In a growth spurt? Just give these pants legs a tug! This futuristic-looking clothing is inspired by the paper folding art of origami. Each garment in the line by London-based startup Petit Pli has many creases and tucks. The adaptable attire could reduce fashion industry waste and save parents money on kids’ clothes.
The company’s name is French for “little pleat.” The clothes feature an ingenious pleat system that lets them grow along with their wearer. The outfits expand in multiple directions but also shrink back to their original size.
Company founder Ryan Yasin was inspired by a frustrating experience. He sent some clothes to his nephew in Denmark. When the duds arrived, the little dude had already grown too big for them. “This served as a real stimulus to look at this as a problem that needed fixing,” Yasin says.
According to Yasin, children grow seven clothes sizes during their first two years. That leaves parents with a lot of barely worn, too-small clothes.
Yasin is an engineer specializing in deployable structures. Those are forms that can change shape and size, like an umbrella or a folding chair. To design the clothes, he used his knowledge of “stowing away as much material as possible into a small gap.” Then the material can deploy (or pop out) when needed.
The clothes aren’t cheap: A pair of pants costs about $80. Tops start at $95. But one set of Petit Pli clothes can fit a child from age nine months to four years. Then the clothes can be reset back to their smallest size and passed on to another child. (So when Mom tells you to “Fold your clothes,” she might want you to put them away. But she might also mean for you to hand them down!)
The clothes are tough, breathable, and tear-resistant. That allows children to “move completely freely and explore the world as they are meant to, not in restrictive skinny jeans that are really not designed for them,” Yasin says.
There’s another beneficial aspect to the innovative garb. “Petit Pli exists because the fashion industry is the world’s second largest polluter,” Yasin says. “We already know what one of the solutions is, and that is to extend the life and use of clothes.”
Stewarding God’s creation well includes avoiding unnecessary wastefulness. The company’s website says that since 2017, it has recycled approximately 12,841 plastic bottles to make its fabric.
The company is now also experimenting with adult clothing and prints to hide stains.