We have lots of updates this month! Firstly you may have noticed that we have a new look, with some lovely illustrations that tells you about our baby clothing rental service and how it works. And we love our new logo which sums us up perfectly.
We’ve introduced baby swimwear! Great to add to your baby clothing subscription for summer as all our swimwear has UPF+50. You can find our more about how to choose safe baby swimwear here depending on where you’ll be with your little ones.
Have you seen the beautifully simple designs from minimalist brand, Kattan, whose values are sustainable, slow and ethical. Their lovely styles are produced in Portugal and made from GOTS certified organic cotton. Find them in our Neutrals category.
We’re pleased to announce that we have partnered with sustainable garment cleaning service Oxwash. They are aligned with our ethos and have ambitious plans to improve laundry practices.
Buy & exchange
More news! We’ve introduced some gifting products and reusable nappies which can be bought and then exchanged for 15% off in rental store credit. That way we take responsibility for what is bought and where it goes when you no longer need it.
In November 2020 we sourced a Correx Qookeee box which we love and have been able to send our clothes like a gift, presented in our Qookeee box, and hand wrapped.
Unfortunately we ran into problems with the outer bag that was used to return our box in a clean, unmarked condition. We used a reusable and recyclable paper bag but this hasn’t held up well during transit. We have struggled to find an alternative that meets our needs. In order for the package to be delivered safely and intact we have had to change to a recyclable but not reusable bag, which is not ideal.
We are now switching to a Versapak bag with a zip and clever tamper evident seal. This also means we can pack up the order quicker as we won’t be able to hand wrap the new Qookeee bag. Of course we won’t discard the Qookeee boxes and will keep using them along with the new Qookeee bag.
Two years on
Would you believe it at the end of this month Qookeee will be two years old! How time flies! We’ve learnt so many things along the way, survived the pandemic and still around to offer you a zero waste way to dress your little ones. It great to see rental becoming more mainstream with more brands setting up rental partnerships. Together we can work towards reducing clothing waste and keep our planet beautiful.
Who would have thought three months into 2022 that we’d see more craziness in the world, after just coming out of a global pandemic. It’s incredibly sad that we have a war in the Ukraine. It really does bring out the best and worst of humanity! Thank you so much to all those people who have shown such amazing generosity to help those fleeing from the war. Let’s hope Spring brings with it brighter times and a return to peace.
We’re excited to have more subscribers join Qookeee this year and can’t wait to share our new Spring styles with you this month. There’s lots of new things planned for this year, a website update, new brands, new product categories, new packaging – again! Perhaps even a new logo.
The first of our three new brands is a small family run business called Talula Little. They produce beautiful GOTS organic cotton babywear, and we were so pleased to support them with an initial order. Unfortunately, due to Covid, like so many other small businesses, they haven’t been able to survive and they made the decision to close last month. So while we have some of their lovely clothes, sadly it’ll be the first and last order from them.
When we introduce a new brand, we look into their sustainable credentials, and ask a lot of questions! So many brands state their clothes are made from GOTS certified organic cotton on their website, but when you ask a few questions you soon learn that the Organic certification stops at the mill. The benefit of GOTS really means something when the whole supply chain is accredited. In fact, it is very time consuming finding new brands that have a fully certified supply chain, so when we find one that does, it really means a lot to have them on board!
This year has just flown by and we hope it’s been a good one for you! We’ve had quite a busy couple of months. Last month we were recognised as Business Champions for sustainability by local environmental charity Sustainable Merton and Merton Chamber of Commerce. This charity does great work in highlighting sustainable issues, encouraging people to take steps to change how they do things to create a better environment and planet for all.
In October, the Merton Green Parents group arranged a reusable nappy demonstration with NCT Wimbledon and Wandsworth for parents that were interested in learning more about the different nappy systems or want to make a change from disposable nappies to reusable. The stats are quite mind blowing! By the time a child is potty trained, they could get through between 4,000 – 6,000 disposable nappies. According to recycling charity Wrap, this adds up to an estimated three billion nappies thrown away every year in the UK. As disposable nappies can’t usually be recycled, most end up in landfill or incinerated. It was an eye opener to learn that only 25-30 reusable nappies are needed from when a child is born to potty trained!
With stats like these we wanted to help parents make the switch to reusables easier and have partnered with UK brand TotsBots, who were the first nappy brand to make their waterproof wraps from recycled plastic, diverting them from landfill into something really worthwhile. We are looking forward to adding the TotsBots range to our website in the New Year and make their gorgeous nappies available to rent. It’s such an easy way to try reusable nappies, just add to cart and start renting! Oh and for the first time we’re making these reusable items available to buy and you’ll be able to buy our nappy kits if you prefer, they include everything you need to make the switch. We will be adding a couple of guides to help you decide what’s right for you and how to care and launder them.
We have also been quietly working in the background to align ourselves with the criteria for B Corps. It takes up quite a bit of time, but its such a good way to set up a business conscientiously!
We’re looking forward now to Christmas, and hope you are too, despite the new Omicron variant causing havoc to holiday plans. Thank you for all your support, it’s been a pleasure to hand wrap your packages and send them off to you! Wishing you all a safe and happy Christmas and a fabulous 2022!
We now have nearly all our autumn winter stock in and have some great clothes added to the range including rainbow brights from Toby Tiger, gorgeous unisex styles from Kite and Mori, and super cosy and colourful outerwear from Muddy Puddles, just in time for the colder weather.
Last month we met up with a local environmental charity, Sustainable Merton, who kindly invited us to attend the relaunch of their Merton Green Parents group, and talk all about Qookeee. There were lots of great questions and time well spent explaining how renting baby clothes is part of a sustainable solution to reduce the amount of clothing going to landfill, and to reduce carbon emissions and water usage. Read their lovely review of the service here.
Renting is new for a lot of parents and its lovely to receive comments like this from a mum who has tried the service. We’re hoping for more local mums to convert to renting their baby clothes instead of buying them.
You’ve probably been hearing a lot about COP26 which takes place at the end of this month. It’s a great time to focus on what circular business models, such as renting baby clothes can actually achieve.
Circular business models, including re-commerce, could enable the industry to cut around 143 million tonnes of Green House Gas emissions in 2030. To align with the 1.5 degree pathway, (targeted by the Paris Climate Change Agreement), by 2030 we need to live in a world in which one in five garments are traded through circular business models. Fashion on climate, McKinsey & Company and Global Fashion Agenda, 2020.
We’ve been working really hard to show you just how much you can save and help the planet when you rent your baby clothes. After lots of research we have now added an environmental savings calculator to the website which shows you how much clothing waste, carbon emissions and water you can save by renting. It’s quite interesting to see how the savings can add up and if you’ve already rented baby clothes from Qookeee or are thinking about it, you might want to have a little play on the calculator to see how much you can save.
Did you know that over 100 items of baby clothes are used in a baby’s first year? And that’s just the basics – sleepsuits, bodysuits, a few cardis etc. Based on 106 basic baby clothes, when you rent them you save around 12 kilos of clothing from going to landfill, you save 274 kilos of Carbon (CO2e) emissions, and 10,336 litres of water!
- 12 kilos of clothing waste can really add up and if just 84 parents rented their baby’s clothing, that’s a saving of 1 tonne (1000kg) from going to landfill!
- 274 kilos of CO2e is the equivalent of someone driving 689 miles, or charging 33,330 smart phones!
- The water saving is the equivalent of 69 full baths of water!
That’s just essential clothes rented for one baby, it doesn’t include seasonal items that parents need such as summer dresses or outerwear! Imagine what the savings would be if more parents rented their baby clothes.