Babies size up clothing seemingly every few weeks when they're little! And as much fun as it is to dress them up in cute outfits, constantly replacing clothing can get expensive really quickly. Borro is changing that by creating a rental service for great quality kids' clothing. Good for the environment, good for your wallet: what's not to love!
GRASP: Tell us about Borro and where the idea came from.
Sarah: The idea for Borro was born soon after my second baby. With two little ones running around I just didn’t have the time to buy, sort, and resell my baby’s wardrobe every 3 months. I also wanted to shop as sustainably as possible, but I found that buying new organic clothes was really expensive, and I didn’t have the time to trawl all the resale sites as my baby would grab my phone off me every time she was breastfeeding!
GRASP: In the first months of a child's life, they go through so many clothes! It's amazing to be able to address the environmental and financial cost of that. How does Borro help families to see the bigger picture impact of renting clothes as opposed to buying?
Sarah: The main reason I started Borro was to make it easier for parents to be more sustainable, but since being on this journey, I’ve found that renting has so many more benefits, and the impact will be different for each family. Some of our customers love saving space, or discovering new organic baby brands, or find it really useful to spread the cost of their baby clothes across each month rather than paying a large amount upfront. It also just makes more sense to only pay for the months that your baby wears something - if they suddenly grow or the weather changes, you just send the clothes back and stop paying. Not to mention that renting is just much cheaper to start with - our customers save about 60% compared to buying new. Whatever people’s motivation for renting, I think it’s great if we can normalise things like renting, swapping or shopping secondhand for our children. That way they will grow up with a healthier attitude towards consumption than we have!
GRASP: How do you keep your clothes looking wonderful?
Sarah: We try to be as eco-friendly as possible with our washing - we wash the clothes at 40 degrees, using eco-friendly non-biological washing powder. We never use dry cleaning as the chemicals involved are toxic. We’re hoping to move to a bigger facility soon with an ozone chamber to sanitise garments as well. Cleaning and repair is one of the biggest impacts we can have in terms of keeping the clothes in the loop for longer. As a busy parent you might not prioritise scrubbing stains until they come out, but that’s why we do it for you! And we never charge parents for stains as obviously babies are forever getting their clothes covered in something!
GRASP: Tell us about your work with CHOOSE LOVE.
Sarah: It was really important to us to be able to help more parents in some way, especially those without the privileges we enjoy in the UK. We donate a percentage of every order to buying baby essentials for refugees through Choose Love. Having a baby is hard enough, I just can’t imagine being far away from home, trying to survive without even basics like nappies and warm clothes.
GRASP: What are your hopes for the future?
Sarah: I would really love to see renting become more mainstream - we’re seeing the rise of rental for womenswear, so I hope this spreads to baby clothes as I think it makes even more sense for babies! They grow so fast and all you have left of when they were small is the photos you took of them, so you want to make sure they look gorgeous in every one!
In terms of Borro in particular, our next step is to secure some funding in order to be able to build our team. We’re also always looking for new organic brands to stock and will be reaching out to Frugi and Patagonia, as well as some new international brands soon!
On a personal note, I hope I can build the business to a level where it has a really positive environmental impact, and make my children proud of the business they inspired!