If you don't know about By Rotation yet, they're one to have on your radar. When their founder Eshita Kabra-Davies witnessed the first-hand effects of textile waste during her honeymoon to her motherland Rajasthan, India, she immediately knew that something was wrong with one of her passions in life: fashion.
Determined to transform the way we consume fashion, luxury fashion rental app, By Rotation, empowers you to do good for your wardrobe, your wallet and planet at the same time. We caught up with Eshita to get more of a BTS behind this female-founded business and here's what she told us.
What is the inspiration behind the By Rotation?
I founded By Rotation as a side hustle in April 2019 before quitting my job in investment management in order to focus my time on bringing about change in the fashion industry. I was planning my honeymoon to my motherland Rajasthan, India and turned to Instagram for inspiration – cities to go to, hotels to stay at, landmarks to visit, restaurants to eat at and… what to wear! That’s when I started thinking about fashion rental and the lack of options in the UK, a very first-world problem, and how pragmatic it would be to just borrow from someone else.
When I arrived in Rajasthan I was upset by the level of textile waste she saw everywhere. That’s when I felt compelled to change and decided to launch By Rotation, the UK’s first social fashion rental app.
What does sustainability mean to you & the brand?
Our business model is entirely built on sustainability, our priorities are to remain digital, enhance the user's journey through our in-house developed machine learning tools, not to purchase inventory for the business and include a wide audience from all over the UK, and eventually globally. Our community and technology are our strengths. We find that a lot of ‘rotators’ come to us because they are looking to be more conscious with their fashion choices. We often get asked if we buy any stock and inventory as some other platforms do, but from the start we have been very strict on being purely peer-to-peer to avoid adding any new items into circulation and eventually landfill - it defeats the point of renting in our opinion. As a constantly improving business, we strive to better our sustainability credentials with innovations such as the carbon emissions calculator feature in our app. We are always looking at ways to educate our users better on how to ensure items are cleaned and packed in the most environmentally friendly way possible.
What are your favourite ways to style our jewellery with your rented pieces?
They are so versatile I can wear them with most items you can rent from the app! But I love a high waisted jean and silk blouse to show them off for a casual day look.
Why is By Rotation so passionate about changing the way we see fashion?
At By Rotation, we truly believe that making quality fashion accessible to people from all walks of life will help in curbing the linear path of consumption where the average person is on. We want to transform the way that we consume fashion and disrupt the usual journey of retail through rental. We are setting out to convince everyone that we no longer need to buy fast fashion and can instead share quality clothing with each other. There is no way our planet can digest the 24 million items that are being bought at H&M alone every day. Business models and circular systems such as By Rotation are the future of consumption, while upcycling and new methods of production such as digital clothing will provide the creative and viable alternatives to new fashion. After all, what may no longer feel new to you can actually be new for somebody else.
What key changes need to be made in the fashion industry?
There is still a lot of work to be done by big brands in changing their production methods and how they push consumption, consumers have the right to transparency so they can make better informed choices. Since founding By Rotation, my biggest inspirations have been successful resale marketplaces such as Vestiaire Collective and Depop. They have completely shifted the mindset around preloved fashion - making it cool to wear second hand and vintage. We’re now prouder than ever to tell the story behind a one-of-a-kind treasure than another ubiquitous item trending on Instagram. With By Rotation, I wish to enable people to reconsider their consumption habits and ask them to embrace the sharing economy within fashion, one of the most traditional industries of the world but also one of the most polluting.
How do you choose what pieces are featured on By Rotation?
As a peer to peer platform we allow most pieces that our community have in their wardrobe to be listed on the app. We regularly partner with VIPs and brands to bring more curated options to the platform too. We have listings from the latest Ganni dress to teeny tiny Jacquemus bags to custom made wedding dresses. We believe the possibilities for rental are almost endless. Some of our most popular pieces are Rixo, Cecilie Banhsen, Rejina Pyo, Reformation, Dior (people love the Saddlebag), Stine Goya, among many others. We really believe there is something on the app for everyone, and if you can't find it let us know and we'll use our community to source it as best we can!
Is there anything exciting in the pipeline we should know about?
So much, and we can't wait to tell you. But look out for some really exciting in person events and experiences this summer! Business-wise, we intend to open up our app globally and have local communities, being self-sufficient and rotating with each other.
What inspires you?
My talented team and our amazing inspiring community!
Silver or gold jewellery?
I love a bit of mix and match, but my gold pieces are on rotation at the moment.
If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would it be?
Restrictions allowing, where it all began; Rajasthan, India.