Gift Focus inc Attire Accessories - March/April 2024

45 SPRING FAIR TRENDS TALK DUCKY ZEBRA E: children up to six years old, with every item made from GOTS organic cotton. We offer a range of sleepsuits, dungarees and bodysuits for 0-24 months, and tops, bottoms and dresses for the older age range. Where possible, we include clever features such as 2-way zips for easy dressing and roll down cuffs to give extra length as the child grows. All of our prints inspire both kindness and confidence for all those who wear them. Every item contains an embroidered splash ‘power button’, often tucked inside the pocket, for the child to touch and feel, which acts as a physical reminder to splash kindness and confidence even at times when it might be hard. What are your most popular products? Our zip-up sleepsuits are really popular – especially as newborn baby gifts. Their fun all-season designs, two-way zips for easy nappy changes and roll-down cuffs to give extra growth as the baby grows make them very appealing. Plus, they’re made from soft organic cotton, which is great for sensitive baby skin - and is also kinder to the planet. Win-win. Have any styles taken you by surprise with their popularity? Our canoeing dog and hedgehog print has been particularly popular, but for reasons I had never imagined. It has a slight Canadian feel and has been gifted to so many children who either live in Canada or have some kind of link to Canada. Our ‘puffin’ print has also been very popular. It seems certain animals or scenes trigger different emotions for different people - and we’re so glad they do! How do you keep your designs fresh and current? Do you follow trends? We’re a slow fashion brand, creating timeless, all-season designs. We don’t follow trends as such, but we do involve over 50 children (and their parents/ carers) in our design process, to ensure we’re creating designs children want to wear. We introduce two new collections every year, allowing us to keep our designs new and fresh. We’re a values-led brand, which stands out for a number of reasons: • All of our designs celebrate the traits of kindness and confidence equally for all children: Every item includes a splash ‘power button’, often hidden inside a pocket, which acts as a physical reminder to splash kindness and confidence, even at times when it might be hard • Our bespoke prints are free from stereotypes: we create fun, unisex clothes that are suitable for everyone • Kid-approved designs: Children have been involved with the designs, so we know they want to wear them • Our clothes are made from Organic Cotton: Organic is kinder for the skin, planet and farmers than conventional cotton • Slow, sustainable fashion: We have a number of initiatives in place to reduce our impact, including: • Longevity: We use high quality fabric, have generous sizing and include features like roll-down cuffs to increase longevity • Seasonless: Rather than adopting the latest trends or seasonal gimmicks, we create small volumes of clothes that can be reused regardless of the season or gender • Pre-loved: customers can return their old clothes. We then pass them onto the Oxford Baby Bank for re-use • Rental: we’ve partnered with Borro, thelittleloop and My Little Wardrobe, so customers can rent our clothes in the UK and Ireland, helping to extend their life-cycle • Creating change together: We donate 1 percent of sales to charity, and have worked closely with Lifting Limits and Chance UK since launch. Do you have any advice for new businesses starting out in the world of gifts? Start with research, including customersurveys, so you understand what your customers want, what problems they’re facing, and how you can help them with your gifting brand. We did lots of research early on, and it really helped us to shape our brand and products. Don’t underestimate the power of emotions. So many gifts are selected because they trigger an emotion or connection. Avoid comparison, especially given how saturated the gifting market is. Rather than compare yourself to others, focus on what makes your products as good as they possibly can. If you believe in your products, others will feel the same! Build a network with like-minded businesses, who are at a similar stage in their business journey. If you work together, share failures and successes, and support one another along the way, you will progress so much quicker than if you try and do it on your own! What can we expect in the future from the company? We’re a small start-up, but with a big plan. We want to shake-up kids’ fashion so that we can create a more equal and sustainable world. Of course we want to grow our brand, but we also want to spark and inspire others within the industry. Our long-term vision is to encourage change: to remove the pink vs blue, kind vs confident and sweet vs heroic stereotypes that we so often wear from birth.