Absolutely Mama meets Alice Horlick, Bella Nesselrode and Georgia Lombard, the founders of Babu...
Tell us about Babu. What’s it all about?
Babu allows busy parents to enjoy the best that luxury childrenswear has to offer in an accessible, convenient, and planet-friendly fashion. From daywear and occasion wear to outerwear, we deliver monthly curated capsule collections of 10-15 pieces to your doorstep to be enjoyed for four weeks before being returned and replaced with a brand-new edit. Our collections are curated by well-known stylists and mum influencers, offering a ‘personal shopping for your child’ experience, featuring a mix of pieces from our exclusive roster of brand partners.
How did you come to launch it? Did you have a lightbulb moment?
We are great believers in investing in quality garments that will last, both for ourselves and our children and steering away from fast fashion. However, a lot of parents find this expensive and wasteful when it comes to fast growing little ones, left with the worry of what to do with beautiful hardly worn pieces when their child grows out of them. For less than the cost of buying one of our higher-priced items, our customers get to enjoy 10-15 impeccably presented pieces and change up their child’s wardrobe every month – with all garments sourced from exceptional luxury brands that are constantly striving to produce and operate in a more eco-friendly way.
What precipitated your love of sustainable children’s fashion?
We are never more conscious of the future of our planet than when we are thinking about our children, and this extends to what we feed them and how we clothe them. We think it is so important to instil our own values and awareness of sustainability in them by practising what we preach.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced setting up a sustainable business?
We are extremely proud to be the first rental platform working in direct partnership with our brands and we were very ambitious about the brand mix we wanted. Our ‘personal shopping for your child’ concept, delivering monthly capsule collections curated by some of the UK’s most stylish women is completely new to the kidswear rental space and explaining the concept to our brands and bringing them on board pre-launch was probably our biggest challenge. We are delighted to have built such strong partnerships and to be able to help our brands achieve their sustainability goals by offering them the most eco-friendly solution for their excess stock.
How are you innovating in the circular fashion space?
We are so excited to be introducing a viable solution for fashion’s waste crisis to the entire industry through raising awareness of our sustainable impact partner, Xetrov. 11 million items of clothing go to landfill every week in the UK, and much of this is due to inefficient and out-dated textile recycling infrastructure. Xetrov uses a ground-breaking advanced thermal treatment process to convert worn-out garments into renewable energy, which can be used in a variety of ways, including power, heating, cooling, drying, and food production. There are no fabrics that Xetrov’s Clean6 Vortex can’t process, providing a solution for fabrics such as Lycra which still cannot be recycled by traditional methods.
How did you select your brand partners for Babu?
We were looking for exceptional brands within the luxury and contemporary luxury sphere, who understood the need to evolve with the times and shared our quality and sustainability values. We wanted the mix to range from high end luxury (such as Balmain, Emilio Pucci, Roberto Cavalli and Stella McCartney) and household names (such as GANT, Levi’s and Tommy Hilfiger) to the most sought after contemporary brands (such as Carmel, Bonton, Il Gufo, Patachou, RaspberryPlum and Tartine et Chocolat).
Your boxes are curated by fashion insiders. Who have you loved working with the most?
It has been an amazing experience working with such an inspiring mix of women. We had particular fun with those who came into the studio to curate in person, such as Mary Charteris, Holly Anna Scarsella and Monique Vega.
Proudest moment since launching Babu?
We were super proud to be shortlisted for the Junior Design Awards last month! Fingers crossed for when the winners are announced in September.
What changes would you like to see in the children’s fashion industry in terms of sustainability?
We would love to see the Xetrov solution adopted by brands who are manufacturing their own product. By installing a Clean6 Vortex in their factories, the waste from the production process can power their entire operation, taking them totally off grid and making the manufacturing process carbon neutral.
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