Shoshana Kazab on launching her pre-loved and past season childrenswear business Kidswear Collective.
Tell us about the concept behind Kidswear Collective…
Kidswear Collective is an online store selling pre-loved and past season designer fashion, where items are sold at up to 80% off their original retail price. We stock over 100 brands including Gucci, Burberry, Dior, Moncler as well as up-and-coming labels which customers may not be familiar with yet. I wanted to find a way to create something very special which could address our urgent need to reduce waste in the fashion industry, but also make available designer pieces at affordable prices.
Creating a first-hand experience for buyers was a key consideration for us. Every garment is cleaned, photographed and carefully stored until it is sold, before it is sent out in Kidswear Collective’s luxe signature packaging. We want shopping on Kidswear Collective to feel like a luxury shopping experience, similar to what you’d get when shopping on sites like the The Outnet and Farfetch. By professionally photographing each garment, for example, customers have a clear idea and confidence in the quality of each item. This is reflected in our lower than average returns rate at less than 5% compared to the industry average of around 40%. When it arrives all beautifully packaged, it generates the same level of excitement as it would when shopping on any other luxury website.
You run a successful PR agency, what made you want to launch a childrenswear business?
As the founder of Fuse Communications, a PR agency specialising in the luxury children-swear market, I’m very fortunate to have worked with the top influencers and some of the best brands. The idea came to me one day when I was chatting to one of our influencers about what she did with her children’s clothes when they had grown out of them and she explained how difficult, and what a hassle it was, to sell on marketplace sites like eBay. I knew there had to be a way to give these beautiful items another lease of life – and that’s how the concept was born! It’s a real coming together of the industry, which is why we called it a ‘collective’ as it’s a great way for us to all support each other.
We love how the pieces are pre-loved and past season. Was an eco-focus important to you and how does it extend to other areas of the business?
Absolutely. We are passionate about extending the lifecycle of luxury clothes. Sustainability has never played more on our minds as it has now. Of the 80 billion pieces of clothing produced worldwide, it is estimated 75% of these will end up in landfill each year. And in Britain alone, we are expected to throw away 235 million items of clothing this year. A popular hashtag currently trending is called #30wears which is encouraging us to wear our garments at least 30 times. With a designer kids piece, we estimate that it is worn, on average, only six times before a child grows out of it. This means that there are four more potential owners for this one garment. There has never been a better – or more important time – to change the way we shop, but without having to compromise on quality. Any unsold items are donated to the family charity, Little Village and we donate up to 5% of every item sold to the NSPCC.
We love that you feature pieces from influencers. Who has been your biggest supporters so far?
Influencers on the site include The Fashion Bug Blog, Masha The One, Sofia Gouveia and Deborah Brett. When The Fashion Bug Blog’s pre-loved page went live, 8 out of her 11 items sold within the first hour. One of our best-selling influencers is Emma & Alf (whenever we receive new stock from her it sells out), but she loves the more artisan and independent brands, some of which we hadn’t previously heard of which is really exciting for us.
Kidswear Collective will be opening a 3-month pop in Selfridges on Monday 16 March 2020. The 43 square metre pop-up, curated by Selfridges, will be located on the fourth floor of the department store and will stock items for babies, boys and girls including clothing, footwear and accessories. Stock will be regularly rotated to showcase as much of the range as possible.