This week our accelerator course was all about impact and sustainability and how we can convey our impact to our customers. I love getting into the detail so straight away was thinking how I can prove that renting is much more sustainable. But then I went down a rabbit hole and started panicking.
Unfortunately there are no studies out there that look at baby clothes rental. Studies generally focus on rental models like Rent the Runway where designer outfits are rented for a one-off short period of time then dry cleaned. In cases like this the eco-credentials are shaky. The fact that baby clothes are rented for a longer period of time, worn many times, and wet washed, makes a huge difference, but there is no published graph to show this! Another option is to get a company to perform a Life Cycle Assessment to calculate how much carbon/water etc Borro produces and thus show how sustainable the service is. However this is expensive and also requires me to have enough data for them to base it on!
Then you've got to consider that the eco-credentials of a service obviously depend a lot on how it is used. Renting will not be sustainable if customers use it in addition to everything they already buy, just to have more baby clothes. So how do I deal with that? You can see why I panicked!
As with a lot of sustainability issues, things become more complex the more you look at them. Luckily I like the detail so I'm committed to looking into this and coming up with some facts and figures that prove that Borro is a sustainable service. Watch this space!