Every parent is familiar with the frustration of buying clothes for their child only for them not to fit in a matter of months. Of course, hand-me-downs are still as common as ever, but what if there was a way to buy new clothes for your child without having to worry about the fit or rely on others to give you the things that were once worn by their kids? Well, we’ve got some good news for you. Art school graduate and formally-trained aeronautical engineer Ryan Mario Yasin has just designed a garment for children that expands as they grow.
All the pieces in Yasin’s “Petit Pli” clothing range employ a patent-pending technology that allows them to stretch as the children who are wearing them get older and bigger. Yasin was inspired to create the collection after buying a garment for his nephew in Denmark. By the time he was able to give it to him, he found that his nephew had already outgrown it. According to Petit Pli’s mission statement, “Children grow 7 sizes in their first 2 years on Earth and this equates to a lot of wasted clothing.” Petit Pli aims to solve the problem of “wasted clothing” by accommodating children’s growth spurts over a number of years.
The clothing line is entirely made up of wind and waterproof outerwear for children, which expands using an innovative pleat system. Yasin used his experience in deployable structure (all of which are required to pack into tight spaces before unfolding) design to inform the design of the top and pants, which expand in both directions. Aware of the difficulties that come with creating and selling materials that haven’t yet been market-tested, he decided to shy away from unorthodox folding systems and instead focused on pleats as a way of getting the clothes to change shape and size over time. Yasin also experimented with pleats in his home before creating the clothes, trying out a range of suitable materials and fabrics into which they could be incorporated.
Yasin recently completed a master’s program in innovation design engineering at the Royal College of Art in London and is currently in the process of finding investors for his Petit Pli range. Ultimately, he hopes to partner with a manufacturer who cares about sustainability and is ethically-minded. He is passionate about using innovative technologies to rethink the way children’s clothing design is approached, minimize waste, and reach a new level of sustainability.
The material used to make Petit Pli is durable and hard-wearing, meaning it can withstand multiple washes without the pleats coming out. The clothes air-dry and do not require ironing, continuing their energy-saving nature well into the maintenance process. The lightweight top and pants also fold away into a tiny parcel for easy storage. Yasin hopes to make Petit Pli clothing available in a range of colors upon receiving the patent for it. Although these expandable clothes are currently made from synthetic material, Petit Pli is committed to finding smarter ways to use it and reducing its effect on the environment.