When you’re traveling or visiting Grandpa and Grandma, you can rent baby gear, including everything from a crib, play yard and stroller to a bathtub, video monitor and toy bins. You can rent a Snoo Smart Sleeper.
Here’s something else you can rent that can make your life as a new parent easier: Baby and toddler clothes up to size 4T!
Rent-a-Romper makes it possible.
In fact, this innovative company, which launched in March 2020, makes it easy to rent your tot’s entire wardrobe. Rent-a-Romper offers rental clothing subscriptions for babies and toddlers, offering a capsule wardrobe that grows with your child.
Think Stitch Fix for tots–but you send the clothes back when your baby/toddler/preschooler outgrows them (in a prepaid envelope), then dress your baby/toddler in the next-size clothing capsule that comes in the mail.
That’s it! “Our goal is to make parents’ lives easier while easing the negative effects the fashion industry has on the planet,” says Rent-a-Romper founder, Lauren Gregor.
Renting baby clothes is convenient and a huge time saver because you won’t have to constantly be shopping for clothes your child will soon outgrow, Gregor says. PLUS, renting baby clothes is good for the planet.
The fashion industry takes a toll on the environment. But with Rent-a-Romper, you’ll do your part for the planet by helping extend the life of baby and kids’ clothes by outfitting your baby or toddler in new or like-new clothes that you share with other parents.
When your baby outgrows a Rent-a-Romper clothing assortment, you just send the clothes back to Rent-a-Romper for someone else to wear, and dress your tot in the next-size Rent-a-Romper capsule that’s delivered to your door.
Want to learn more? BabyProductsMom talked with Gregor, the Los Angeles mom of two boys, age 5 and 7, about how to rent baby, toddler and preschooler clothes. Read on for how-tos, including how Gregor got her inspiration for this cool business idea.
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Q: Why rent baby and toddler clothes?
LG: Kids are constantly outgrowing their clothes. As a parent, you find yourself having to go shop or go online and look for the next thing. Renting baby and kids clothes saves time and money. We provide a convenient solution that also considers our planet. Our philosophy around extending the clothing is about sustainability. We want to make sure we’re considering the future we’re leaving for the kids.
Q: How does Rent-a-Romper work?
LG: Parents pay a monthly membership fee for a capsule wardrobe they can keep as long as they want. Or they can swap the capsule as often as they want. Our capsule come in two sizes:
For $39/month, this large baby clothing assortment comes with 15 items. The Complete Capsule features everyday clothing, such as three pairs of pajamas, onesies, both long sleeve and short sleeve, maybe a hoodie depending on the weather, and shorts or pants. It will cover your whole base.
For $24/month, this smaller baby clothing assortment comes with seven items. It’s great for people who may already have hand me downs, or their friends and family have already purchased a lot of clothing for them when the baby was born. (Clothes are the most popular new-baby gift. No need to list clothing items on your baby registry. You’ll get them anyway.)
After customers subscribe on www.rentaromper.com, we give them options about the size of capsule they want and sizing for their child. We ask them about their style and their preferences. Every capsule we have is curated specific to the customer around the colors they want, or specific clothing they really need. If you need extra pajamas, for example, just let us know.
Every capsule is different and every customer request is different.
At checkout, use coupon code BABYPRODUCTSMOM for 50% off your 1st month at Rent-a-Romper!
Q: To rent baby and toddler clothes, tell us about shipping.
LG: You choose your delivery date. Every capsule is shipped with a prepaid bag. You can send the capsule back at any time when you’re ready for the next size capsule. Or, you can just send back several items at a time.
We ship anywhere in the U.S.
Often parents sign up with Rent-a-Romper when they’re still expecting and then they choose a delivery date that’s before the baby comes so they’re ready.
Q: What baby and toddler clothing sizes does Rent-a-Romper offer?
LG: We offer size newborn to 4T right now as well as preemie sizes. In a couple of months, we’ll be launching one-time rentals, which will be clothing items you may only use for a couple of months, such as winter coats or rain jackets. For one-time items, we’ll carry up to size 12.
Q: What if, as a customer, you’re off on your baby’s/toddler’s clothing sizes?
LG: Sizing can be tricky, especially in the beginning. We have customers who will subscribe for a full newborn capsule; they get it shipped out before the baby’s born. But once their baby is born, the baby might be able to wear it for two days.
In those cases, we get the next-size capsule ready to go and ship it out.
Some of our customers bridge the gap of two sizes because not every kid grows at the same rate. We will split the capsule with half newborn sizing and half 0 to 3 months size clothing, for example. Then they can swap out individual or groups of pieces that become too small.
If you have a problem with sizing, our customer service team is here to help.
Q: Does Rent-a-Romper rent baby and toddler holiday outfits?
