An afternoon with By Rotation founder Eshita Kabra-Davies
What inspired you to create By Rotation?
The idea for By Rotation came with an all-too-common first-world problem when planning my honeymoon to my motherland Rajasthan, India: what to wear. After researching the global fashion rental landscape and discovering the impacts of textile waste in my own hometown, I set out to create a self-sustaining community of fashion lovers who could rotate what they owned with each other. It was important for me from day one to create an inclusive community and to make it all about the regular consumers (as opposed to fashion insiders) - given my own experiences as a "third culture kid" (India, Singapore, US and UK) and having a career in a completely unrelated profession (investment management). Today we’re the world’s first social fashion rental app, putting community first.
Do you think that rental will become the norm in the future?
With the growth of awareness around conscious consumption, sustainability and a sharing economy, people are now looking for more environmentally friendly ways to interact with and manage their clothes. Fashion rental as a concept tackles some core issues of the fashion industry by increasing the wearability of your clothing whilst making higher priced, luxury items more accessible to the average shopper. Hence renting allows the consumer to have access to an extensive wardrobe of their favourite fashion without paying full retail price, as well as sharing their own items with others, allowing for a more sustainable approach to fashion. So I most definitely believe that rental will become the norm for the fashion world, as it allows you to enjoy the best fashion whilst minimising your consumption. As well as this, it’s a great way to make passive income, which is always a nice bonus!
You have a vibrant community of conscious "rotators" who lend and rent designer items through your app. Are you able to foster genuine human connections in addition to these transactional exchanges?
As a peer-to-peer platform, By Rotation has a unique stance within the fashion rental industry in that we are the only social platform. The beauty of this is the ability to speak directly to other fashion lovers about their items, discuss the sizing and fit, and being able to follow them and keep up to date with their newest listings. In doing so, many Rotators have made connections over the app and we find that this human interaction - actually talking to someone who has worn the item and can tell you how it feels - is incomparable. There’s this feeling of camaraderie that goes beyond just a transactional exchange, and this is something hard to emulate.
What is your ultimate dream?
Our mission is to transform how we consume fashion and my ultimate dream is to end fast fashion. I want to live in a world where we are more considerate in our approach as a consumer: to buy less, buy better and share more. More tangibly, our aim is to take By Rotation global and become the household name for sharing fashion. We want to have local communities in every corner of the world, and enable them to self-sufficiently rotate their wardrobes amongst each other.
What are your three favourite items on the Rêve Ultime website?
Absolutely in love with the three, would perhaps even style them together!