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Woman in a green dress sitting in a shop
Features

Meet the founder of revolutionary new fashion rental app, By Rotation

Eshita Kabra-Davies is transforming the fashion industry, one shared designer piece at a time.

It’s no secret that our love of trend-led fashion is damaging the planet. The industry is the second largest polluter in the world and we now consume a staggering 80 billion pieces of clothing every year. But what happens when you’ve got a wedding to attend to or an important work event, and you really, really need a new outfit? Step in By Rotation, one of the most exciting clothing and accessories apps running today. For the as-yet uninitiated, this is so much more than a shopping platform: By Rotation is a peer-to-peer rental app, where its users can browse and borrow designer pieces all while supporting a more sustainable shopping experience.

Colourful dresses against a pink wall

Eshita Kabra-Davies founded By Rotation in 2019. A long-time fashion enthusiast, she had an unconventional route into the industry; having worked in finance, it was her honeymoon to Rajasthan, India, that sparked a greater awareness of how clothing impacts the environment. “I noticed the amount of visible textile waste and I realised that I was participating in this very linear consumption model when it comes to fashion,” she says. “I too, had bought items probably made in India just for the trip, only to donate them after about 10 or 20 wears, which isn’t efficient.” Reading up on the sustainable fashion movement and taking stock of organisations and events like Extinction Rebellion and Fashion Revolution Week on her return to London, Kabra-Davies dreamt up By Rotation as a way of tackling the ever-pressing issues of waste and over-production.

By Rotation allows users – or ‘Rotators’, as they are playfully called – to rent items from other people’s wardrobes, or to lend out their own treasured pieces. The platform counts tens of thousands of users, and part of its appeal is the social network approach to the sharing economy. For Kabra-Davies, By Rotation is a pragmatic solution to a problem many are increasingly facing: how to enjoy new fashion in a way that impacts the planet less. “It’s about getting people to share what they already have, as we do with our apartments, our cars and even our food waste,” she explains. “Typically our By Rotation users are Millennial or Gen-Z, working professional women in their late twenties to early thirties who own designer fashion and are hesitant about buying new, fast fashion all the time.” The app is full of stylish social sharers, offering up an array of covet-worthy pieces from top brands including Ganni, Rixo, Stine Goya and Jacquemus.

Woman in a green dress sitting in a shop

After a successful and much-Instagrammed pop-up at Westfield London earlier this year, By Rotation is hosting another in-person rental experience at Westfield Stratford City to coincide with the Fashion District Festival. “I’m very keen to get our community in East London together, where everyone can ‘meet their style match’,” says Kabra-Davies. Influencers like Camille Charrière, Abisola Omole, Jessie Bush and Lady Amelia Windsor all lend from their own covetable wardrobes on By Rotation, and such pieces are available for rent at the pop-up. It’s also an exciting chance for regular Rotators and new users alike to meet in person.

By Rotation is only operating in the UK, but there are plans to expand into Europe this year. “I think of By Rotation as a global app that will have local communities everywhere – ‘glocal’, as they say,” she explains. A self-described “third culture kid”, Kabra-Davies was born in Rajasthan, grew up in Singapore, and now lives in London. “There’s a mindset that I see in third culture kids, that we’re very open-minded and inclusive, we see things with a global perspective.” Now, who wouldn’t buy into in that?

To find out more about the app, head to byrotation.com; visit the By Rotation pop-up in centre (23–26 September)

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