a 5-pack to a community in need through our partnership with Project Renewal. Your contribution will help reduce the strain on medical supplies, support our employees and get masks to at-risk, underserved low-income individuals and those suffering from homelessness across New York City.

To ensure we can get masks to those who need them most, our small but mighty in-house Rent the Runway team — with support from other local factories in New York — will produce these masks, enabling us to provide much-needed employment and support U.S. jobs during this time.

For more information about Rent the Runway, please visit our FAQs.