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Re-use of baby clothing service

(32 Posts)
LLBfashion Wed 24-Oct-18 17:39:42

I'm a young entrepreneur and I want to set up a service making re-use of baby clothing (using second hand) easy and accessible. Essentially, it would be a subscription to curated bundles, in the bundle size you choose. I would collaborate with charities to supply the clothes as well as accept clothing from parents in exchange for vouchers. What do you think?
Where would I find my customers?
Do you think it is important for customers that I have a social enterprise (not for profit business looking to support children-related causes)?
All input/thoughts are very welcome.

OP’s posts: |
FlibbertyGiblets Wed 24-Oct-18 17:48:10

Do you mean turn clothes into quilts or cushion covers?

NWQM Wed 24-Oct-18 17:55:58

Do you mean people buy bundles of 2nd hand clothes? By subscription do you mean that they sign up to a bundle of 0-3 but then a bundle of 3-6 months old arrive? If I'm honest then clothes in supermarkets etc are so cheap that I can't really imagine having wanted unseen and therefore unchosen clothes that I had had to pay for.

itsjustmebeingme Wed 24-Oct-18 17:58:13

Think it needs explaining Made into something else or just a bundle of second hand clothes? People selling big bundles on eBay/fb for cheap, so not sure quite who your client base would be

LLBfashion Wed 24-Oct-18 18:34:05

Thanks for your replies so far. I see that I wasn't clear enough. Yes, it is bundles of second-hand clothing and the idea is to rent them out, and exchange them as the baby grows.
The idea comes from an environmental perspective and also I think re-use can be made so much easier.

OP’s posts: |
NWQM Wed 24-Oct-18 20:07:49

As another poster has said you can get large bundles of second hand clothes really cheaply and no pressure to keep in a state to return. Also the informal 'what comes around goes around' ie passing on to someone else is very strong. I'm also wondering who the market would be. I suppose at a push I'd have been interested but the clothes would have to have been very good and not a missmatch which I think you might get if you go down the charity route to source.

makingmiracles Wed 24-Oct-18 20:18:46

DEpends on a lot of factors really, what sort of brands will you be offering? I can’t see people paying a lot to rent tesco/tu/George clothing, you’d need to go higher end like little bird, frugi, Boden, tigerlily etc and how much were you thinking of charging subs?

There is a company local to me who do this but their clothing is lush, bright colourful colurs and all ethical brands and all organic...

Since2016 Wed 24-Oct-18 20:24:20

Pregnant and mum of 1. There’s no way I’d be interested sorry. Huge market in second hand already and as PP have said - lots of accessible v cheap clothing already. Anyone really wanting to not contribute to landfill will probably receive hand me downs / shop in charity shops. Plus baby clothes often get destroyed - poo, vomit, food after weaning! Sorry but this doesn’t sound like a goer and I can’t think of anyone who’d be interested!

INeedNewShoes Wed 24-Oct-18 20:27:37

This week I bought a bundle of 5 outfits for my toddler for £10 including postage on eBay. I just can't see how you could compete with that.

The only way I might be interested is if there was an absolute guarantee of all items being in excellent condition (whereas every few eBay purchases I get something with thread unraveling or a permanent stain).

I agree about the environmental perspective which is why I've decided to buy second hand.

Whynotnowbaby Wed 24-Oct-18 20:36:17

I agree with pps, I get given more hand-me-downs than I can use already and I suspect many people do as most people know other parents with dc a little older and a little younger than their own. I also wouldn’t like the pressure of having to return the clothes in pristine condition for the next hirer, in my family/ friend circle there is always an understanding that you bin what (inevitably) gets ruined and pass on what is still good alongside anything new you may have acquired. Also agree that for this to be appealing to anyone it would have to be very nice, high end clothing for a low price.
What were you thinking of charging and what would your ts and cs be? For example what happens if my son destroys the lovely Biden jacket you send or the Joules jumper disappears at preschool?

overmydeadbody Wed 24-Oct-18 20:44:42

Who would your market be?

As others have already said, second hand bundles are easy to find and cheap already, and loads of people get hand me downs for free from friends.

I suppose you could try to appeal to those people who want to dress their kids on designer gear on a budget, if that was what you supplied.

You won't make any profit though.

overmydeadbody Wed 24-Oct-18 20:47:22

It just sounds like you want people to pay for baby clothes, use them, then give them back to you so you can sell them to other parents...

mindthechaos Wed 24-Oct-18 20:54:33

I’m not sure who your target would be most people get second hand offerings from family and friends. I also think it would be a lot of pressure to return the clothes in decent condition as babies and toddlers are so messy. I also wouldn’t donate clothes in exchange for vouchers as I prefer to donate it to a charity shop so that the people who need second hand items can actually afford them

NordicNobody Wed 24-Oct-18 21:16:56

I actually quite like this idea in theory, but I think it needs a lot of work to make it fit reality. I was thinking initially "that sounds great, I'd love it if every 3 months the next 3 months worth of clothes just appeared at my door without me needing to think about it". Anything which reduces the mental load for women is a good thing in my opinion. But then I remembered that in reality my son just didn't grow like that. He followed the standard sizes until he was about 6 months, then he carried on fitting some of his 6 month stuff until he was almost a year. Things got too short for him before they got too tight, so trousers needed replacing but tshirts didnt. He's just turned 2 and I can't remember the last time I went out and bought a bundle of next size up stuff, he just grows out of stuff in dribs and drabs. His size is also very different in different stores, and even in the same store depending on the item. He fits m&s stuff well, Tu clothing he fits 12-18 months, H&M he will fit 12-18 month tops, but 6-9 month in their trousers etc. So a mixed bag of clothes from different stores in the same size could end up only having a few things that actually fit him. So although I like the idea in theory it just doesn't quite reflect the way children actually need to be shopped for.

