A New Area for Product Service Systems?
My sister is pregnant, so I've been hearing a little bit more than usual about baby clothes lately. Everybody seems to agree that 1) they're expensive and 2) they don't get much use, because they don't fit for very long. The most common - and green - solution to that problem is to get second-hand clothes from family, friends, or classified ads. But thanks to our increasingly online world, you can add to that list Plum, a company that bills itself as the "Netflix of baby clothes". Read on for more details...
It might be a bit too small in the picture above to be read, but the site says:
"Stains or spills? Don't worry. We donate anything in less-than-perfect condition to foster care."
Their cleaning methods seem pretty green:
When a bundle of clothes comes back to us, we check for stains. Anything that doesn't look like it can be restored to new condition is laundered separately and then donated to infants in foster care.
For spots and imperfections, we use lemon, baking soda and boiling water.
Afterwards, the clothes go into energy and water efficient front loading washing machines that are only used by Plum. We use 7th Generation Free&Clear; for Babies. It's hypoallergenic, carefully formulated with plant-derived cleaning agents and free of fragrances, dyes, and optical brighteners.
Finally, they go into a dryer if needed, using 7th Generation clean and clear dryer sheets. If not, they line dry in the sunshine.
To keep that fresh-off-the-line feeling, our bundles are packed with a sprig of organic lavender in a muslin pouch.
The service seems to be getting a good start because they've actually sold out everything they have, so if you want to join, you'll have to wait a bit (see the order page for more details).
Price aren't very cheap ($16/month for two outfits, 29$/month for four, $49/month for seven), but they're likely to go down with economies of scale, and for some people who's time is very valuable, it can be a very good bargain.
For more baby stuff, check out our sister site Parentables!
See also: How to Go Green: Babies