Tuesday, May 21st, 2013...4:42 pm
Q&A with new baby brand KinderStuff: “We have solved the problem that kids grow but clothes don’t”
Welcome to the next generation of organic kid’s clothes.
This spring marked the U.S. launch of KinderStuff, an innovative U.S.-German line of baby and kid’s clothing. Several things make KinderStuff different: Not only are all items organic and ethically produced, but like Warby Parker and Everlane, they sell exclusively through their own online store, avoiding markups from middlemen. And after babies grow out of their KinderStuff clothes, you can return them for resale or donation while getting a discount toward new purchases.
The concepts of this brand really speak to me. As someone who buys my own clothing with a ”quality over quantity” mentality, buying baby clothes was quite the adjustment for me — I was suddenly buying for disposability, because babies grow so quickly. It felt so dirty!
KinderStuff helps that. Ethical manufacturing and the ability to return outgrown clothes make you feel good about what you’re buying… not to mention that direct-to-consumer pricing and built-in discounts save you money. Each of the brand’s 15 garments available now are $25 or less, and they tell me that more styles and sizes are on their way soon.
I learned more about the brand by talking with Kinderstuff’s Florian Wolf.
Two things that set the KinderStuff brand apart are your markup-free pricing model and that you take back all garments that you make. What inspired these traits?
We realized that when it comes to dressing babies, parents face two major pain points that nobody really addresses. So we thought about a new way of consuming baby clothing.
First, premium kids fashion is really expensive. This is due to all the middlemen involved, who all take a share. We have no fancy physical stores, no wholesalers taking their cut, and no crazy brand markups. By selling exclusively on the web, we can offer amazing baby clothes at great prices. It’s an unconventional retail model that we believe creates great benefits for parents.
Second, kids grow but clothes don’t. When kids outgrow our clothing, parents can send their used KinderStuff products back to us, free of shipping charges and in return for a discount on future purchases! Returned used clothing is then donated to charity, recycled, or resold at a discount.
KinderStuff manufactures only in the U.S. and Germany. Why is this important to you?
For us, “sustainable living” was part of growing up. I mean, we did not fanatically try to save the planet, but small things such as turning off the lights or our mothers’ honest attempt to buy at the local farmers market influenced us a lot. So when we came up with the idea for KinderStuff, manufacturing in the U.S. and Germany just felt like the right thing to do.
Among others, two reasons drove us to do so: First, only we can ensure that every KinderStuff product is 100% safe, non-toxic and organic. There’s just been too many scandals where even big corporations couldn’t ensure that their clothing, which was manufactured in low-cost countries, didn’t meet minimal standards. By manufacturing in the U.S. and Germany we can furthermore ensure that our products are truly of superior construction and durability.
Second, we think this is a great step to revive local apparel industries and create jobs. Besides that, it enables us to ensure fair labor practices. The factory collapse in Bangladesh that killed over a thousand people last month was far from the first fatal accident in the country’s garment industry. We just don’t want to be part of that system. All the factories we work with are certified manufacturers and we personally regularly inspect them. We screen every potential partner thoroughly in order to be able to keep the promises we made to our customers.
The line illustrations on some of your pieces are really unique compared to most graphic baby clothes. What’s the story behind them?
Glad you like our designs! When it comes to organic (baby) clothing there is one more thing that we would like to change: Most organic clothing is usually pretty dull. We aimed to create products that are fun and hip. We actually collaborated with various urban artists to come up with refreshing new designs and will keep on doing so.
Your site doesn’t yet have any returned garments for sale. When can we expect that?
That depends on when customers start sending back their used KinderStuff. It will probably take another couple of months until people start doing so. However, people seem to respond very well to the offer and we’re therefore confident it will happen soon. Many customers are very excited about this part of our business model.
As a special treat just for us, get $10 off your KinderStuff purchase
with code TEDDY3248!