Toronto Woman Rents Maternity Clothes To Expectant Mothers

A woman in Toronto has just set up a rental business where expectant mothers can rent their maternity wear. The new business owner, Joyce Lim told CBC News that she had struggled to find maternity clothing as a pregnant corporate lawyer two years ago and this struggle had inspired her to set up the maternity wear renting business.

"I was just shocked by how exorbitant prices were," she said, speaking to CBC News about her failed attempts to buy maternity wear while pregnant.

Lim says she did some research and found out that other countries such as the U.S and Singapore had businesses that rented out clothing to expectant mothers, but there was none of such in Canada. This inspired her to launch Sprout Collection in Canada, a subscripted service which according to Lim, has two goals: to help women like her save money on maternity clothing and to be more environmentally-friendly.

A lot of women who have been pregnant would confirm that spending money on maternity wear is often like pouring money into an ocean. Pregnancy is so temporary that spending a lot of money on maternity clothing is never a good investment, yet expectant mothers cannot do without maternity clothes.

For the above reasons, entrepreneurs in countries such as U.S.A and Singapore have established rental places with "Mother-to-Be" sections. lists some of the website already offering similar services and they include Borrow for your Bump, Le Tot, La Belle Bump among others. These online stores offer services that allow you to rent everything from a few amazing maternity clothing to an entire wardrobe of them. These services offer a wide range of product quality and prices, some even go as far as offering personal stylists. Women patronize these businesses most probably because one gets to spend less money on these clothes and get to return them at the end of the pregnancy.

"Why commit to something only to throw it away?" said Lim. "Clothing is just going to pile up and contribute to more garbage, more waste."

"It's a drain on the environment."

Lim says she intends to expand the company in future to rent out clothing for all women.

The way Sprout Collection works is that women can choose between different packages and clothing online, and have it shipped to them each month. The clothes are dry cleaned after they are returned to the company.

"This is brilliant because I can just choose something new every month and not have to invest in something so short term," said Marjorie Celis, a customer and second-time mum quoted in the article.

"A good quality pair of maternity jeans are at least $150," she said. "My rate is under $100 (a month)."

Another customer Tanya Brown testified to how useful she found the new company.

"I'm a bit of a tomboy," she said.

"And the concept of being very green — it felt good to be able to do that."

Beatrix Dart, executive director of the Rotman Initiative for Women in Business at the University of Toronto, said Lim’s business was "One of the big trends is being environmentally conscious while simultaneously saving money.”


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