What is Bundlee?
Before I leap into this honest review of Bundlee, let me provide a quick summary of this brilliantly sustainable and woman-owned brand.
Bundlee is the UK’s first baby clothing rental subscription service. Encouraging families to make the swap to renting, rather than buying, their baby’s clothes, Bundlee aims to tackle the huge issue of clothing waste that taints the UK. Indeed, according to Bundlee’s sustainability page, a whopping 300,000 pieces of clothing are dumped in landfill every single week.
As any parent knows, clothing a baby is often far from a sustainable activity. With little ones appearing to grow half a foot overnight, it can feel as though you’re going through piles of clothes almost weekly. In fact, and according to Bundlee, children go through 7 clothing sizes in just two years. As a result, there are an estimated 183 million items of outgrown baby clothes currently filling UK homes.
Bundlee’s rental model has been designed in response to this sustainability crisis; deliberately moving away from the standard ‘linear model’ of clothing consumption and instead adopting a circular model of borrowing and returning.
‘Choose, wear, swap, clean’ are Bundlee’s founding principles; allowing you to return your baby’s outgrown Bundlee wardrobe, before renting another haul.
How Does Bundlee’s Rental Subscription Work?
I was impressed by just how easy it was to sign up, receive and return my Bundlee items. Below are the simple steps a new subscriber will follow:
- Choose your subscription plan and select the date you would like your (free) delivery to arrive.
- Enjoy the clothes for as long as you wish
- Return the clothes when they’re too small for your baby or (for those on a ‘personalised’ plan) you would like to change up your selection
- Your returned clothes are cleaned by Bundlee and sent out to a new family
- Receive your new Bundlee parcel of clothes
How Much Does Bundlee Cost?
Bundlee has two plans to chose from:
- The ‘Capsule Subscription’ for £24.00 per month
The capsule subscription plan, which I’ve been trialling, provides your baby with 15 key wardrobe items per month, each from the ‘Bundlee Originals’ range. These 15 pieces are specially curated to create a capsule wardrobe for your baby.
Designed to save you £200 a month, this subscription plan is designed to accomodate all of the basic needs of your baby’s wardrobe. You can also order up to six months in advance (for those organised parents amongst us).
Note: you will continue to pay £24 a month for your capsule wardrobe, even once you’ve received it and are using it. This is not a one-off cost.
2.Personalised Subscription for £39.00 per month
The personalised subscription plan allows you to handpick 15 items for your baby’s wardrobe and includes some of Bundlee’s more ‘premium’ clothing – sourced from their sustainable partners including Mini Rodini, Patagonia and Mori.
The personalised subscription plan allows for more flexibility and choice, and is said to save you £300 per month. You can order up to one month in advance.
Again, you will continue to pay £39 a month for your personalised wardrobe, even once you’ve received it and are using it – it is a rolling cost.
A Review of Bundlee: What are the Benefits of Renting Baby Clothes?
There are a number of brilliant benefits when it comes to renting your baby’s clothes rather than buying them.
First and foremost, by renting your baby’s clothes, you’re doing your bit for the planet.
Using a staggering 260 litres of water to produce just one baby grow, clothing manufacturing comes at a huge cost to the environment. With sustainability and comfort in mind, Bundlee looks to tackle this serious issue by offering ethically made, durable clothes that will serve three different families, before being fully recycled and made into new garments.
Bundlee’s own-brand clothing is manufactured in the UK. The textile mill, where the fibres are produced, uses over 70% renewable energy from solar power and wind turbines. The clothing is then sewn by a a small, women-owned factory, also based in the UK.
2. Money Saving
From £24.00 a month, you can receive fifteen sustainable pieces of clothing that’ll cover your baby both day and night. Bundlee estimates that this will save you around £200 a month, had you bought the same items new.
As an aside, I definitely found that while subscribed to Bundlee, I was more mindful of any clothes I bought Olive – and definitely tried to limit myself.
3. Saves You Time and Hassle
For busy parents, keeping on top of your child’s clothing needs can be a chore. With growth spurts leaving you without a seasonal wardrobe within a matter of days, dressing your baby can sometimes be surprisingly difficult. By leaving it to the professionals, Bundlee is the perfect solution for any busy family.
Furthermore, there’s no hassle of what to do with the clothes once your baby has outgrown them. Simply pop them back in the post when you’re done and Bundlee will handle the rest.
What Happens if you Stain or Damage Bundlee Clothes?
As any owner of a small human knows, managing to get your baby through an entire day – wearing the same outfit – is a small miracle. From weaning splatters, to mysterious brown stains, baby clothes rarely stays pristine.
Thankfully, Bundlee understand this and the cost of clothes insurance is built into your Bundlee subscription, just incase they become damaged or get stained.
