Sari Site Gives Indian Women A Closet Full Of Choices

Renting — not buying — haute couture has become hot in recent years thanks to websites that let you borrow designer clothes and accessories for a fraction of the cost. Two young entrepreneurs are taking that concept to the Indian immigrant community. Twins Riddhi and Siddhi Khara, 24, of California founded an online sari rental boutique.

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STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

Now let's talking about renting rather than buying clothes. Websites rent designer dresses and handbags for a fraction of the cost - that's been going on for years. And now two young entrepreneurs want to expand the concept. They want to take it to Indian immigrant community.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MARY LOUISE KELLY, Host:

Our last word in business today is: rent a sari.

Twenty-four-year-old twins Riddhi and Siddhi Khara from California founded an Internet sari rental boutique. Here's Siddhi Khara.

SIDDHI KHARA: It came from our own personal experiences of saying, man, if there was only a way we could wear a new fabulous sari to every event we went to without having to repeat. That would be, you know, perfect.

INSKEEP: And their business, targeting a growing immigrant group is called Borrow It Bindaas, Bindaas means carefree in Hindi.

Twenty-six hundred people have signed up so far. Among them, Priyam Shah.

Ms. PRIYAM SHAH; I've always just have somebody send it from India or I'd go to India. But this is easy in the sense that you're not buying an outfit. You're not investing $300 for one outfit for God knows when you're going to wear it.

LOUISE KELLY: Instead, Shah says she paid $78 for the sari, kept it for five days and sent it back without the hassle of dry cleaning. The founders admit it may be tough to sell older Indian women on the concept; they consider it prestigious to own a collection of saris.

Instead, the Khara twins are banking on younger women who might be willing to trade old habits for an unlimited closet of rented sari fashion.

That's the business news on MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Mary Louise Kelly.

INSKEEP: And I'm Steve Inskeep.

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