Baby & Child Care Tips for Parents
Is renting clothes for your kids an easy route to more sustainable parenting?
As a parent, Charlotte Morley wished for a service where she could borrow then return her children’s clothes once they’d outgrown them. She explains how she made those dreams a reality – and how you can use the service too
You may recognise Charlotte Morley. She appeared on Dragons’ Den in 2022, where – instead of suffering the usual brutal tear down of her project and projected earnings – Charlotte made show history by securing a £140,000 investment from not one, but two dragons at once.
Her brand thelittleloop had been conceived two years earlier while she was on maternity leave with her second daughter. Horrified by the amount of waste her offsprings’ wardrobes were generating, Charlotte set out to establish a circular approach to children’s clothing. The result is a smart subscription service, where parents pay to rent ethically made childrenswear that they can return and replace with new outfits whenever season, style or a growth spurt requires them.
John Lewis has partnered with the business, offering the opportunity to rent highlights from its children’s collection through the site.
Here, Charlotte reveals what makes her tick and how she gets everything done.
“We started to get feedback back from customers who said: ‘This is brilliant, we love this, it’s game-changing’”
Were there many naysayers when you were dreaming up the concept for thelittleloop?
The reaction was definitely mixed. Even though we rent suits, cars, houses, it still seemed like such a new concept to rent the everyday. But overall the feedback was positive. It was then about how to craft it to make it work for people. What would they want to rent? How often might they need to change the clothes? And what should the costing be?
When did you know it was going to succeed?
There are two answers to this because, to be honest, I still don’t! We’re constantly tweaking, changing and improving the service, so I’m aware it could fail – as many businesses do – at any time. But, it was once we started to get feedback back from customers who said: ‘This is brilliant, we love this, it’s game-changing,’ that I knew for sure there was something there.
What’s been your biggest challenge so far?
We’re changing consumer behaviour and asking people to do something differently. That’s incredibly difficult, because as humans we have habits that we form and we keep doing them.
“The dragons were practically fighting over investing. I’ve got Deborah Meaden as a mentor – she’s so wise”
Do you ever worry about coming across as preachy?
We work really hard not to, because everyone on the communication side of my team is a parent and we all know how hard it is. The last thing we want to do is make people feel guilty about what they do. We think about it as: ‘If you can do one thing better or differently, then that’s amazing. You don’t have to be perfect.’
What’s been your biggest highlight so far?
Dragons’ Den was an incredible, if terrifying, experience. The dragons were practically fighting over investing so I asked them to double my initial request. It also means I’ve got Deborah Meaden as a mentor – she’s so wise. And in a PR capacity, it was amazing: customer numbers increased by 500% after I appeared on the show
What’s the best bit of advice that you’ve received?
Don’t underestimate the power of asking for help. If people believe in you and believe in what you’re doing, they will genuinely want to help.
What’s next for thelittleloop?
We are going to launch resale soon – it will be an outlet for the stock which has reached the end of its rental life.