'I thought enough is enough'
By Katie O'Keeffe
“I used to treat clothes as disposable items, buying an item to just wear once and bragging about never wearing the same item twice. One day when clearing out my wardrobe, I found a shopping bag from a fast fashion brand with three dresses inside, which I had bought a few months back and had forgotten about entirely. That and a worrying bank balance, I thought enough is enough, I am not buying another stitch of clothes.”
That was Laura White’s experience as she explained the idea behind byBorrow, an Irish based peer to peer platform for lending and selling secondhand and sustainable fashion.
Laura continued: “In 2020 I started to share my journey of ‘no new clothes’ with friends and other like minded people on Instagram. As a result, this opened my world to understanding the full ethical and environmental damages of the fashion industry, this made me feel sick to my stomach and fuelled my mission more.”
She added: “During lockdown, I collected donated clothes from close friends and family to sell via my Instagram for charity. From just one call out, I received 60 full black sacks of clothes. 50-60 per cent of those items still had their tags on.
“ I was in shock. I thought to myself, there's a serious problem here and we're all at it!
“I thought there needs to be a way for us to slow down items from going to landfill, a way to share our wardrobes in a trusted and safe way. The search for the technology which could facilitate the peer-to-peer lending and selling of second hand fashion began and byBorrow was born.”
It is predicted that 44,000 weddings will occur in Ireland this year. If at just one of those weddings, 30 guests were to rewear, shop secondhand or rent an item, the carbon emissions saved would be the equivalent to a commercial flight from Dublin to Amsterdam.
If everyone rented a preloved item this Saturday night, the CO2 emissions saved would be the equivalent to taking 56 million cars off the road for a day.
Laura explained: “The key difference between byBorrow and the competition is that we're peer-to-peer, meaning anyone who's ever bought an outfit for any occasion, can upload it and choose to lend or resell and manage the entire process. The more diverse our users are, the more size and style inclusive we will be.”
byBorrow aims to empower all women in making more sustainable wardrobe choices, no matter their shopping habits. The platform facilitates both peer-to-peer and brand to consumer lending and selling of apparel for all women to join. The byBorrow mission is to provide the largest, inclusive and community focused platform for carbon conscious fashionistas.
Founder Laura said: “If we can make every woman on the planet, who are privileged enough, to consider, even once, to borrow an item or buy second hand before buying new from fast fashion brands, then we’ll have done our job.”
Customers who visit the site can expect a really quick and easy to use way to upload items from their wardrobe and manage the process end to end with other users.
They have complete control over pricing, availability and the platform is entirely free to list items and browse for items.
byBorrow subscription is currently free to join and users can make money from clothes hanging idle in their wardrobes.