> Kidizen

Kids need new clothes, Kidizen helps parents keep up with that need–sustainably

Kidizen is a mom-powered, digital resale marketplace to shop and sell kids’ clothing, shoes, and accessories. We are based in Minneapolis but our community is nationwide and made up of over half a million moms who exchange from each other’s closets.

In 2007, when Dori Graff and Mary Fallon, the co-founders of Kidizen, had kids at the same time, they found themselves acquiring immense amounts of stuff. Kids go through seven sizes in the first two years alone and,
as parents, it’s a challenge to keep up. As they grow, you constantly need to acquire more and need to get rid of all that they have outgrown.

From this unsustainable cycle of consumption was born the idea of a marketplace for parents, specifically for moms, where you can look to other parents to find what you need, and pass on items no longer in use. “We were looking to tap into the communal wealth we knew was out there,” says Fallon. “So many items already exist, belonging to other families—we just wanted an easier way to find them.”

Fallon and Graff met at a digital agency. Mary was on the creative side and Dori managed the accounts. They became friends and decided they wanted to create a business together. They did some prototyping in 2013, and by 2014, Kidizen was up and running, and has been growing ever since. The company sees itself as part of a shift in consciousness where reselling is becoming a natural part of the consumer cycle. “The idea is that when you’re buying new, you’ll consider items of higher quality, ones that will last, with a high resale value, so that you can get a return on your investment once you’re done with them,” says Graff. “It becomes part of your default consumption behavior.”

One of Kidizen’s big projects is partnering with sustainably minded brands that produce quality long-lasting goods. They call this the REWEAR Collective. These brands promote the resale of their brand on Kidizen, and Kidizen promotes buying new from these brand partners as a testament to their long-lasting quality and resale value.

“It gives brands a way to help their customers pass on items they no longer use while keeping those items out of landfills and driving circularity,” says Fallon. It was a bit of a challenge to convince brands to be a part of this at first, but lately, it’s become much easier. “With the fashion resale market growing 21 times faster than retail, brands are seeking ways in which they can participate.”

Kidizen’s growth is also being fueled by their “Style Scout” program, which provides a second way for people to sell on Kidizen. Style Scouts are power sellers who consign for other families in their area, and the program is expanding rapidly. Style Scouts come to your house, pick up your items, and take care of the job of selling. You then split the profits with them. “It’s a very easy way to consign your kid’s clothes without ever leaving your house,” says Fallon.

Recently Fallon and Graff have been focused on what they can do locally. Minneapolis is both a big retail center and a great place to raise kids, so it’s a natural fit for the business. “We’ve been doing more in-person events, pop-ups in local boutiques, and reaching out to schools and daycares,” says Graff. The outlook for Kidizen looks bright. “There’s been a huge increase in growth and acceptance of resale,” says Fallon. “It’s been really exciting.”

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