Gift Focus inc Attire Accessories - March/April 2024

44 When did you start up and why? I launched Ducky Zebra towards the end of 2021 after growing frustrated with the harmful gender stereotypes found in high-street kids’ clothing. Pinks, pastel colours and cute pretty images for girls, and blues, greys and aggressive, teethbaring predators for boys. For one half of the population there’s a focus on looks, beauty and kindness. And for the other half, there’s a focus on dominance, action and confidence. Research shows that gender stereotypes, like these, in early years can go on to affect decisions and choices later in life, including subject choices, career paths, mental health and behaviour. Indeed, by the time most children are six-years-old they have already reached a fixed view on the world, and their place within it. According to Fawcett Society we inadvertently reinforce gender stereotypes through the toys, books, games and clothes we give our children. At Ducky Zebra we aim to break this cycle. Our colourful, sustainable kids’ clothes are free from harmful gender stereotypes and have been approved by children, so we know they want to wear them. Our prints inspire both kindness and confidence equally for all children. What challenges have you overcome since the company’s launch? Launching Ducky Zebra during Covid was probably one of our biggest challenges, especially the production and shipping of the clothes. It did, however, make me realise that I should focus my efforts and energy on the things I could control, rather than worrying about those I could not. My background isn’t in fashion or retail. It’s in marketing, predominantly for the automotive and rail sectors. This has been both a challenge and a blessing. Launching Ducky Zebra has been a huge learning curve, but thankfully I work with a group of amazing individuals, who know the fashion industry inside out. They have been an invaluable source of help, as we develop our products and range. Every day is a ‘school day’ and I’ve loved immersing myself into a new sector, while also drawing on my previous experience, and applying a fresh-perspective. Tell us about your product offering. Our collection is designed for babies and And the winner is… Genderless clothing brand was crowned the winner of the Trends Talk Pitch Live event, with judges including Gift Focus magazine Editor, Louise Prance, unanimous in their verdict. Here, Founder Sally Dear gives us an insight into the company