Why Buy When You Can Boro?
Do you remember going out with friends in high school and sharing each other’s clothes? As adults with busy lives this is a bit harder to do – but sharing clothes and shopping the closets of good friends and siblings is a great sustainable alternative to going out and spending money on something you’ll likely only wear once. This is where Boro comes in; instead of awkwardly asking your bff if you can borrow her Alexander Wang dress for a hot date, you get to click through stylish closets and pick whether you want to borrow an item for 4 or 10 days. I think this is one of the greatest ideas to emerge on the sustainable fashion scene – a socially conscious business that offers access to high end items from the closets of Toronto’s most fashionable on a gorgous website boroclothing.ca. In addition to reducing the amount of wasteful, panic-induced purchases (hands up if you can relate!), Boro is giving new life to items that typically only get out once or twice. Natalie Festa and Chris Cundari are co-founders of Boro; and their philosophy is one that I totally dig; “own moments, not things.”
Find out more about Natalie and Chris’s stylish and socially smart business and how they got it all started with my q&a with them below. And in other awesome news, they will happily ship to Ottawa – yay! Use msbeltempo15 for 15% off!
1 – This is such a genious idea, HOW did you come up with it!?
I was working in corporate Toronto prior to Boro and attending numerous events both professionally and personally. I noticed myself buying dresses and outfits and only wearing them once or twice, then having them accumulate in my closet. I observed my colleagues and friends doing the same thing and these expensive pieces would sit untouched at the back of their closets.
Women already go to their friends and family to borrow clothing so I thought why couldn’t we do this with anyone’s closet? It was a great way to get more selection. In many ways, Boro is like your best friend’s closet but bigger and more convenient.
As for Chris, he has been following the sharing economy and its rapid growth since early 2010. He always wanted to be part of this incredible movement and there was no better way to do so than with Boro.
2 – How do you choose which items make the cut for Boro?
When it comes to garments, we have a high quality standard. As of right now, we have rejected around 40% of the garments that have come in. We don’t take any fast fashion. We wanted to ensure each item in our inventory had that “wow” factor. For lenders, think of it as those items you always get complimented on and people ask where you got it, but you don’t get to wear often. Every piece on Boro has to have that level of desirability.
3 – How long have you had a slow fashion / ethical fashion philosophy?
Personally, it’s been about a year and a half now that I started really learning and caring about ethical fashion through my involvement with Fashion Takes Action. Since Boro’s inception, the ethical fashion philosophy has been a priority for our company. As I know you and your readers are aware, there is so much waste in fashion and we want to do something about that. By using Boro, you can contribute to extending the useful life of garments by borrowing or by lending, and reduce your environmental footprint extensively.
4 – Here’s a question that’s not covered on your FAQ, but I imagine it might come up – some of your items are SO gorgeous – what if someone borrows a garment and wants to keep it? Is purchasing an option?
Right now, we are focusing on creating a marketplace for borrowing, not buying.
Given our high quality standard, we want people to be giving us their best pieces. All of our lenders have been willing to do so because they know that they still own the garments, not Boro. If it was being sold – like with consignment shops – the garment is inherently unwanted by the owner. We don’t want to become a platform to throw away your unwanted pieces but rather a platform to utilize your garments that are sitting unused in your closet.
5 – Right now Boro seems to have a focus on special occasion clothing. Do you see this branching out into full closet essentials, like denim, knitwear, etc?
Absolutely! We currently offer blazers, purses and jewelry on Boro so that our community can rock different outfits for every occasion, from a family wedding to a dinner with friends. As we grow, we can see ourselves expanding our casual collection in the pursuit of Boro being the go-to place for you to shop.
6 – What is one thing everyone can do RIGHT NOW to start being a more conscious consumer and to start collecting moments, not things?
For your next event, rather than buying your outfit, head to www.justboro.it (use code: “msbeltempo15” for all your readers to get 15% off!) and Boro your outfit instead. You can get designer and other high-quality pieces for a fraction of the cost. It’s not about quantity to us, it’s quality, and we want you to focus on owning the moment at your events, not worrying about which dress to buy. And if you don’t have any big events this year, we have plenty of cool jackets and purses to rock at your dinner outing this weekend (and yes, we will ship to Ottawa!) Don’t forget to tell your friends and co-workers and help the Boro community grow into something we can all be proud of.
I am so excited that this easy option to be a more sustainable consumer exists – I really hope you all give it a try. In the meantime, find Boro on Insta, Facebook, and let your eye wander through their amazing selection here.
As always, thank you for reading! xx
All images c/o boro.it Instagram