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The Pros And Cons With Rental Childrenswear

The world of fashion has been focused on sustainability in recent years, and designer childrenswear is no different.

According to a study by Ergobaby, a new couple spends £997 on baby clothes in their first year of life, a huge proportion of which end up going unused because of just how quickly children grow out of them.

A range of solutions have been proposed for this, from buying “grows with you” clothes, to opting for fewer more expensive but more durable pieces, to taking advantage of charity shops and networking with other parents.

One more radical solution is to use a rental service for children’s clothes, which provide a range of sustainable brands that can be worn until a child grows out of them and then were simply returned for another set of bigger clothes.

It is like renting a dress or suit for a special occasion for your child, except for everyday clothes.

In theory, this solves the problem of sustainability, as clothes are returned, deep cleaned and sent to another family to get the most wear out of them and in theory providing a greener solution by ensuring clothes do not go to landfill.

However, the rental clothing system’s claims of a circular economy for clothes have been called into question, and a study by the Finnish journal Environmental Research Letters suggests that renting might be even worse than fast fashion and throwing clothes out.

The reason for this is that whilst the clothes themselves avoid the landfill, they need to be packaged, transported and delivered multiple times, which is a major part of its environmental cost.

As well as this, the constant cleaning that ensures they are hygienic is also a major issue.

Instead, opting for buying fewer, higher-quality clothes from sustainable brands and buying clothes second hand are, according to the study, much better alternatives.

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