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Jenny Barrett - 18 Jan 2018
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Babies have an expensive habit of out-growing their clothing long before it’s worn out - infact babies grow to double their size in year one, and eight sizes by the time they’re two! It’s difficult for new parents to keep up with these changes, and ...

Do you know any parents of babies who:

  • Would like to have access to desirable pre-loved maternity and baby clothes made from high-quality sustainable fabrics (steam cleaned and sterile). 
  • Would enjoy socialising with like-minded parents, whilst sampling delicious local food and drinks? 
  • Care about our environment and want to reduce the amount of waste they generate due to unused baby clothes piling up in the cupboards?

If so, read on …SuperLooper could be the answer!

SuperLooper is an idea for a social enterprise which would start off in Brighton and could be replicated in towns and cities throughout the UK.  Groups of parents will meet on a regular basis at events organised and facilitated by a SuperLooper coordinator.  Rather than buy baby clothes, parents will lease them for the time required, and return them to the loop to be steam-cleaned and chosen by other parents, gaining credits that they can use for future “purchases”.

Membership costs £100 for two years and makes a great baby-shower gift.

“Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism.  It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out”  (Vaclav Havel)

Babies have an expensive habit of out-growing their clothing long before it’s worn out - infact babies grow to double their size in year one, and eight sizes by the time they’re two! It’s difficult for new parents to keep up with these changes, and clothing is often only worn a few times … if at all!

  • At any one time there are a staggering 183 million pieces of outgrown baby clothing       stored in UK homes, enough to provide 250 items for every UK baby born each year*    
  • 7 in 10 parents have outgrown baby clothing stored away that they don’t use* 
  • 1 in 3 parents bin old baby clothing because they don’t know what else to do with it*      

SuperLooper is a cost effective way to prolong the use of baby clothing and stop it going to waste.  It’s also a great opportunity for pioneering, pro-active and ethical parents to meet up locally, have some fun, and be part of a change to shop smarter … before baby is even born!

Superlooper parents (aka SuperLoopers) will lease, wear and share high quality, desirable mother and baby clothes and essentials rather than build a pile of unused items which get  lost and forgotten at the back of the cupboard and, worse still … thrown away! 

With the support (financial and practical) and partnership of funding, social enterprise, waste reduction and circular economy organisations; clothing and accessories suppliers; local businesses and initiatives and our community of pioneering, curious parents committed to saving waste … we CAN make this happen!

Why own something that you only use sporadically?

Imagine if we could break our wasteful habits and really make an impact on our childrens' future world …

We can do this by simply changing the way we value clothes - thinking about how and where they’re made, what they’re made from and what happens to them once we’ve finished with them. 

Circular economy thinking for the clothing industry is to provide a service rather than a product - instead of owning garments, customers will lease them for as long as they need and then return them to be used again by someone else. Because the useful life of the clothing is extended, we will endeavour to only source high quality, sustainable garments made to last and designed with re-use and end of life in mind.

A bit like Netflix for baby clothes, SuperLooper customers will pay for the performance of the garments rather than for the ownership. Parents can switch and swap clothing when they outgrow or get bored with what they have, we’ll then have the clothes steam cleaned between each baby’s use to ensure parental confidence in their total sterilisation.  When the clothes have had their day SuperLooper will be responsible for renewing and recycling them (whatever state they’re in) so that parents can shop waste-free and guilt-free.  Happy days!!

Parents Love Preloved Boutique Baby Sales

A blossoming number of parents choose to shop for preloved boutique baby clothing online and in church halls up and down the country.  It’s out with the not-so-old, and in with the newer for loyal customers of Preloved Bebe and Mum2Mum Market etc.  NCT pre-loved clothing sales are their largest fundraiser, attracting crowds of parents looking for bargains and for the chance to meet up with friends made during their antenatal classes.

Cool and conscious brands like Maxomorra, Frugi, Duns and JoJo Maman Bebe produce gorgeous well-made baby clothing using high quality organic and eco fabrics which stay looking great after many wears and washes. For this reason their pre-loved products are highly sought-after - parents go crazy for them and can pay nearly as much for pre-loved as the items cost as new!

Not just any Pre-Loved Baby clothing event …

SuperLooper is for sociable parents who don’t want to dumb down or dampen their previous values or lifestyles just because they’re having a baby.  They’re environmentally aware and THEY DO want help re-shape our world.

We’ll work in partnership with local companies and people who are equally keen to be a part of the change.  These will consist of existing parents/baby groups, ethical clothing companies, local food partnerships producing delicious dishes and snacks from otherwise wasted surplus food, local cool, fun and interesting venues, producers of re-fillable baby hygiene products, laundry services and local people of all ages who want to come along and help move the idea forward … and have a great time doing it!