LG: We don’t rent baby and toddler holiday outfits. But parents can request items for the holidays. Right now, we’re packing up a few boxes and one of our customers wanted something for Halloween. We have a pumpkin outfit with a little hat for them. We try to match parents’ requests.
Q: Which clothing brands does Rent-a-Romper carry?
LG: To keep costs low for everybody, we have core wholesale partners with over 30 different brands, such as Baby Sprouts Co, Colored Organics, Clover Baby & Kids, Gerber Children’s Wear, Oliver and Rain, and Peasy. A lot of our wholesale partners are small, women-owned organic cotton brands.
We also get our inventory from donations. Customers can donate clothing their kids have outgrown or have never worn because they grew too fast. If you have old Halloween costumes, or your holiday gear, we’ll take that too.
In each clothing capsule, customers might get new clothes or preowned clothing. Generally, it ends up being a mixture. You might get sent some brand new items and some very gently used items some that have gone through a couple of families in the same capsule.
We try really hard to make each capsule look feel and new. Nothing looks obviously worn.
Q: What if the clothes are stained or ripped when they’re returned?
LG: When customers return their capsules, every item gets inspected for staining, tears and rips. All of our donations go through that same inspection process as well.
But we know kids stain things; we know they’ll rip holes in the knees sometimes. We don’t penalize our customers if they get stains on our clothing. We will try to do stain removal and repair rips. We try to extend the life of clothing as much as we possibly can.
But we also have a policy that if over half of the items come back unusable, we will charge the customer up to one month of their membership fee. That hasn’t happened yet. Our customers are taking amazing care of their clothing.
Q: How did you come up with the idea of Rent-a-Romper?
LG: I was living in Europe for a few years when my kids were really young. There was a company based in the Netherlands at the time that did almost exactly this except they manufactured their own clothing.
When I moved back to the US, I was overwhelmed by the boxes of hand me downs and clothes we never ever opened. I thought, there has to be a better way to do manage your child’s wardrobe so there’s less waste. It reminded me of that company.
I didn’t want to go into the manufacturing business. There are enough clothes out there already we can use. I wanted to build a community that shares clothes and helps parents by taking one thing off their plate. With Rent-a-Romper, you don’t have to shop for clothes or worry about getting out to the stores. We’re doing something about that fact that there is so much waste in this world and there is a lot of waste generated, especially in the fashion industry.
As parents, we can take action about that in a way that helps us.
Q: Do you have a fashion industry background?
LG: I don’t. I had a 15+ year career in strategy and operations. I worked in education and transportation, in the public sector. Having been in business, I’m more of a generalist. I know enough about a lot of things, to get started and think about all aspects of the business.
Q: Inspiration time: Any advice for readers thinking of starting their own business?
LG: Just take it one step at a time, which might mean, for example, figuring out how much shipping is going to cost or where the packages are going to come from, then just start to implement. Starting a business is like putting together a huge puzzle. There are so many pieces. In the beginning, you can plan all you want and get everything down. But the going to be the way you think it’s going to be.
Just move pieces and start to learn and build the puzzle as you go, because if you wait to define the perfect puzzle, you’re never going to get moving. Just learning as fast as you can.
I like to work hard. If one thing isn’t perfect, then fix it.
In my case, there was a lot of hesitation: Can I do this? The more I thought about it and talked with people about it, I wasn’t sure that if I didn’t do it, who was going to?
I had to rely a lot and find great resources in other entrepreneurs and other women in business and rely on their expertise in specific areas. I’ve had a lot of partners who have helped define the business in the areas I don’t have expertise in.
Q: How can readers donate kids’ clothes to Rent-a-Romper?
LG: Current Rent-a-Romper customers can send their clothing donations, clothing that’s not ours, to us. We will accept it and they will get a credit towards their next clothing capsule. You can also donate clothing if you’re not Rent a Romper customer. We pay for shipping.
We accept all children’s clothing for donation except for socks and hats. It can be any size, any type of item or brand. It can be majorly stained. We go through all the donations.
We have a form on our website where we’ll send you shipping labels. We also give you credit you can use or share with a friend.
When clothing is no longer suitable for Rent-a-Romper, we still find a way to put them to good use. We have local community partners in Los Angeles. In December, for example, we’re having a socially-distanced event in which teen moms can come and shop for free.
With COVID, it’s hard to find places to donate children’s clothing. If you have children’s clothing that’s in bad shape, send them to us! (Editor’s note: Rent-a-Romper will take children’s clothes for donation from brand new to terrible shape. Nothing goes to waste!)
When clothing is at the tail, tail end, we have partners that upcycle the textiles into new clothing. Even if clothing is in bad shape, it never goes to a landfill.
To learn more about Rent-a-Romper and engage with the Rent a Romper community, visit Rent a Romper on Facebook and on Instagram and Pinterest @rentaromper.
Don’t forget to use Coupon code BABYPRODUCTSMOM for 50% off your 1st month!