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How renting can transform how you shop for children’s clothes and toys – saving you money as well as reducing your carbon footprint

With six children at home and a passion for cool kids’ clothes, Jennie Fletcher knows better than most how costs can mount up when it comes to kitting out the little people in our lives.


But she has managed to get her clothing fix while saving hundreds of pounds… and her secret is renting.


Jennie, who is a stay-at-home mum with four children and two step-children aged between six months and 18 years, discovered by chance a company called thelittleloop.


Its tagline is ‘For mini adventures to messy play. Made with their planet, and your pocket, in mind’ and it lives up to its promises.


Jennie rented 52 pieces in a year, which if bought would have cost her £1,252. But by renting, she saved a massive £999.


Not to mention reducing her carbon footprint. She is estimated to have saved 368 CO2e and 15,852 litres of water – the equivalent of 1,472 miles driven and 79 bathtubs.


And the icing on the cake? There are no bags of outgrown clothes cluttering up the house for younger children to grow into.


Jennie, 39, from Nottinghamshire, said: “I saw thelittleloop mentioned online and decided to investigate. 


“To begin with, I thought there must be a catch somewhere as it's a brilliant idea - and has saved me an awful lot of money.


“I'm a bit of a shopaholic when it comes to clothes, especially children's clothes, and this means I can get my clothing fix, while doing some good for the planet and actually saving myself lots of money.


“And the brands they have are amazing. I love buying the clothes from the smaller, independent, more environmentally aware companies, but they are normally a lot more expensive than run of the mill clothing.


“thelittleloop means I can shop these brands and when I fancy picking something new, or the seasons change, I can swap out anything that isn't being worn as much as it could be.


“I've told lots of my friends about thelittleloop but I think they seem to think there's a catch to it too, but there really isn’t!”


With so many exciting new toys and clothes ranges filling the shelves all year round, as a parent, it can be tempting to buy new every time your little one need something.

Especially on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, January sales, special promotions - or any of the countless discount days for that matter.


We receive hundreds of emails with the word ‘sale’ or ‘discount’ in the subject line, whipping us up into a buying frenzy and the feeling that we need to buy something now or we’ll somehow be missing out. 


As Jennie shows, the reality is there are often much better ways to find what you need, that are kinder on both your wallet and the environment. 


In recent years, sustainable children’s toys have really taken off, but they often come with a hefty price tag that is out of budget for many families.


Thankfully, toy share platforms have started popping up, which provide a rental service whereby parents can rent beautiful, sustainable toys for their children, and send them back when they are ready to try something new.


This service tends to come at a cheaper price than buying brand new toys, making them more accessible to many families, and the toys provided are usually of such a high quality that they will go on to be played with and enjoyed by the children of many more families. 


Companies like Whirli offer this service with all kinds of beautiful wooden toys and games that are built to last, and other similar services are popping up all the time, catering to different areas of interest.


Bike Club runs on a similar system where you can rent a bike for your child for however long you need, without the overhead of having to fork out for a brand new bicycle.


New platform RentMy, described as the Airbnb of everything, is also a great place to find children’s items to rent, saving cash and precious storage space.


Items recently listed include everything from soft play, children’s bikes, Nintendo Switch games, toddler bike seats, clarinets, a Jumperoo for babies and party decorations.


You can rent out your own items for babies and children, and start making money on them – a great way to boost your income.

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How thelittleloop works


Much like children’s toys, clothes can end up costing a small fortune, especially if you want to delve into the world of ethical and sustainably produced children’s clothes!


There are now many online services that rent out children’s clothes, making things simple for many families.


By entering a few details about what you like and your child’s size, you can ensure that you always have a wardrobe full of clothes that actually fit, and you won’t have to pay full price for them!


Simply send them back when you’re done with them and they can be passed on to another family.


Alex Chadderton, 30, a mum-of-two from Todmorden in West Yorkshire, tried out thelittleloop’s system and said she was hugely impressed.


“I was immediately struck by how immensely efficient the postage system is for thelittleloop! Within two days, I had received the kids' clothes I had ordered, in excellent condition, through the post in a sustainable mail bag which I can use to send the clothes back again!


“All of my favourite ethically produced kids' clothing brands can be found on thelittleloop which is fantastic - not only am I saving money by kitting out my twins using this service, I know the clothes are being manufactured responsibly.”


thelittleloop, Bundlee, and Graceful Changes are all excellent starting points if you want to find out more about renting children’s clothes. 


So why not save money, help the planet and kit your children out with all the gear they need – simply by renting!

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