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Social Entrepreneur

328 EpisodesProduced by Tony LoydWebsite

Social Entrepreneur exists at the intersection of profit and purpose. We tell positive stories from underrepresented voices, focused on solutions.


Parents: Reduce Your To-Do List and Your Carbon Footprint, with Lauren Gregor, Rent-a-Romper

For a extended show notes and a full transcript of this conversation, see

Rent-a-Romper makes parents' lives easier while reducing the negative effects of the fashion industry.  

For just a moment, think about your clothes. At some point in time, you chose each item and brought it into your home. Your neighbor did the same thing. So did the house down the street, and the one several miles away. The same thing happened in a house on the other side of the world.  

The global population is increasing. The middle class is growing. And so is our demand for fashion.  

By 2030, the world population will increase from 7.8 billion today to 8.5 billion. You can watch the world population increase in real time here.  

Not only are there more people on the planet, our standard of living is increasing. The GDP per capita is growing at 2% per year in the developed world and 4% in the developing world. That means more demand on our world resources.  

Apparel consumption is expected to rise by 63% by 2030, from 62 million tons today to 102 million tons in 2030. That’s the equivalent of adding 500 billion T-shirts to the environment.  

Why is that a problem?  

The fashion industry produces about 10% of global carbon dioxide emissions.  

By 2030, the industry’s CO2 emissions are projected to increase by more than 60%. That’s like adding 230 million more passenger vehicles on the roads.  

And, it’s not just greenhouse gasses that are a problem. Fashion requires fresh water. The fashion industry consumes 79 billion cubic meters of water per year. That’s equivalent to 32 million Olympic-size swimming pools. But that’s today. By 2030, the fashion industry’s water use will increase by 50%.  

Apparel production puts toxic substances such as mercury and arsenic into our waterways.  

Most of the clothing waste ends up in landfills or is incinerated. Only 20% of clothing is collected for reuse or recycling. The amount of solid waste produced by the apparel industry is going to increase about 60% by 2030.  

So, the environmental impact of apparel is increasing at the same time we need it to be decreasing. If we have any chance of limiting global warming to a 1.5°C increase, we need carbon emissions to be reduced by 45%. 

One Small Step in the Apparel Industry 

Lauren Gregor is a mom. She saw what was happening in her own house. With two small children two years apart, she was horrified by the parade of cardboard boxes showing up on her doorstep.  

“I would get frustrated by the amount of waste that we're generating,” Lauren explains. “But also, how often I felt like I was turning around and getting back to the stores to buy them new things, especially clothes. My boys are tall, they grow fast, they grow very fast at those young ages and I just felt like I was constantly having to do things on my to-do list.”  

Lauren came up with a solution. She calls it Rent-a-Romper. Rent-a-Romper makes parents' lives easier while easing the negative effects from the fashion industry. Parents can sign up for a monthly subscription and receive a customized capsule of clothing to meet the needs of their growing children.  

Learn More About Lauren Gregor and Rent-a-Romper: 

Rent-a-Romper Website:  

Rent-a-Romper on Instagram:  

Rent-a-Romper on Facebook:  

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