Streetwear for kids

More than ever, parents are investing time and money into how they dress their kids. According to research company GlobalData, the childrenswear market was worth £5.4bn in 2017, and is set to grow by 12.4% by 2022. That sees kidswear narrowly outpacing the menswear market, which they estimate is set to grow 12.3%.

Looking at the numbers, then, it seems that shoppers are spending more on clothes for their kids. And according to trade title Business of Fashion, it’s a market that remains relatively un-catered for. But with greater sums of money comes a more discerning attitude. So opportunity awaits, but only for those who can create garments that will appeal to this new and developing base of customers.

One brand who think they’ve nailed the formula is Playground, founded by friends – and fellow mums – Emma Colbeck and Jess Knowles. Launching in December 2019, they left roles in the media and fashion, respectively, to set up the business, working with ICON to print their new line that’s aimed at both kids and parents. They describe it as “conscious streetwear for cool kids and big kids”, offering a style for kids which they found has been missing when shopping for their own. 

We spoke to them to get some of their top tips from what they’ve learnt about launching the brand. 

How to start a killer childrenswear brand

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PLAYGROUND BEANIES drop this evening! Limited run only. We're super excited, after lots of requests for these. They will be live on the site from 8pm. And, of course they are 💯organic cotton⁠ 🖤⁠Reserve yours if you haven't already here:⁠ .⁠ .⁠ .⁠ .⁠ .⁠ #kidsbeanies #kidsfashion #toddlerfashion

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1. Tap into a community

As mothers themselves, Colbeck and Knowles’ idea for their business came out of their own experience. The clue is in the name: it was spending time in the playground with their kids where they first started to develop the idea, and their view of what they wanted to create was shaped by their own discussions and conversations with other parents they knew. “Streetwear is also a great way to connect people who stand for the same values,” they say.

When they were first starting out, they were working with community resale / reuse groups on Facebook in their local areas, such as Mama East and Mama Totters. They investigated how to reduce waste in the way they run their business, and also connect with the kinds of communities they wanted their brand to be for: people who care about clothes, but who are discerning and care about sustainability.

2. Know your style

There’s a distinct look to the Playground range, and this is vital to the brand. While there are plenty of childrenswear lines out there, they felt that none of them catered to the style they were looking for. “A lot of other brands out there can feel a little too cutesy,” they say, “which just doesn’t feel the right vibe for us and our children.”

Finding that no brands were offering what they were looking for, they created it themselves, their emphasis being on a streetwear style: oversized, with comfy wide arms, and printed on sustainably sourced garments which are good quality. The style means that they’re clothes which can be worn by kids and grown-ups alike, another important part of the brand. 

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PLAYGROUND FAMILY – Hey it's Jess here, we love Sundays in our house, no matter how crazy it is, we always find time for Sunday lunch / dinner. Typical day for us, starts with football, playdate, and then scoff our faces and not budge off the sofa all afternoon. Heaven. What's your typical Sunday? ⁠ .⁠ .⁠ .⁠ .⁠ #JoinOurPlayground #family #lazysundays

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3. Remember your core message

In launching a new clothes line, it’s vital to have a distinctive brand. For Colbeck and Knowles, this was a central consideration to everything they did. “The design of our logo and clothes always comes back to our identity,” they say. “We have our core pillars and values that we work under and everything we do must fit into this framework. The logo was designed to be fun, to not take ourselves too seriously, whilst also feeling fresh.”

Want to create merch for your fashion business? ICON Printing offer fast turnaround printing on a range of garments, counting a number of clients ranging from such as WeWork to Boiler Room and the Tate. Get a quote in 2 minutes online.