The Bshirt maternity brand and breastfeeding clothes company, have added a buy-back and pre-loved service to their already innovative, sustainable brand, to help close the loop in the maternity fashion sector. The brand, which was recognised by Innovate UK’s Women in Innovation Awards this year, will also be launching a maternity range rental service later in the year to further underpin their environmental credentials.
As Second-Hand September and Zero Waste Week become mainstays in our Autumn calendar showing our growing commitment to a more sustainable future, finding genuine and innovative solutions to reducing fashion waste is exciting. The Bshirt is one of those brands which bring a fresh approach to the maternity fashion sector.
Whilst fast fashion – clothes that are produced in high volume and sold at a low price - continues to be one of the major culprits in the climate emergency, spare a thought for those who want to make sound, environmental choices when buying sustainable clothes suitable for maternity and breastfeeding. You want something comfortable and functional, but as the garment is needed for such a short time, you just make do with what you have in order to settle your eco-guilt.
Two Devonshire mums, Phillipa Doyle and Lisa Lessware, founders of The Bshirt, a maternity wear and breastfeeding clothes company launched in 2017, has had sustainability at its heart since day one.
Phillipa explains, “When we started the business, we wanted to embrace circular fashion principles because of the incredible impact potential on the planet. We know in the UK alone 13 million items of clothing go to landfill every week. The impact on the environment and the future is staggering, so playing a part in reducing that is important to us.”
Lisa adds “Our slow fashion breastfeeding clothes are already designed to be sustainable - they are premium quality garments made with organic cotton or recycled materials, in classic colours that never go out of style. By launching our buy back and pre-loved services, not only are we making it easier for women to access sustainable clothes, we are also achieving something that the big brands aren’t - circularity.”
So, how does it work? When customers have finished using their breastfeeding tops, which come in 5 styles from vest to long sleeves, they can sell them back to The Bshirt for up to 30% store credit which customers can use to buy something new - like a bra or womenswear top - or pass the credit on to a friend. Depending on the condition of the item, The Bshirt either re-sell them via the Pre-Loved section on the website, or arrange for them to be recycled to create new fabric.
Lisa says, “As a slow-fashion brand, we are committed to reducing clothing waste and the impact that clothes have on the future health of the planet, and adding the buy-back and pre-loved services help us achieve that. We use GOTS Certified Organic cotton in our manufacturing, as well as recycled fabrics in our maternity range. We also use recycled and compostable packaging and manufacture our baby clothes collection using off-cuts from production of our breastfeeding and maternity range. Every decision we make has sustainability at its core.”
The brand will be launching a rental service for their bump, baby and beyond ranges, later in 2022, for which they have won the prestigious Women in Innovation award from Innovate UK for Circular Fashion innovation. Clothing made from sustainable materials will be available for rent so that women can access the right clothes, in the right size, at the right stage of their journey of motherhood. The Bshirt clothing will be repaired when possible and when they are worn out, they will be recycled. Innovate UK’s Women in Innovation programme empowers female business leaders to develop commercially-successful solutions to major social, environmental and economic challenges. The programme identifies women with exciting, innovative ideas and ambitious plans that will inspire others.