We were so delighted to watch our client, Charlotte Morley, founder of thelittleloop, on Dragon’s Den last night. And what a fantastic result for the UK’s first children’s wardrobe rental platform!
The platform was launched as a sustainable response to the nature of the children’s clothing market, in which fast fashion and clothing wastage is the inevitable result of a frequent need to rework children’s wardrobes.
Charlotte has answered our ‘Five with the Founder’ questions to shine a light on this revolutionary, eco-conscious brand:
How did you come to set up The Little Loop?
When I first had children I would get a knot in the pit of my stomach every time I had to refresh their clothes when they grew or the seasons changed. I hated the process of sorting through their outgrown clothes…it always seemed so expensive to buy new ones from the ethical brands I preferred. And more importantly for me I never knew what to do with the old ones. I felt so guilty at the thought of throwing them away but had noone to hand them on to and no time to sell them. It felt like the current system needed a complete overhaul to consider how we could access childrenswear temporarily when we needed it and then keep it in circulation for someone else to have it next. And so the idea of a shared wardrobe was born.
What skills did you rely on in setting up your business?
Of all the many, many skills it takes to set up a business, when that business is breaking entirely new ground resilience and tenacity are undoubtedly the most frequently drawn upon. This is a true rollercoaster of incredible highs and spirit-breaking lows. To keep going through that needs the hide of a rhino and an unbreakable belief that what you’re doing is the right thing. For me that’s made easier by the fact that my business is built on values which I hold so dear. If ever I’m having doubts I remind myself of those – of the why – and it keeps me on track.
How do you focus on the environmentally friendly side of the business?
We have four values which sit at the heart of the business. Heroism, empathy, futurism and authenticity. Every one of those brings us back time and again to the sustainable goals of the business because if we aren’t true to those, we can’t possibly be true to our values. Sustainability is baked into our business model – by its very nature it’s designed to keep clothes in circulation and so reduce their carbon and water footprint. However, on top of that we do everything else that we can to multiply that effect. For example, we use reusable packaging, ship clothes from a central location to reduce on shipping footprint, use only soy inks and recycled papers for our packing materials. And, through our unique brand partnerships, we have an incredible feedback loop to help them improve the performance and quality of the garments they manufacture.
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
With two small children I have little choice but to take time away from work. I had children so that I could raise them and be their mother, not leave it up to someone else. It isn’t at all easy, but I make sure that I’m always there for bedtime, and that I spend quality time with them at weekends. It means I don’t have much time for just me, but that’s ok…that time will come…and for now I feel very privileged to be able to spread my time between my three babies (thelittleloop being the third).
What are your future plans for The Little Loop?
There are so many ways we could take thelittleloop and planning too far ahead means we might miss out on an opportunity which we haven’t even thought of yet. Suffice it to say we have big plans for rental to become the go-to alternative for modern parents. Which means we need to expand our ranges, location (we’d love to go to Europe next), and possibly even move away from just childrenswear. We will also soon launch resale on the platform as we believe rental and resale complement each other beautifully and we want to make life even easier for parents – offering them a one stop destination for all of their children’s clothing needs.