By Rachel Hung, Co-founder of Bundle 'n Joy
"The dress must follow the body of a woman, not the body following the shape of the dress." - Hubert de Givenchy
At BnJ, we are focused on assisting mamas-to-be to dress well, in an affordable, sustainable way. Say goodbye to clothes that 'make do', or buying clothes in a ‘size up’ because 'I can still wear them post baby' (yes, agreed but what about your pre pregnancy smaller sized clothes?), or ‘I’ll wear this ill-fitting T-shirt dress that cost £10 because it is cheap and well, it fits’ - for now.
That’s fast fashion in a nutshell. Buying inexpensive clothing that is made by fashion retailers in response to the latest trends, and let’s face it – maternity wear is a unique trend that lasts at best 6 months, at most, a couple of years if you include the nursing aspect.
Fortune reports that the women on average spend $500 per pregnancy on maternity clothes. In fact, people regularly wear only 20% of their wardrobe, costing an average 81 lbs clothing waste PER person PER year – is this crazy or what? While companies like Rent the Runway are aiming at a ‘closetless future’, here at BnJ we are aiming for a dream maternity closet in ‘the cloud’, where you can access stylish clothes that are tailored for your bump and return them when they are no longer useful.
Here are some reasons why renting is the new buying and why we are at the cusp of a rental revolution, and maternity wear is the place to start.
1. We need to preserve our environment
The fashion industry is ranked fourth in terms of its negative environmental impact - just below housing, transport, and food. The carbon footprint of clothing production in 2015 surpassed the CO2 equivalent of international flights and shipping combined – it uses about 93 billion cubic metres of water annually and produced an estimated 1.2 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. Under half the ‘fast fashion’ products worldwide is thrown out under a year. The total footprint of clothing in use in the UK was 26.2 million tonnes CO2 in 2016 - up from 24 million tonnes in 2012.
2. We need more Marie Kondo in our lives
The KonMari movement of only keeping items that ‘spark joy’ is (weirdly) right. Take a moment to imagine your wardrobe. How many items do you actually love? Space is a commodity especially in cities like London where the average space a wardrobe has is about as wide as the width of your arms. Which of us here have clothes packed away in the attic that do not see the light of day?
3. Don’t be a statistic
The UK consumes around 1.1 million tonnes of clothing per year. 1/3 of Londoners buy new clothes every 6 months, 3/5 Londoners give or throw away clothes because they no longer fit (1) and almost half of people in London never buy new clothes second-hand (2). The fear of wearing something that has been used! What's the rationale behind that? Perhaps it’s time to get inspired by New York Times columnist Ann Patchett’s ‘My Year of No Shopping’?
4. Get more choice
Rotate your closet and maximise your fashion choices to celebrate your pregnancy. Why give up your fashion sense because you now have a bump? Carry on experimenting with fashion, continue dressing up (with your bump) and most of all, bin the thinking that because you are bigger, you do not deserve to look every bit as good as you did pre-pregnancy.
5. Fashion therapy for pregnancy blues? YES!
Mama to mama – we know that you are tired carrying your little bean. We know that you feel like a whale now when you use to sport a flat tummy and sculpted arms. We know that those pesky hormones that is responsible for growing your little peanut is wreaking havoc on your mood. Mama to mama – we still want to look good, feel good and do good. A British survey found that 71% of women believed that changing their clothes changed their mood. So, if you are feeling bad, perhaps spending a day in your favourite outfit will boost your frame of mind. Only now, that favourite outfit might not fit anymore. Let BnJ help you in the effort to boost your self-esteem and confidence during this time.
We are thrilled to announce our official launch on the 8/7/19 and our new pre-launch prices that are aimed at affordability for the mama-to-be. Here’s to dressing up during pregnancy – it’s a special time in your life mama, and you should celebrate it.
1. TRAID, Recycling clothes, London (2018)