While 2020 saw clothing sales fall by 25%, the emerging rental market experienced its best year yet. As a global pandemic dramatically changed daily routines and lifestyles, fashion rental platforms saw a sharp rise (as much as 600%) in the amount of people renting clothes and accessories. Now, Arket has announced that it will join the rental space, offering products from its children’s collection in order to encourage a more sustainable approach to shopping.
The high street brand has partnered with Circos, an Amsterdam-based rental subscription service for both children’s and maternity clothes founded, according to the company’s website, ‘with the mission to increase the use and prolong the life of garments that are typically used for only a short time.’ Arket joins brands such as Adidas and Patagonia, which are already available to rent on the platform.
You do have to be a member to enjoy the service but it could actually work out as much cheaper than buying clothes. The basic cost is €19.50 (£17.28), with pieces priced individually but at a fraction of the original store price. This means you can control exactly what you’re spending and how many pieces you would like to rent each month (and for how long). Plus, there’s a professional laundry service included and no fee for any accidental damage. The idea is that it’s convenient sustainability, meaning you get to reduce your family’s carbon footprint by up to 80% without having to spend lots of time and effort doing so.
From the Arket collection, you can rent designs individually or as part of an edited bundle of clothes, delivered directly to you. Pernilla Wohlfahrt, Arket’s managing director, says: ‘We’re really happy to be able to give our customers the possibility to share products with other families and proud to join Circos in their vision for a more circular everyday life. Children’s clothes need to be designed with a longer-term horizon in mind, and all our garments are consciously intended to be handed down when outgrown.’
As Arket said in a press release about the new initiative, ‘A typical child grows through eight sizes in the first two years of its life, and on average, their parents buy around 280 pieces of clothing during this time – most of which are only used for a few months, or even less. Renting instead of buying allows customers to share the footprint of the products and also saves time, money and space as the wardrobe can grow along with the child.’
As mentioned, you’re able to keep your rentals for as long as you like, which means you only need return them when your children grow out of them. Arket says that ‘between eight and ten families will share and enjoy the same piece of clothing, and once the product eventually wears out, the materials are repurposed to make new products.’
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We love this cool London-based boutique whose clothes are designed to be handed down and stand the test of time. You can expect to see a combination of heavenly eye-catching prints and well-made basics that are not only incredibly soft, but sustainable too. And you will be giving back, as a proportion of each sale is donated to charity. We applaud you, Vild – House of Little!
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If you have the budget then this heavenly collection of 100% organic clothes is for you. Its ridiculously soft unisex babygrows, T-shirts and leggings are all produced ethically in Europe in the chicest neutral tones. We really can’t get enough of the minimal, graphic prints and clever use of earthy colours.
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This boutique recently came to our attention during lockdown thanks to its cool hand printed ‘home s’cool’ T- shirts. We also love the tightly curated selection of games and toys, books and arts & crafts kits… in fact, everything you need to get your child (and you) through the holidays.
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If you have a party to decorate then this is your one-stop shop. With everything from balloons to garlands to plates to party bags, Meri Meri has it covered. It has a surprisingly large array of themes and every single one has been carefully crafted with the sweetest illustrations. On top of this offering, it also has the cutest baking sets, lovely stationery and gorgeous baby gifts. Check it out and you will see why it makes us feel so warm and fuzzy just looking at it.
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No list would be complete without the inclusion of our favourite soft toys in the world. May we introduce the Ricemonster family. Coming in many shapes and sizes, these ridiculously sweet fruit, veg, plants and animals will be a hit with anyone. And now the tiny 8-person brand has expanded into homeware, stationery and accessories featuring the same little guys. And with such a range of characters, there really is a Ricemonster for everyone. Although, we’ll warn you now, picking between them is very tricky indeed.
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We love this small UK-based brand that has mum in mind, as much as her child. Carrie Anne, the owner and ‘purveyor of mama-merch’ has an eye for both cute and empowering logos and nice retro type. And whilst we love the babywear, we find ourselves drifting towards the Mère Soeur t-shirts and totes (made extra-roomy for all that mum clutter) and black ‘mother’ pin badges. In fact, we’ll just take the lot.
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For a huge collection of hand-crafted products from creative independent sellers, you can stop the search, for NOTHS has the lot. With over 5000 partners, you are guaranteed to find that super-thoughtful, unique gift you can be sure that no-one else has.
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This gorgeous little shop is based in Islington and feels like some sort of Narnia of independent design and well, just perfect gifts. It is packed to the rafters with cute stuff that you will love as much as your child. If you are trying to step away from the plastic and embrace the sustainable, and aesthetically pleasing, then this is the store for you. With a huge range of really unique finds that you won’t see anywhere else, this is one of our first go-tos.
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If you are unsure on exactly what it is you are looking for, but just need it to be stylish, then Trouva’s your shop. Primarily selling homewear, the online store has an excellent curation of independent shops, stocking design-led products. Head to the ‘gifts’ tab and select ‘kids’ and you’ll find a lovely range of the chicest items.
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We have been huge fans of Young Double ever since we spotted its Breakfast Club sweatshirts. This tiny brand, made up of just two people, hand prints all the garments in-house and has a really nice colour palette of yellow, cherry red, greens, browns and neutrals to pick from. Everything in the shop is ethically sourced or organic, and we can personally testify to how well they wash – so your kids can wear them time and time again with no fading or shrinkage.
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This dreamy store contains everything kids, homeware and toys. If you are looking to create a magical wonderland for your little one, then look no further. From the cutest rugs and bedding, to gorgeous wallpaper and cushions- this is a child’s dream while steering clear of gaudy colours- keeping everyone happy.
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Tootsa came to us via a friend’s recommendation, and we have never looked back. These unisex clothes are all sourced ethically, using the best quality fabrics to allow for a lot of washing. Here you can find the funnest prints that both kids and adults will fall in love with, in the brightest colours that will make you feel cheerful just looking at them.
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Known for its Strong Girls Club brand, this female-owned business aims to ’empower women and girls through positive, strong and meaningful merch’. And that it does. Here you will find a small- but perfectly formed- range of T-shirts and sweatshirts for both mum and daughter, celebrating their womanhood. Just don’t miss the ‘Like a girl’ tees which we will be ordering in both colour-ways.