The other big problem for me would be the need to return them. No way would I ever use that service if I had to return the clothes. My son is the grubbiest kid on the planet and I buy second hand clothes specifically to facilitate that. If there's a muddy puddle, he's going to be rolling around in it. If there's a patch of brambles, he's going to rip his trousers on them. I don't care because I get them from eBay or charity shops for a few quid. I wouldn't rent anything I had to keep in a returnable condition for the same reason I don't buy nice things brand new.

Sorry for the essay but those are the main points for me. But I think you should keep working on the idea to see if you can make it viable because I do think there's something there potentially, and any outsourcing of the mental load is a really valuable thing!

Racecardriver Wed 24-Oct-18 21:20:37

I find that most clothing only just survives my two children. I do give away/eBay whatever is left over but it is not much Zand usually in poor condition. I don’t buy second hand st all because I know it won’t last for the youngest so what’s the point?

Minimonkeysmum Wed 24-Oct-18 21:22:44

I love buying secondhand, but I wouldn't rent things - there's just too much pressure to keep things pristine! I'd buy a secondhand bundle, but wouldn't want to rent it.

Joinourclub Wed 24-Oct-18 21:25:20

I’d love a way to get rid of all my baby clothes easily and ethically. I pass on the good bits to friends or charity shops, but have loads of old vests and sleepsuits that the charity shops don’t want.

Di11y Wed 24-Oct-18 21:31:18

there's a charity I think in thame that has monthly open day and you turn up to the hall and take/donate whatever up to 1yo.

Not convinced it would work - postage costs etc.

Surinamtoad Wed 24-Oct-18 21:37:54

I'd love to do something like this. Maybe some allowance could be built in for clothes that get ruined. I'd also be keen to rent toys/ equipment etc, to avoid having to store things and forget what I have. I live in a flat, without much storage space.

MadeForThis Wed 24-Oct-18 21:38:32

Selling works not renting.

If clothes are second hand when you start them they will only survive 2-3 kids max. That's hardly worth the effort of setting up a rental system.

To rent rather than buy from eBay it would have to be very cheap.

How do you control clothes that aren't returned?

I can see how people would want to exchange old clothes for vouchers but I don't see the market who would want to rent.

notangelinajolie Wed 24-Oct-18 21:45:42

It sounds good but I don't think it would work. Used baby clothes are everywhere - mum friends with growing babies, nephews/nieces/siblings hand me downs, bags full on ebay, charity shops, car boots … the list goes on and most of them come free to just a couple of pounds. What brands are you thinking off? If you wanted to make this work you would have to include postage, packing, cleaning and not to mention your time and perhaps staff managing all this. This would all add massively to the cost - and if you were thinking of clothes from the likes of Asda and Aldi - I can't see anyone paying that kind of premium for used clothes that are cheap enough to buy new.

Expensive designer ranges may work. But the admin and cleaning costs would still apply so you would have to think very carefully about price. If you are able to source previous years collections from the manufacturer in bulk and put together bundles of clothing that are expensive to buy new - you may have a chance. But - there is always the possibility that the clothes will come back damaged or not back at all.

Sorry op - not sure there is any money to be made for anyone, anywhere in all this.

notangelinajolie Wed 24-Oct-18 21:52:27

Also adding that I wouldn't want to rent baby clothes. I'd be too scared to put them on baby in case he/she was sick and then terrified of shrinking them in the wash. Way too much worry and stress for a young mum - they have enough to worry about as it is.

Nellyelora Wed 24-Oct-18 21:52:53

I've come across a company already doing this in the UK although I can't recall the name. A Danish company called Vigga also provides the same service. From an ethical perspective it was something I was interested in but it was far far too expensive, it's significantly cheaper for me to go to charity shops. The ones near me are in affluent areas and I can often buy the Boden etc brands for £1-£2.

Further, there's the issue of sizing. Some brands come up small/large - do I get a refund if the 6-9 months tops are too small for my 6 month old??

I'm another who is also bombarded with hand me downs. I'm expecting my second dc soon and I've had to tell no less than 7 different people that no I don't need any baby clothes/pushchair /cot/bouncer etc - parents seem desperate to get rid of stuff. I clearly have this stuff given I already have a young child!

What happens if items are damaged?

EspressoButler Wed 24-Oct-18 21:56:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Valkarie Wed 24-Oct-18 22:35:51

I like the idea and applaud the environment credentials. Unlike others, I actually would use a service like this.

I do agree with others that it would be difficult to make money though. You would need to have an understanding of the brand identity without trying to be all things to all people. If you are trying to be charitable for people on a tiny budget them you will be looking for donations of the baby items and have the recipients be able to pay very little. Or for those looking to have some nice items, smaller bundles of posher brands to supplement the cheaper basics they own.

People would need to be able to order as the baby grows, not follow the prescribed sizes. My ds1 was into 12-18 month clothes by 9 months and ds2 seems likely to do the same. Smaller sizes have mostly lasted them both with plenty of life left as they are only worn for a few months. Even theones i bought second hand to begin with. There is much more wear once they are mobile and eating.

I do wish you well, but suggest that you put a lot of thought into this before any investment.

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