Revenues Double For Dartmouth Company That Makes Children's Clothing Out of Plastic Bottles - Huddle.Today

2022-06-25 05:26:29 By : Ms. Angela Li

It’s quite telling that the world’s longest-lasting light bulb was built in 1901 and not in 2021.

But a Dartmouth businesswoman has successfully turned this wasteful business model on its head and has succeeded in making children’s outerwear meant to last.

Three years ago, Tabitha Osler launched Fairechild with the goal to make sustainable, long-lasting, and environmentally friendly children’s clothes. And, in 2021, the Dartmouth-based clothing company has their best year to date- seeing revenues double compared to 2020.

Osler believes the success of Fairechild is due to a strong online presence, plus other factors – like the quality and durability of their outerwear clothing.

“We were already online, so we were already prepared (for the influx of Covid-19 online shoppers),” says Osler. “And there’s more awareness around parents dressing their children-with them being at home with their children and needing them to have time outside.”

Given the success of Fairechild, Osler plans to launch a new line of children’s outerwear in August, titled the AW21 collection. This collection will have three new colours and a new, full-length garment that one can don without having to wear rain pants.

“I find our costumers really get excited about (new colours) because then they can kind of mix and match with their existing set,” said Osler.

Osler focused her business on children’s outerwear because she wants kids to get back to playing outside in all weather conditions. If kids have a truly waterproof raincoat that will last years, they are more likely to get fresh air year-round.

It also helps that Fairechild doesn’t use harmful chemicals in the production of its clothing and, most impressively, its fabric comes from recycled plastic bottles.

“All of the fabric we purchase is from a yarn called new life yarns, which uses recycled PTE bottles as a source for the polyester,” says Osler.

Fairechild aims to make clothes that will be adjustable enough to fit a child for three years. Since the company began three years ago, she believes a lot of the money seen in 2021 are return customers buying bigger clothes for their growing children.

But don’t expect the parents to throw away the outgrown clothes. Osler’s business model encourages parents to pass down the clothes she makes. Osler believes it’s irresponsible to promote waste at a time when recycling is so important, and the earth’s resources are scarcer and more precious than ever.

“I find the majority of my customers are passing down their garments, if not to another sibling, then to another family or they’re reselling it,” explains Osler.

“I think that’s the direction we’re going, where raw materials are becoming more and more scarce and, as we’re seeing through Covid, more and more expensive.”

According to customer feedback, parents have taken a liking to Fairechild clothing because of the great “cost-per-wear” of the clothing. In other words, even though Fairechild’s clothing may be more expensive to buy up front, compared to something at a department store, its durability adds value over time.

Osler estimates that a raincoat from her store averages out to cost 39 cents per wear.

“When you look at a coat that’s lasting maybe 12 months from Walmart, you might spend $40 on it,” says Osler. “But if you look at the cost-per-wear…and compare that to a Fairchild garment- it’s high functioning. It’s 100 percent waterproof, so you know you can rely on it. You don’t have to buy a new coat when you realize your kid is getting wet.”

“It is a big frontend investment, but when you look at the cost-per-wear being very similar to something that’s not sustainable, and it is going to end up in the landfill.”

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