If you do stain or damage a piece of your Bundlee wardrobe, simply return it and they will either professionally clean it or recycle the garment. As part of my review of Bundlee, I’d definitely highlight this as a compelling reason to use the brand. Unlike the traditional linear model of clothing manufacturing, where the retailer escapes any responsibility for what happens to the clothes once bought, Bundlee instead take full responsibility for their clothes – from production to end of life.
For more information on how Bundlee clean their clothes, read here.
My Review of Bundlee Clothes: Capsule Subscription
I trialled Bundlee’s capsule wardrobe for four months, which comprised of 15 pre-picked items. These were:
- Jogging bottoms and leggings
- Sleep suits
- T-shirts and short sleeved kimono style tops
- A dress
I did select from the ‘girls’ range, but the majority were neutral colours, aside from a pair of pink leggings and dress. I was also pleasantly surprised to receive some Mori pieces in my capsule wardrobe, which I didn’t expect (Bundlee highlight these as a premium partner). The Mori items included a sleepsuit and two matching top and bottom sets.
As a fan of Mori and their soft cotton clothing, this was a nice perk of the capsule subscription. Furthermore, as a premium brand, these items would alone have cost far more than the £24.00 (my monthly cost).
The Bundlee original clothing was soft cotton and came in simple block colours of black, pink, blue and grey. Although they didn’t feel brand new, they didn’t feel too worn or old, and were in good condition for Olive to play around in.
I would say that the capsule wardrobe from Bundlee is ideal for normal, day-to-day wear. Soft, durable and comfy, Olive lived in her jogging bottoms and jumpers when she went to soft play and nursery.
Why Bundlee Might Not Be for You
If you enjoy shopping for and/or dressing your baby in pretty dresses or elaborate outfits, I don’t think a Bundlee capsule wardrobe would work for you.
Simple, durable and designed to meet the basic needs of a baby’s wardrobe, the capsule subscription offers high quality, yet basic, baby clothes. Furthermore, the capsule wardrobe subscription means that you’re not able to select the clothing yourself and until your baby grows into the next size – you won’t be able to swap your clothes.
This is certainly one drawback of the service. In fact, I think that a great addition to Bundlee would be to let you to swap your capsule wardrobe when you wish – especially for the same size clothes. Although I wasn’t desperate for pretty outfits for Olive, I was getting somewhat bored of the same clothes and I was unable to swap them for anything else, as Olive remained tiny.
If you’re still keen to subscribe to the circular rental mode, I would, however, instead pay for the personalised subscription plan. This would allow you to rent more ‘interesting’ pieces for your baby and would give you more choose and freedom.
Is Bundlee Worth it for a Slow Growing Baby?
As I mentioned earlier in my review of Bundlee, I trialled the service for nearly four months.
I decided to cancel my subscription after this, as Olive was growing so slowly I felt like we would continue using the same capsule wardrobe for (yet) another 3-4 months. Whilst I was happy to keep reusing the same clothes, I also found it difficult to justify the £24.00 monthly cost (you pay monthly, even if you aren’t renting new clothes) when I also had so many other clothes to dress Olive in.
At most, I was using each piece once or twice a week, meaning the cost per wear per month was quite high.
To really get the full use from Bundlee (and your money’s worth), I think you would need to be very strict on your baby’s wardrobe, ensuring you use the same garments solely and religiously. For me, with endless hand-me-downs, Christmas or birthday gifts, and a very slow growing baby, I just wasn’t getting the use to warrant the monthly spend.
Review of Bundlee: Is it Worth the Money?
I am impressed by the Bundlee brand and I’ve really enjoyed dressing Olive in her capsule wardrobe for the last four months. Soft, easy to put on, ethically manufactured and perfect for everyday life with a busy toddler, this clothes subscription service offers a no-frills, sustainable wardrobe for your baby.
I’d recommend Bundlee solely for the reason that renting clothes, even briefly, serves as an important reminder of the wasteful consumption we’re all guilty of – especially when having a baby.
Unfortunately, however, with a very slow growing baby, I did feel that the capsule wardrobe was a little too limited, as it meant I’d be stuck with the same 15 items for 6+ months, which is perhaps is not worth the £24.00 monthly cost. This is definitely something to think about, before committing to a monthly subscription.
However, I’d definitely be willing to try the personalised subscription plan when Olive is older and we’ve grown out of the huge pile of clothes we currently have (and, perhaps, she begins to grow a little faster).
Overall, I feel strongly that small businesses such as Bundlee should be supported, wherever possible. Slow-growing babies aside, taking responsibility for the clothes that we buy is vitally important and Bundlee are fantastic in supporting this process.
A brilliant initiative, with impeccable service, I could not recommend Bundlee enough.