New Year’s Eve: What’s an Eco-Mom To Do?

by Guest Writer

When I became a mom, I stopped wanting things for myself and I started to only want things for my children. It’s rare that I buy myself something that I don’t really need. I think this makes me more the norm as opposed to the exception, especially when it comes to stay-at-home moms. I don’t need fabulous outfits taking up space in my closet, or designer handbags filling my shelves, so I don’t have them. The problem is, every time I have a wedding or other special event to attend I have nothing to wear. My dresses are outdated and my purses are more for holding diapers, toys, snacks and of course, my wallet than for making a fashion statement. With New Year’s Eve around the corner, it begs the question: What’s a mom to do?

If you’re lucky enough to have scored a babysitter for New Year’s Eve, then I applaud you. If you’ve actually had the time to shop for something to wear, then I’m in awe of you. But seriously, who wants to spend their precious free-time scouring department stores and dress shops trying to find a dress that will be worn once and then either collect dust or donated to charity (most likely after collecting dust for five years)? Enter one of the coolest websites I’ve laid eyes on: Rent the Runway. Like the name suggests, this is a site where you rent dresses from top designers that most of us would never think of buying—based solely on the price tag. The rental fee ranges from $40 for a $300 dress to $400 for a nearly $4000 dress. By renting these dresses, rather than buying them we can help cut-down on the needless production of items that will only be worn once. Rent the Runway, also has a selection of dresses that are “bump-friendly” for those who have an event to attend while pregnant.

So, you’ve gotten the dress, but don’t want to accessorize it with a diaper bag. Again, do you really want to spend a bundle on a handbag that you’ll likely use less than a handful of times? Bag Borrow or Steal is a service similar to Rent the Runway, only it offers the option to rent a handbag.  How it works, is you browse the site for bags (which by the way, you can choose from tons of styles), choose a bag to rent for as long as you would like, and then return it when you’re done. Of course, there is the option to “steal” a bag if you find you can’t part with it, in which case you buy the bag (less any rental fees you’ve paid).

Maybe you’ve been invited to a party and you’ll be bringing your kids along. I’m guessing it might be a party that ends before the New Year’s Ball really drops, but that’s okay.  Your little ones will need something beautiful to wear, as well—something they will outgrow in only a few months, definitely limiting it’s chance of being worn more than one time! Bebarang offers a service similar to Rent the Runway, but it’s geared toward children.  The outfits cost between $10 and $20 for a four-day rental. From what I could tell each outfit would cost between $50 and $200 to purchase, so this really is a good deal for something that will only be worn once. And, no need to worry about the cleanliness of an outfit you choose—Bebarang uses an eco-friendly laundry service to make sure the outfits arrive to you with their 100% fresh seal of approval.

New Year’s Eve is just around the corner, so it’s time to pick the outfits your family will be wearing and get them rented! And, don’t worry even if you aren’t going somewhere that requires formal attire this New Year’s, there will certainly be opportunities throughout 2012 to rent beautiful clothes rather than buy them.

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