Announcing the trial today (26 May), John Lewis & Partners says the aim of its partnership with thelittleloop is to give parents the option of renting their children’s clothing, which it believes will limit waste and create a circular solution, increasing the number of wears per garment.

The trial is starting with 51 products that are described as clothing staples for children and babies aged up to 12 and feature more sustainable raw materials such as recycled polyester.

The products will be available to rent on thelittleloop’s website and customers can choose John Lewis items to add to their subscription plan, which starts at GBP18 (US$22.71) per month and allows customers to rent roughly six to seven products at a time with unlimited swaps.

John Lewis explains customers can swap their rented clothing at any point, return items in the reusable returns pouch and receive credit back to choose their next bundle. The returned items are professionally cleaned, mended (if needed) and ready to be rented again with different price ranges to reflect their condition (eg. brand spanking new, gently worn, and well loved). When the clothes no longer look their best, they are broken down and recycled in the UK.

Glynis Williams, John Lewis & Partners kids and baby fashion category lead, says: “The partnership with thelittleloop reflects our ambition to offer more sustainable ownership options and forms part of the commitment we made to our customers to reduce the greenhouse gas footprint of our textile supply chains by 50% by 2030.”

thelittleloop’s founder, Charlotte Morley, adds: “Partnering with John Lewis is a significant moment for thelittleloop as it takes us a huge step closer to our mission to embed true circularity into the DNA of all ethical businesses within the childrenswear space. John Lewis is rightly proud of the quality of their children’s clothing and we’re delighted to add it to our range. Both to improve choice for our customers, and also to provide John Lewis with valuable data about garment quality and performance to aid future circular design.”

John Lewis joins a growing list of retailers exploring the potential of the clothing rental market, including French Connection, Oasis, M&S and H&M.