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Eshita Kabra, founder of By Rotation

This week we speak to London based business woman, Eshita, who swapped her investment management career for her willingness to adapt the fashion industry to have a more sustainable ethos. She set up her own clothing rental service in 2019 and we found out all about her approach to the tech and fashion start-up world.

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Eshita Kabra


You founded circular fashion app, By Rotation, can you tell us how the idea came about?

When I was planning my honeymoon to my motherland Rajasthan, India, I started thinking about what outfits I’d love to wear on this trip, realising a lack of fashion rental options in the UK. It was during the trip that I witnessed textile waste first-hand, beyond the well-documented landfills we all know of. Upon further digging, I discovered just how polluting the fashion industry is and reflected upon my own actions. By Rotation takes fashion rental many steps further - from sharing and rotating your wardrobe with our community, you become much more mindful of your consumption.

And how did you make the career switch from finance to the second hand fashion industry?

I founded By Rotation as a side hustle, creating a beta (test) platform over the weekend by using my prior experience as a web-designer (since the age of 11). All the marketing/”content” I did was in-house, asking friends to pose for photos or using photos from my honeymoon! As the platform and concept gained early success and traction, I started realising just how achievable my vision was! Although I continued to work full-time for the following 6 months, I enlisted the help of two freelancers to assist me with areas I’m not the best at (marketing and PR) while I built the app in the evenings and weekends. I eventually left my 7-year long career in investment management the day that our app launched!

Have you experienced any difficulties working in the tech industry as a woman?

I haven’t found the tech industry to be challenging as a woman - I’m used to working in a male dominated workplace, given my previous career. But, I have found the fashion industry to be difficult to navigate at times, due to its traditional and less diverse approach - it was quite a culture shock as an outsider. Nevertheless, I’ve found my tribe and people who believe in an inclusive and accessible concept for all!

Which inspiring accounts are religiously following on Instagram right now?

  • @lukeedwardhall - He makes me want to leave my city life behind!

  • @sjdooley - Stacey is a gem and so supportive, I’m so grateful for her.

  • @abimarvel - The master of interiors curation!

Can you tell us what your most treasured piece of jewelry is and why?

My engagement ring! My husband put a great deal of care and preparation into it (apparently many meetings and borders were crossed!), it is a beautiful and timeless piece.

That’s so lovely! What is your shopping mantra?

Every piece, whether it’s classic or statement, is an investment. If it’s a classic, it has to be of very high quality and has to last me through various stages in my life. If it’s a statement piece, would I be able to lend it out on the By Rotation app?

You’ve just been shortlisted for the 2020 Entrepreneur Awards. Can you share your best advice for anyone wanting to become an entrepreneur?

An entrepreneur holds a position of privilege and power - and COVID-19 especially has made it abundantly clear how broken today’s world can be. I hope for entrepreneurs (including myself) that we lead with purpose beyond financial success; that we think carefully about how and why our business will positively impact generations to come.

Thanks for speaking with Kimai!