  • Superloopers will be kept well informed about the movement that they’re helping to form.    We’ll make it super easy to consume sustainably by providing the latest re-cycling hacks from experts in the know.. 
  • We’ll introduce inspiring speakers to keep customers in the circular and sharing economy loop.
  • We’ll join forces with the local Sling and Toy libraries so that parents can extend their waste saving journey to include leasing or sharing baby and child accessories.
  • We’ll include one-off vintage pieces sourced largely from USA and Europe - a keenly curated collection of well-made little treasures that can’t be found again for love nor money!
  • We’ll maintain customers’ interest by constantly introducing fresh new exciting eco products, treats, one-off unique remade/up-cycled products etc.
  • Fun and cool tech for babies and parents.  Modern, techy products and clothing which will benefit the consumer. (eg sleep suits that monitor the baby’s temperature)
  • We’ll stock organic mother and baby bathing, laundry and cleaning products which can be re-filled every meet up to reduce waste in plastics.  Also we will become a drop off and pick up for re-usable nappies and wipes.
  • Parents will be able to record and share the stories and adventures they got up to with their babies when they wore favourite items of SuperLooper clothing

How SuperLooper Works 

  • In their last trimester, when mums become bored with all their maternity wear but don’t want to shell out on bigger sizes that will only get a few weeks use, SuperLooper maternity clothing will be there to djuzz up their wardrobe and put a spring in their step!  Instead of owning, they’ll lease the beautiful high quality clothing for as long as they need it and then return it to the loop to be loved and worn again.  
  • The start-up cost of around £100 buys a two year membership of the club, free  entrance to the first meet-up and the first choice of clothing.  The value (around £150) of the clothing chosen already exceeds the signing up fee so they’re in a win/win position from the get go!  This would make a wonderful baby shower gift.
  • Baby’s arrived!!!  Parents bring in their maternity and newborn items from the loop to earn them credits for the next meet-up.  They can also bring in other high quality, hardly- worn baby items to add to the loop and earn more credits. (The better quality and condition the clothing they bring in the more credits they will earn to spend later). 
  • They can choose from baby & nursing clothes or reusable nappies.  Garments from the loop can be bought with cash or credits or with a bit of both and customers can also pay cash for our vintage and up-cycled one-offs. The swapped items will be left with us to check and issue their credits in time for the next club meet-up. The monthly fee of £50 will cover the costs of the meet-up, refreshments and an agreed amount of clothing.
  • Parents can keep coming to the monthly meetings for two years from the first meeting they attend - this period will hopefully be extended as SuperLooper and their babies develop and grow.  How do we keep them coming?  Because our events will be unmissable and will offer much, MUCH more than a normal pre-loved clothes sale …
  • We’ll seek partnerships with popular brands and small, exciting independents. We’ll curate new organic and eco maternity and baby garments from brands that have surplus stock selling at a reduced price to give parents greater quality and super-value organic clothing.
  • We’ll partner an existing local wellbeing baby group which believes in a non preachy, holistic, friendly and  modern approach to pregnancy and recognises the value of taking, for instance, antenatal, pregnancy yoga or baby massage, signing or music classes out of the medical centre or church hall and into popular social destinations. If the baby has older siblings, they can be accommodated, catered for and entertained for a small extra fee.
  • Each area of the country that SuperLoopers meet-up will offer its own local touches. Brighton has a rich abundance of exciting new sustainable restaurants, venues and projects serving waste saving food and drink which will refresh and delight our members.  We’ll also run a pop-up community fridge for members to distribute their surplus food either to other members or to the wider community.
  • SuperLooper is responsible for the full life cycle of the product . All clothing at the end of its use will be up-cycled or sent for recycling. To use up surplus stock every year – subscribers have the opportunity to ‘pay it forward’ by donating for a box stuffed with goodies for families on low or no income. Paid with either cash or from their credit - all profits will go to great causes.

When the wind of change blows, some people build walls, others build windmills”  (Chinese Proverb)

Are you tired of cynicism, gloom and doom, mistrust, scepticism, doubt?  Of people, businesses and governments motivated by self interest and seeing you and yours as a mere commodity?

Do you want to live and consume in a more meaningful way and with a genuine sense of purpose?  

Do you fancy joining with people who are feeling more confident in the power of their voice and are ready to become agents of change by using ingenuity, creativity and integrity along with long-established tried and tested ideas to help their children and the world to flourish?

There’s an increasingly growing appetite for doing business on a smaller, slower, closer to home basis as fast consumerism and globalisation grows more and more dysfunctional and exploitative. (see Small & Local but Open & Connected -the S.L.O.C. movement).

As humans we work best when we work symbiotically with a sense of mission. We tend to step up when we feel appreciated and get involved with something that gives us self esteem and a place in the community.  When we work from the heart we tend to persevere more and develop an inner resilience - when we have faith in what we do, we’re not afraid to have a go at changing things.

SuperLooper is about building a structure to harness this blossoming energy - our potential to change things for the good has no bounds.

We can all do this … it’s free to slow press the pause button and slow down!

 

nb     For further thoughts and details please contact  Jenny Barrett 07971 163845  jenny@supernaturalcollections.com

 

1 Comments

887

Ralph Pettingill

Hi @Jenny Barrett I like the sound of this idea- I also think it could transfer to lots of other areas currently tied up in everything that goes well with consumerism e.g. items made with 'planned obselescence'..I think lots of parents would welcome something like this- which also brings parent networking and lots of possibilities for support.
Good luck!