Being a parent who cares about the environment is not just about cloth nappies and reusable wipes. Just simply by borrowing baby items and buying second-hand you are not just saving yourself money but you are helping the environment as well.
How you ask? It’s our desire for ownership which is a major contributor to waste. Over the last 100 years manufacturers have responded to our desire for ownership by finding ways of producing products in mass at the lowest possible cost. As a result, many items we own sit in storage and throughout their life are never fully utilised before they are thrown away.
To help combat the cost, clutter and environmental impact of parenting Two Auckland based Mothers Hayley Marshall and Tessa Fabian have launched a new online community where parents can lend, borrow, buy and sell baby gear and accessories. The Live Love Lend website has just launched and is quickly gaining traction nationwide.
One of the key things Hayley and Tess noticed as parents there are a large number of items which can make the early stages of a child’s life easier but if you are not lucky enough to borrow from someone they are expensive, often bulky and spend more time in storage waiting for the next child to use them than actually being used. “My house was cluttered with big baby items like baby gyms, bassinets and baby carriers which are essential only for a short period of time and are hardly used. I am just storing them away until I or someone I know decides to have another child.” It was the frustration with the baby clutter and the wastefulness regarding the lack of usage of these item which was the catalyst to start Live Love Lend.
Live Love Lend creates a place where people can rent baby and child items that they aren’t currently using. While the main focus of the site is peer to peer rental you’ll also find items for sale and being given away.
“Our hope is that Live Love Lend will help create a community of sharers and it will be a one-stop shop for baby items. It will help create a more affordable and more environmentally friendly option for Kiwi parents who want to either lend or rent, buy, sell or give away baby gear and accessories”
While renting items is not new they found that many sites only catered for travellers or were very expensive which meant that sometimes it would be cheaper to buy an item rather than rent. The key difference with Live Love Lend is that members rent out their own items and can set prices as they wish, which are usually significantly lower than other sites. Many of the items on the site such as cots, baby carriers and play-gyms are priced between $1-3 per week.
“The more we talked about this idea the more potential we could see for it and how it could benefit people”. “Once we thought of this idea and looked around our own homes we were amazed at the number of things that weren’t being used and that we could offer to others”.
The site is still relatively new but has the potential to make the parenting a whole lot cheaper. To sign up visit the website or join the Facebook group: Live Love Lenders. If you can’t see any item you need Tessa and Hayley can contact their Facebook community to see if anyone can supply what you need.
The site aims to solve some of the following issues that families may currently experience;
- reduce the environmental impact by sharing resources and reusing items
- reduce the costs associated with raising children by providing a large market of used items for sale or rent, giving people more options based on their budget and circumstances
- giving access to everyone the ability to borrow baby and child items, not just those lucky enough to have family and friends who pass things on
- make travelling easier by being able to borrow items in the area you are travelling to rather than take everything with you
- allows families to declutter their house and provide an additional source of income
- allows members to try a product on a short-term basis to determine if it’s something that they may want to purchase themselves
- reduce the number of places people currently need to search for used baby and child items to find what they’re looking for.