THIS FEMALE FOUNDER REVEALS 5 WAYS TO BUILD A CONSCIOUS COMMUNITY
By Francine Heath
Since launching in the fall of 2019, By Rotation has been an unstoppable force for change. The UK’s leading peer-to-peer fashion rental app was created by “third culture kid” Eshita Kabra-Davies after something of a wake-up call while honeymooning in her motherland Rajasthan.
During the trip, she began to recognise just how wasteful our consumption habits are and how polluting the fashion industry can be. “Plastic and textile waste covered city streets and rural areas beyond the well-documented overflowing landfills, alongside beautiful murals painted by school children of the government’s Swachh Bharat (Clean India) movement,” explains the founder of what she witnessed first-hand. “Pigs, dogs, lambs and cows, whom as a Hindu I consider sacred, were eating synthetic human cast offs – it made me angry,” she continues, revealing that was the moment when it crossed her mind that she had a part to play in this linear fashion consumption model. “I bought “Made in India” clothes and didn’t always love them enough, sometimes donating them to charity, which I knew probably ended up in landfills in India and African countries.” Taking positive action, Kabra-Davies decided that fashion rental could go a step further and become a fashion sharing community that remains “wholly circular.”
The By Rotation app tackles the issue of over-consumption by simply empowering people to shop less and share more. Plus, Kabra-Davies has created an opportunity for people to find joy in dressing in a way that’s kinder to the planet and their wallets – a cult Jacquemus tote can be borrowed for just £7 per day, for example. “I really want people of all (socio-economic) backgrounds to realise that they don’t need to buy more poor quality items to indulge their whims, they can have the real thing simply by sharing,” she enthuses, expanding that the diverse #WhatsMineIsYours rotator community includes students, professors, homemakers and celebrities alike. In fact, renting and lending has never been so fun, “it’s like the items have a life of their own – kind of like the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants!”
If you’re still reading this and not downloading the By Rotation app for a slice of micro bag heaven, we applaud you. But, as the title of the article states, Kabra-Davies – who was listed alongside Greta Thunberg, Isatou Ceesay and Stella McCartney as one of fourteen inspiring women leading the fight against climate change – has kindly agreed to share her tips for building a conscious community. Time to take notes, fellow changemakers…
#1 : NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK
Attend as many networking events and panels as you can and go alone! You’re there to learn and grow. I always sit right in front when I attend panels, and am extremely engaged.
#2: GO LIVE ON INSTAGRAM
Although we can’t attend events like we used to due to COVID-19, we can still achieve a similar result digitally! I love to jump on IG Lives and also host a weekly series for By Rotation named “A Glass of Wine with” which has had a wide range of guests from across the world!
#3 : PLAY THE HOST
I love giving back to our community by inviting them to meet up with me and the By Rotation team in a fun setting. It really brings our company and digital brand to life.
#4 : SUPPORT LOCAL TALENT
From secondhand interiors, artists, fashion brands – I love to support local creators and founders especially during such a difficult time. I love to get to know the people behind it all and what drives them. The personal touch is what it’s all about!
#5 : COLLABORATION IS KEY
We love to collaborate with brands and companies that share a similar ethos with us, and therefore a similar target audience. It really provides both brands with more depth, and I truly believe people are now looking for brands to be more humane and therefore authentic.
Francine Heath is a contributor to THEFORWARDLAB. London-based product editor and sustainable fashion journalist who advocates conscious consumerism and loves discovering those who are determined to drive change and create a better fashion future. She’s previously written articles for British Vogue, Eco-Age, Refinery 29, Mr Porter and i-D.