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UK-based Isabella Oliver launches maternity clothing donation scheme

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

Nov 20, 2019

Fashion

London - Premium maternity brand Isabella Oliver has launched a ‘Pre-Loved’ programme, aimed at encouraging former customers to donate their pre-owned maternity wear to either be repurposed, re-loved or recycled, in a bid to make maternity fashion circular.

Maternity wear is often considered ‘fast fashion’, as pieces have a short life span, as they are worn on average from 16 weeks into the pregnancy, until five weeks after women give birth, and Isabella Oliver is looking to address the fashion waste with a new “buy less, care more” ethos and initiative.

Isabella Oliver states that on average British women will spend almost 700 pounds during their pregnancy on maternity clothes, with women buying 21 new items of clothing, including two pairs of jeans, three pieces of new underwear and one dress for special occasions, meaning that there is a lot of unwanted clothing that could be repurposed.

This research, commissioned by Isabella Oliver, asked 500 mums who have had a baby in the past five years about their maternity wear, and a tenth of new mums admitted they threw away their garments after giving birth, while more than a quarter gave them to a friend or relative and three in 10 donated them to charity.

However, more than a sixth believe clothing brands and retailers are not doing enough to encourage sustainable maternity wear and a tenth would rather spend more on an item if it is eco-friendly.

This has led Isabella Oliver to introduce a maternity industry first, pre-loved initiative, with the aim of decreasing the levels of maternity wear production as well as reducing the maternity fashion waste going to landfill each year, with a “buy less, care more” attitude.

Isabella Oliver launches initiative to make maternity fashion circular

Isabella Oliver co-founder and chief executive Geoff van Sonsbeeck said in a statement: “The research shows just how affordable maternity wear actually is when you put it into perspective. We pride ourselves on quality and the longevity of our products and offer pregnant women long-lasting garments to see them through more than one pregnancy.

“It’s time for significant change in our industry. We believe in producing less but at a higher quality, so that the clothes can be worn pregnancy after pregnancy, so the impact to the environment is vastly minimised.”

The pre-loved programme is calling on former customers in the UK to send their pre-loved maternity clothes, from any maternity brand, using a pre-paid postage label available on the brand’s website, to be re-loved, repurposed, or recycled, and in return they will receive 20 pounds off their next order at Isabella Oliver or its sister brand Baukjen.

Items that can go on to be re-loved will be sold as part of the brand’s dedicated ‘Pre-Loved Collection’, where 50 percent of net proceeds will be donated to a selection of maternal charities. Other items will be donated to charities or recycled in a “sustainable way,” said the brand.

Van Sonsbeeck added: “This past decade has been about the world waking up to climate change. On the eve of the next decade, we must make it a green one. Our Pre-Loved programme gives customers the opportunity to be part of a positive change.”

Isabella Oliver, founded in 2003, has dressed over 1 million pregnant women around the world, including numerous celebrities from Jessica Alba and Kate Hudson to Beyonce.

Images: courtesy of Isabella Oliver