One of the early lessons for new parents is that babies grow in spurts. While it may seem obvious, that knowledge doesn’t prevent ill-fitting clothes from accumulating in closets, dressers and boxes. If one can tolerate the long-term storage, a few shirts and pants might get additional use from siblings arriving a few years later.
A trio of German entrepreneurs — Dr. Alexander Reichhuber, Sebastian Schmoeger and Rob Rebholz — is addressing this problem. Their business, KinderStuff, designs and sells new clothes for children, ages 0 to 2. The co-founders also encourage sustainable consumption by facilitating the return of clothes after a family is done using them.
The concept came to them two years ago after Reichhuber complained about difficulties dressing his baby boy. “He said there were two problems,” Rebholz recalls. “First, premium clothing was very expensive. The second was that he was outgrowing his clothing all the time. Our solution was to sell clothes directly without a middleman, and to take the clothes back for free in exchange for discounts.”
Returned items are separated into two piles. Clothing that is too damaged, dirty or worn will be recycled. Most of the highest quality garments are targeted for KinderStuff’s online Hand-Me-Down store. However, the company also donates one-third of those salable items to a charitable organization that helps children, like SOS Children’s Village. In addition to paying for the shipping costs, KinderStuff encourages this cycle of re-use by rewarding customers with instant 10-20% discounts on future purchases.
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