Waste-Free Wardrobes and Revolutionising the Fashion Rental Market: Meet By Rotation Founder Eshita Kabra-Davies

Waste-Free Wardrobes and Revolutionising the Fashion Rental Market: Meet By Rotation Founder Eshita Kabra-Davies

Waste-free and planet positive, fashion rental app By Rotation has created a community of label-savvy, conscious consumers. We chat with founder Eshita Kabra-Davies about borrowing Manolo Blahnik, streamlining your inbox and Mykonos’ most sought-after souvenirs.

the age of Instagram, most of us have been guilty of
purchasing new outfits purely for that caught-in-the-moment candid
photoshoot or a wear-once-to-a-wedding dress. But times are
changing. As we wise up the fact that fast fashion is about as
helpful as Rosetta Stone on Emily’s first day in Paris and
Instagram is just an overly saturated highlight reel, eco-conscious
entrepreneurs are leading a fashion revolution. And they’re
starting with the rise of the fashion rental economy.

Faced with the devastating reality of throwaway fast fashion
while on her honeymoon in her motherland of Rajasthan, By Rotation founder Eshita Kabra-Davies knew
she had to help fix the amount of textile waste that was generated
and transform the way we consume fashion. Pivoting from a career in
finance to fashion, in April 2019 By Rotation was born.

Wallet-friendly, waste-free and planet-positive, the app allows
you to rent designer fashion at a fraction of the price. In a world
where landfills are filled with fast fashion, By Rotation has
nurtured an empowering community-led by conscious consumers who are
willing to borrow as opposed to buy. Rotators are simultaneously
helping reduce the number of garments produced while recouping
garment costs. Plus, peer-to-peer lending and little to no
logistics means that By Rotation’s carbon footprint is kept to a

Offering a gateway to designer drip, lenders simply set up a
profile, snap photos of their wardrobe, set the price and rental
periods and share with other rotators. For those who are time-poor
but still sustainably conscious, By Rotation offers a retail
management service so you don’t have to shift through your own
stash in order to share your coveted garms. Browse the app and
you’ll quickly find hard-get-hold-of Birkins,
begging-to-be-borrowed Manolo Blahnik numbers and that Burberry
trench seen on Gigi Hadid.

Borrowing Blahniks, sought-after souvenirs in Mykonos and how
to streamline your inbox: introducing By Rotation’s Founder, Eshita

Where are you from and how has that shaped you?

I was born in Rajasthan,
India and moved to Singapore at the age of two. I studied in the US
and the UK for university and have settled in London
for now! A “third culture kid” through and through, I’m a global
citizen who supports diversity, inclusivity and openness. These are
the principles I’ve built By Rotation on.

For the uninitiated, what is the concept behind By

By Rotation is the UK’s leading fashion rental app. We are a
digital community of more than 35,000 Rotators who are renting and
lending out our wardrobes – thereby doing good for the planet, your
wallet and wardrobe at the same time. Having been referred to as
the “Airbnb of fashion”, we are transforming the way fashion is
consumed by empowering people to share.

What was the motivation behind starting By Rotation?

The idea for By Rotation came with an all-too-common first-world
problem when planning my honeymoon to Rajasthan: what to wear.
After researching the global fashion rental landscape and
discovering the impacts of textile waste in my own hometown, I set
out to create a self-sustaining community of fashion lovers who
could rotate what they owned with each other. It was important for
me from day one to create an inclusive community and to make it all
about the regular consumers (as opposed to fashion insiders) – my
own experience is in a completely unrelated profession: investment

What makes By Rotation different from other fashion-rental

As a purely digital and peer-to-peer fashion rental app, we have
created a large and engaged community of users who are expanding
the lifecycle of their wardrobes by sharing what they own with each
other – therefore consuming less overall product.

As we hold no inventory, we don’t get involved in logistics
(such as dry-cleaning, delivery, buying stock) or physical stores
and therefore have a very low carbon footprint in comparison to
retail players.

Our focus on technology and community has proved to be extremely
beneficial during this strange time. With our digital marketplace
model connecting lenders and renters with each other, our users
were highly engaged even throughout lockdown.

What small steps can we make towards having a more mindful

1. Seek out stories

I make it my mission to support smaller, sustainable designers
to whom you can speak directly and find out more about how the
product you want to buy is made. The story of the design is so
important to me, and you value the product a lot more when you get
to know the person and the process behind its design.

2. Buy less and buy better

Become more informed about the brands, materials and companies
you are purchasing from. Choose to invest in high-quality pieces
over trends. Second-hand is also a great way to source sold-out

3. Share your wardrobe

Sharing my wardrobe with others is something I am very
passionate about. I list my items on By Rotation – even my wedding
dresses are on there! I love the ever-growing community of
like-minded individuals we’ve built.

4. Streamline your inbox

Unsubscribe from newsletters that push you to consume
mindlessly, often from fast fashion retailers. These clog your
inbox and push unnecessary consumption.

Tell us what you think the future of fashion looks like…

I sincerely believe that half (if not more) of the fashion
industry’s polluting problems lies in consumption. As society
becomes more educated on the climate crisis, we are also becoming
more aware of our consumerist mindset. The future of fashion will
therefore be a more considered approach to dressing – that means
sharing what you already own with others and demanding better
quality of clothing.

Share with us the items from the By Rotation app that you are
currently eyeing up?

Manolo Blahnik Hangisi heels in blue

Prada co-ord feather suit in light blue

Olivia Rubin Noa bow-back silk taffeta dress

Dior Saddle embroidered bag

Whose wardrobe would you love to rent items from?

I love the wardrobes of Fran Drescher in The Nanny and the
character Lucille Bluth from Arrested Development – think tweed and
skirt suits. I also love the wardrobes of Camille Charriere, Amelia
Windsor and Jessie Bush, who are also all fans of By Rotation

What are some of your favourite sustainable fashion

Clothing-wise: De Castro’s limited, exclusive pieces that are
made in India and can be traced back to artisans. For jewellery:
Kimai’s recycled diamonds. And lingerie: Dora Larsen’s pieces made
from recycled materials.

How does travel influence your style?

My wardrobe has pieces from local brands and shops from all my
holidays – sometimes I end up dressing like I’m on holiday even
when I’m in London! I also love to mix and match; you’ll see me in
batik skirts from
in Italy,
toting Greek straw basket bags in India and wearing bootcut
Parisian jeans in London.

Where in the world is your favourite place to shop?

I love researching local brands and artisans prior to travelling
to a new destination. I really enjoyed Mykonos
for shopping. It was a pleasure to meet so many talented artisans,
one store after another. I especially love the independent store
Amnesia – it has no website and keeps an air of mystery… perhaps
that’s what I love about it.

What about for vintage finds?

As a tech entrepreneur, I’m a huge fan of Depop, Etsy and
Vinterior. I also love Sunbury & Sandown Antiques Market at
Kempton Park Racecourse. Most of By Rotation’s studio has come
together thanks to the market – everything is secondhand or

The best souvenir you’ve ever brought home…

A delicate gold charm necklace with the evil eye from Mykonos
that I wear daily between my collar bones. When the store owner
found out it was my birthday the same day, he began serenading me
in Greek. It was all too cute!

Finally, what’s in your SUITCASE?

My laptop, because I’m constantly monitoring our platform and
KPIs, a Murakami novel to balance the non-fiction I read, a
notebook containing all the spots I want to explore on the trip,
Jacquemus’s Le Chiquito bag (despite its nano size, it screams
holiday), Castañer espadrilles and a mix of jewellery and make-up
as I know I will actually have the time to put in effort to my look
for a change.

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