This Company Is Making Children’s Clothes That Actually Grow As The Kid Does
by Matt Hermes
on Tuesday, March 10th, 2020 at 11:40am.
A regular gripe of parents is the fact their children grow out of their clothes far too quickly.
But Ryan Mario Yasin, the 26-year-old CEO and founder of Petit Pli, may have come up with the solution.
Yasin’s company makes clothes that actually grow with the child through seven sizes, fitting kids between nine months and four years.
He first patented the technology when he was 23 and a masters student on a global innovation design course at Imperial College London.
“Petit Pli was brought to life to serve a need in the fashion industry,” Yasin says. “A need for innovation, a need for sustainability, a need for high ethical standards, and to serve its young users, they deserve something designed from the ground up for them, not miniaturized adult garments.”
During Yasin’s studies he experienced “first hand” how his young niece and nephew’s speedy growth translated to a huge amount of garment waste.
“Soon after the experience, I learned that the fashion industry is the world’s second largest polluter,” he continues. “Creating Petit Pli was my answer to offering sustainability with enhanced performance, not trade-offs.”
Yasin focused on how to pack carbon fiber panels into tiny spaces, just a couple of millimeters wide, and how they could unfold into specific shapes once deployed.
“I began pitching for investment in September 2017,” recalls Yasin, “as a fresh graduate design engineer armed with passion, supportive friends & family, a competitive solution with the potential to disrupt the garment industry’s linear and destructive system and limited business experience.”
For Yasin’s design solution to have a real-world impact, he realized his company needed to progress into a commercially viable business. To catalyze the transition and win investment, Yasin spent many nights getting to grips with the world of patents, trademarks and business models.
“I believe that clothes are the most intimate product of our lives,” Yasin continues. “Clothes guard us. They shield us from the perils of the natural world and allow us to enter environments our skin cannot provide protection for.
“Despite our basic need for clothes we have lost respect & value for them, and the people that make them. We bury our clothes ahead of mending them — with serious environmental consequences.”
It’s estimated that each year around £140 million ($182 million) worth of clothing enters landfill. Unused clothing, meanwhile, is worth around £30 billion ($39 billion).
“These numbers are shocking,” says Yasin, “but suggest opportunity. An opportunity to design clothes that won’t endanger our future, encourage the adoption of slow consumption behaviors and reframe the value of a garment.”
Yasin says he believes the fashion industry is “ripe for reform” and that new designs can play a “pivotal role” in shaping consumer attitudes and driving consumer behavior.
He adds his ambitions lie “far beyond” childrenswear.
“Petit Pli will be an innovation catalyst for the next generation, and play a pivotal role in accelerating the move to a sustainable fashion industry.
“Clothes that grow are an innovation that we can implement to benefit individuals & humanity today.
“We aim to clothe the future of humanity, we are just starting with the next generation.”