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Why is renting baby clothes sustainable?
As we all know, living a sustainable lifestyle is all about reducing what we use, reusing what we have and recycling things at the end of their lifecycle. Renting baby and kids' clothes really embodies this approach.
The power of renting clothes is all about reducing the amount of new clothes we create. Although there is certainly an environmental impact associated with washing and maintaining clothes, according to WRAP approximately 77% of the carbon footprint of clothing in the UK comes from the extraction and processing of the raw materials. Likewise, the majority of the water used in a garment's lifecycle is for the growing and production of fibres. So reducing the amount of new items is vital.
With baby and kids' clothes, if you buy them they are likely to linger in your house for a significant period of time after they've been used. Either waiting for baby no 2 or 3, to find another child to pass them on to, to go to the charity shop, or to get resold. All the while, more garments are being produced to fill the need for more clothes. With renting, clothes are returned as soon as you're finished with them and prepared for the next family straight away.
At Borro we have no minimum number of items you need to rent, so you can rent just what you need, when you need it. This means that no garments are sat at the back of your drawer even for a few months, freeing them up for others who need them.
The power is in your hands here as reduction is the key here. We have to use rental to replace buying something new or second hand.
By renting, we can maximise the use of each item of clothing by providing a service that ensures it's well maintained, repaired and enjoyed by as many families as possible. Kids' clothes are kept in circulation, not at the back of a drawer, meaning they're being reused as much as possible. Obviously buying second hand is also a great option to help us reuse garments, but we think renting just has the edge. You can read here why Renting is more sustainable than second hand.
Recycling after rental
If clothes are really beyond repair then we try to upcycle them, or if that's not possible, the last resort is to recycle them. As we are responsible for the clothes, we ensure that none ever end up in landfill.