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Baby Gear Group helps parents go zero-waste by renting essential child equipment at affordable prices
Business

Baby Gear Group helps parents go zero-waste by renting essential child equipment at affordable prices

Baby Gear Group makes parenting cheaper and more sustainable 

Bo Zhao learned just how wasteful mothering could be after her child was born in 2018.  

“As a first-time mom, you want the best, but you’re not sure about anything. Either you make the wrong selection for your lifestyle, or the baby just hates it for some inexplicable reason,” she says. “You’ll use stuff for a few months, then the baby’s outgrown it, and you’re done because they’re onto a different milestone in their development.” 

Plus, babies are expensive. The average household spends $12,000 on their baby in the first year — and nearly half of that is typically spent on durable baby gear!  

Frustrated with having to constantly purchase new items, Zhao created Baby Gear Group, which allows you to sign up for monthly memberships to rent all kinds of infant and toddler gear. You can choose from 3 membership options to borrow as many items as needed — and if you borrow less than you thought you’d need, you’ll get the extra money back. 

Since starting Baby Gear Group in November 2020, Zhao has received an incredible outpouring of support and praise from parents using the service. “Pretty much the universal response that I get every time I tell someone about it is ‘Oh my god, that’s such a great idea’. If their kids are older, they always say, ‘I wish this existed when I had a newborn.’”  Philadelphia Family Magazine even honored Baby Gear Group as the “Best Baby Gear Rental” in their 2021 LOVE Awards.

 Making parenting more sustainable  

“I like to say it’s like making the sustainable choice the easy choice.” 

Baby Gear Group makes it easier to find trustworthy, sanitized items without paying the full price. It also helps relieve new parents of the mental load that comes with budgeting and searching for items suitable for their babies.  


“I like to say it’s like making the sustainable choice the easy choice,” says Zhao. 

High-quality baby gear is made to last much longer than your child actually needs  it. Why worry about tossing, selling, or storing the gear your baby outgrows when you could borrow it for a cheaper price and reduce waste at the same time? 

“I wished there was something like this out there when I was a new parent,” says Zhao. “I could try what I needed for that couple of months when it was relevant, and then it would just magically disappear when I was done — it wouldn’t clutter up my tiny 800 square foot apartment.” 

How it works 

To join Baby Gear Group, you can choose from one of three memberships: Mini ($49/month), Basic ($99/month), and More ($199/month). Different membership levels allow you to check out more items at a time and give you access to certain premium items — check the website for more information on the details of each plan. You can also trial a single item without signing up for a membership.  

Next, request your items through Baby Gear Group’s website, or shoot them an email or text. The gear will be safely delivered straight to your doorstep! There’s no waitlist, so if an item is out of stock Baby Gear Group will purchase a new one for you to borrow (this does not apply to those trialing items without a membership).  

When you’re done using an item, Baby Gear Group will help you ship it back or arrange to pick it up. Items are then sanitized for the next customer. And if you ended up loving the item, you can buy it out — funds from your membership fees will be credited towards the purchase. 

Baby Gear Group’s goal is to help you save money and stick to more sustainable habits, so they provide a no-overpaying guarantee. That means you’ll receive a refund for up to 50% percent of the cost of the items you rented if they add up to less than the cost of your membership.  

If you have any more questions about Baby Gear Group, check out their FAQ page or email Bo Zhao at info@babygeargroup.com. And if you’re having trouble deciding what’s best for your baby, feel free to email — Baby Gear group is happy to help tailor items to your baby’s needs. 

Cover photo courtesy Bo Zhao

Broke in Philly
Broke in Philly is a collaborative reporting project on solutions to poverty and the city’s push toward economic justice. Green Philly is one of more than 20 news organizations in the collective. Follow us on Twitter @BrokeInPhilly.

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Sophie Brous is an editorial intern at Green Philly. Born and raised in NYC, she now attends Haverford College, where she majors in linguistics. When she's not writing, she can be found exploring cities, making arts and crafts, and finding ways to live a greener lifestyle. View all posts by Sophie Brous

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