Renting Baby Clothes

Renting baby clothes is a fresh approach that serves the newgeneration who search for eco-friendly options. People have alwaysrented tuxedos, dishes for gala events, and carpentry tools. As youngparents are looking towards sustainable living that includes reusingand recycling, to introduce the rental of infantattire makes sense. After all, baby clothes are expensive, do not receive heavywear and are worn for only a few months. Lucky are the new moms wholive in an area of friends all having babies around the same time, andwhere bags of baby and toddler clothes as well as maternity outfitscontinually circulate amongst families.

Realizing that the manufacturing of clothing is a polluting industry,offering a service that rents baby outfits seemed like a good businessventure to Marjana and Mia Bella Josimovic. Their concept saves money,time and space. It offers a great service to low income families,those new to an area, or having their babies when all theirfriends children are much older.

Josimovic stated, “I started getting into the zero-waste andthe minimalist movement myself and I loved the idea of renting clothes ingeneral. I was talking to some friends of mine, who happened to be newmoms, and after some research, it dawned on us that there are nocurrent options for renting baby clothes. I knew this was somethingevery parent would be interested in, and so Mia Bella Babies wasborn.”

The new California company was founded by a mother and daughter teamwho stated that their goals were “to address the living spaces inwhich many millennial parents are choosing to raise their families; tohelp young families save money; to reduce the environmental impact oftextiles; plus there is the added benefit for parents not having toworry about shopping.”

Mia Bella Babies rents boxes of either 15 or 30 articles of babyclothing for ages from newborn to twelve months. Parents receive thebox and return it once their baby has outgrown everything. Afterlaundering the clothes in a natural detergent, Josimovic  packs them into 100%recycled cardboard boxes using paper tape, then passes them on to thenext family. Small stains arent a real issue, as most moms agreethey can be easily removed. As many people now purchase baby clothessecondhand, they are adept at making any repairs as needed. Onlypresentable clothing is rented. Once garments are no longersuitable to include, they are donated to third world areas orto companies that shred and turn worn fabrics into items such as wallinsulation.

The company presently services families across the U.S., and expects toexpand to Canada by 2019. Future plans include offering maternity andtoddler outfits as well as creating its own line of clothing byproducing items in-house. Every month, along with customer input, MiaBella Babies aims to donate 5% of its proceeds to support variouschild-related causes.

Renting baby clothes enhances the growing circular economy. It is nowestimated that “resell clothing will outsell fast-fashion in as littleas 10 years.”

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Larraine Roulston

A mother of 4 with 6 wonderful grandchildren, Larraine has been active in the environmental movement since the early l970s. When the first blue boxes for recycling were launched in her region, she began writing a local weekly newspaper column to promote the 3Rs. Since that time, she has been a freelance writer for several publications, including BioCycle magazine. As a composting advocate, Larraine authors children's adventure stories that combine composting facts with literature. Currently she is working on the 6th book of her Pee Wee at Castle Compost series, which can be viewed at www.castlecompost.com. As well, Larraine and her husband Pete have built a straw bale home and live in Ontario.

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