We chatted with @arentyoueshita, founder of By Rotation, on sustainability, believing in yourself and setting boundaries...
Tell us about you and how you got into the world of sustainable fashion.
“I'm the founder of By Rotation, the social fashion rental app. The idea for By Rotation came with an all-too-common first-world problem when planning my honeymoon to Rajasthan: what to wear. After researching the global fashion rental landscape and discovering the impacts of textile waste in my own hometown, I set out to create a self-sustaining community of fashion lovers who could rotate what they owned with each other. It was important for me from day one to create an inclusive community and to make it all about the regular consumers (as opposed to fashion insiders) - given my own experiences as a third culture kid (India, Singapore, US and UK) and having a career in the completely unrelated industry of investment management.”
How has a typical day in your life changed this year and how do you like the new routine you've created?
“As the owner of a fast-paced tech start-up, I was often on the road meeting and expanding my network. This year has really allowed me to stay put and work flexible hours, which is something I've never had in my previous career. I feel lucky to be able to work from home and enjoy being able to go out for a walk in the day and work throughout the night and weekends.”
Have you learnt anything new about yourself this year?
“I was told that I was an "introverted extrovert" at a leadership workshop a few years ago which I shrugged off as a joke being the gregarious person that I am. But I have actually realised that I am quite an introspective person. I value my own space and time, and find it very important to be true and honest to myself. Having had mostly a private life, I've realised that I don't enjoy being in the limelight and therefore everything I do in the public eye must be related to my mission as the founder of my brand.”
As women, do you think the relationship we have with ourselves is changing? If so, how?
“It's refreshing to see how far things have moved on even within my own Indian culture. I've always worked in a male-dominated environment, and one of the things I've personally realised is that we as women must not allow any mental block to think we are any different from men when it comes to aptitude and skill. I've always believed and carried myself as equal, and I refuse to accept any respect below. It's tremendously exciting to see so many women taking leadership roles in all walks of life - we're finally fixing something that's broken together!”
What makes you feel good or boosts your confidence when you need it?
“I love to speak to my parents back in Singapore, they always know how to cheer me up and push me further. Puppy kisses from Saffron, my cavapoo does wonders in making me feel loved! As for the more tangible things: good skin makes me feel confident (I don't wear much makeup), wearing heels I can walk comfortably in (I'm not the tallest!), spraying on a perfume that reminds me of special days and listening (and then inevitably dancing!) to my favourite playlist.”
What do you have coming up this year?
“There isn’t much of 2020 left (thankfully!) but I'm looking forward to three exciting partnerships By Rotation has with people and businesses I deeply admire. I'm also looking forward to a potential ski holiday; I have not taken a day off work this year and would love to get away – fingers crossed!”
Find Eshita here: @arentyoueshita