Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Rent Me a Onesie

A recent article published in Good introduced us to the website, which has been described as being "like Netflix for Baby Clothes".  You enroll and pay a montly fee, and they send you a "bundle" of baby clothes from brands like Egg Baby, Kate Quinn Organics, and Tea Collection. Brands I've never heard of...but the pictures look darn cute.  You send them back as your child outgrows them, and you receive a new bundle every 30 days. They wash with 7th Generation products only, and they donate anything too stained to foster care programs. No mention of their policy regarding charging you for the loss, but let's just say they'd have lost money on my reflux babies.

First impression: how progressive, how brilliant, and if I could have gotten the formula stains out in time to pass the clothes on, how I would have LOVED to participate in this service.

Second impression: OOOH! Could I get that blue flowered dress at the bottom left in an 18 months? 

When the news of your pregnancy circulates, sweet friends and family start gifting you with tiny articles of clothing to oooh and ahhh over. Then you may start to wonder... I really need this many onesies?
...why did Aunt Myrtle give me a newborn size sundress when my baby is due in January?
...who the heck makes tiny red halter tops and filly Daisy Dukes in size 6 months?

When my girls grew out of their collections of clothes in various sizes, some were worn through the knees, many were stained with something questionable, and a few still had the tags attached. For the reasons above. 

I recently sorted the first year's worth of Maddie & Ellie clothes. 
I'm passing on a bazillion tiny tops and and bottoms to future nieces and nephews some day. I purposely, stubbornly, insisted on having a bunch of unisex stuff for Miss M, because I am not the pink type. Turns out, SHE IS.  But that sorting and passing takes a lot of work and coordination. And the size-corresponding-to-season thing is a total crapshoot. All those bins of baby clothes carefully "folded" away for my girls' future cousins may never see the light of another bouncing baby day again. 

The theory behind Plum's business is simply brilliant.  If I didn't already have bins of clothes waiting for E that her sister "gently" wore, I would seriously consider enrolling.  The idea of the clothes getting as much wear as possible, of minimizing waste, is so appealing.  I'm the one in our household that needs talked out of saving everything.  Hey! Somebody we run into somewhere might NEED that (fill the blank with a random piece of crap), it could help someone and be useful again someday! And so, I save:

You see this? This picture was taken December 30, 2009.
This would be all of Maddie's baby clothes, ready to be sorted for my Ellie-to-be.
Yes, after a while I stopped sorting them in bins by size and instead resorted to throwing them in trash bags and having Hubby toss them in the attic. I knew this clothes-sorting day would come and I'd get my comeuppance.

On the other hand...stranger-babies' saliva, spit-up, POOP, having been on my baby's clothes...hmmmmmm. Not exactly easy to get over the Gross Factor when you're talking about your baby. 

Ah, that's better.

The prices at Plumgear aren't stunningly low, but when you consider what you'd spend on 7 baby outfits that they'd puke on and outgrow... yeah, I still think the $49.99 a month is quite prohibitive.  Most of my kids' clothes were gifts, thankfully.  Hey Plum, do a service plan with Target brand baby clothes and charge half price. Then you'd have me hooked.  

Apparently the idea was well-received, and parents are trying to waste less;
Plumgear is so popular, there's now a waiting list to subscribe to the service! 

What do you think? 
Brilliant, or gross?
Would you rent baby clothes? 

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