24 January 2020
Eve Kekeh graduated from the Masters of Enterprise in 2017 and officially launched her business, Bundlee, in March 2018.
Bundlee is the UK’s first baby-clothing rental company and it enables parents to rent their baby’s entire wardrobe up to the age of two. As babies typically go through seven clothes sizes in their first two years, a Bundlee clothing package is sent out every three months to coincide with each clothing size.
Eve’s inspiration for the business came from her family. As the eldest sibling she witnessed her small London home being overtaken by excessive amounts of her younger sibling’s baby clothes. When Eve’s research into clothing waste revealed that 11 million pieces of clothing end up in landfill every week she knew she had hit on a sustainable solution.
Not only does Eve’s business provide parents with the convenience of having clothes pre-selected and delivered direct to door, the clothes are made from natural fabrics and water-based inks, the circular system helps to reduce the amount of cheap imports by manufacturing all the clothes in Britain, and the clothes are made to last and extend the lifespan of baby clothes by up to 400%. In fact, Bundlee can boast that each package of clothing saves 40,500 litres of water and 105kg of Carbon Dioxide.
When the clothes are outgrown they are returned to Bundlee where they are fully cleaned and disinfected at their eco-laundry facility before being passed on to a new family. Bundlee has grown by 238% in the last six months to date, has regular customers the length and breadth of the UK and is looking to expand its offering by adding complimentary brands to each package.
Bundlee is working in partnership with NCT, the UK’s largest charity supporting parents, to ensure no parent is isolated and all parents are supported to build a stronger society. Bundlee donates £1 from every new subscription and funds raised help the NCT to help new parents.
Eve is a strong advocate of sustainable fashion and comments: “I completed my undergrad degree in Manchester in International Management and fell in love with the city. As part of the course I spent a year studying in the US and whilst there I discovered that renting clothes for a special occasion was commonplace. This was a revelation to me and I knew that there was mileage in this kind of business model. When I combined it with my first-hand experience of mountains of baby clothes, my idea started to form.
“I returned to Manchester to study towards the Master of Enterprise and that move proved key to getting my business off the ground.
“The Masters of Enterprise at the University of Manchester opened lots of doors for me. It connected me with professors from other schools within the university, I was introduced to the university’s alumni network which in turn provided me with a fantastic mentor and investor, and I became involved with UMIP - the university’s intellectual property arm - through which I joined a series of business growth workshops and was awarded £5,000 in funding for further research and development.
“The Masters of Enterprise gave me the discipline and direction to fully research my idea and to speak to experts in the field to see if there was a demand. Plus the modules were good for getting me in that business brain space.
“An added benefit for me was that Manchester as a city made it easier for me to set up in business. It’s a much more compact city than London which makes everything more accessible and networking so much easier and effective.”
Eve and Bundlee went on to win second place in Venture Out in 2016, a business idea competition for students, then in 2018 won the Venture Further competition in the social enterprise category. Eve was awarded £10,000 of funding to develop the first collection of clothes.