boro toronto

Toronto startup makes it easy to borrow clothing from strangers

With fast fashion wreaking havoc on the environment, the founders behind a local startup wanted to help divert clothing from landfills by giving barely used garments new life.

That's why they started Boro, a company that lets people lend out their dresses, coats and accessories to strangers across the GTA at affordable prices.

Chris Cundari and Natalie Festa launched Boro on March 30 with a carefully curated selection of clothing.

Cundari notes he's been interested in the sharing economy for quite some time and Festa realized many individuals were buying clothing items for special occasions, only to see those expensive pieces sit untouched at the back of their closets.

Boro's dresses start at around $30 for a weekend rental. Cundari jokes that his startup offers Zara prices, but Gucci quality.

Instead of having lenders — who get 50 percent of the net revenue each time their garment's rented out — ship their own clothing, Boro holds onto all items in order to streamline processes such as shipping and dry cleaning. Lenders can get their clothing back at any time.

Anyone interested in renting out a dress or five, can submit photos of their clothing items online.

"We didn't want to make a site where anyone could post any item," explains Cundari, who says they wanted to maintain a certain standard. They accept 60 to 70 percent of all submissions.

Borrowers can choose to rent out an item for five or 10 days at a time. Since Boro's still in its early days, either Cundari or Festa will hand deliver each garment.

Competitors such as Rent Frock Repeat and Studio Fitzroy purchase their entire inventory, but Boro's unique in that it crowdsources its various dresses, rompers and designer purses, making it easier to raid closets across the city.

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