#THEGOODTRIBE INTERVIEW WITH , BLYTH GILL FOUNDER OF TRADLE
One of the delights of parenthood is dressing your little ones up. Those tiny tees, adorable onesies, classic overalls and before you know, your little one has outgrown their wardrobe. They grow up in a blink of an eye and those cute outfits end up in bags or piles of clothes waiting to be sent for donation. What's worse is some of these clothes end up being thrown away which means it sits in a landfill taking up to 200 years to decompose! Most end up being exported to other countries and end up being burned depleting our ozone layer. There are just way too many clothes.
Is it really worth spending all that time and effort buying new expensive clothes, your kids will outgrow, knowing that it is going to hurt them in the future?
The Good Tee is a proud partner of Tradle, an eco-friendly & premium kids clothing subscription service. You get a curated wardrobe which you wear and when your kids outgrow it, you can trade it in for a new wardrobe. Tradle is building a community of parents supporting the transition from fast fashion to a zero-waste, circular economy, swiftly moving towards a capsule wardrobe for a child’s everyday needs!
Curious to know what inspired founder of Tradle, Blyth Gill? Let's take you through how Tradle is working towards helping the cutest kids live in a better world tomorrow.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your sustainable journey so far.
From a very early age, thanks to my mom, I’ve always appreciated and wanted to help protect the natural environment. I studied Environmental Science in university and began working for an environmental consulting company that was great at cleaning spills and pollution, but it was a reactive solution to dealing with problems that already happened. I wanted to take a more proactive approach and stop the pollution and the destruction before it happened. That’s when I started learning about ‘Cradle-to-Cradle’ designs and the new ‘Circular Economy’ where the lightbulb went off and I finally thought: “Yes, this is what sustainability really means. This is what I want to get involved in.”
Shortly after deciding that I wanted to join a company with a ‘Cradle-to-Cradle’ design philosophy, I came across this baby and infant clothing company in Denmark that also just made sense and exposed me to this ‘Circular Economy’ concept and I was like, why doesn’t this exist in Canada? So I reached out to her and tried to make it work, but the timing just wasn’t right. Not being able to drop this brilliant idea, I reached out to her again last year to say I was going to start a similar business in Vancouver - and she was very supportive, providing guidance and direction that helped to get Tradle started.
The name is two words merged together: Trade + Cradle (for the design philosophy AND for babies)
3. How does Tradle work?
Our ‘How It Works’ has evolved slightly over these early days, allowing us to keep up with demand, without disappointing any clients. It now goes like this:
- Join our membership wait-list. Expecting parents can still add Tradle to their gift registry and gift cards can be purchased by friends and family that will go towards their membership.
- Tradle Members can ‘pre-order’ their upcoming seasonal bundles when our local, Canadian partners launch their seasonal catalogues. (Never worn items are 40% off retail, and gently-used items are 70% off retail)
- Delivered & Exchange when needed, for any unexpected growth spurts or changes or seasonal changes. Items sent back to Tradle are washed, repaired and reused again by other families. (We have unlimited exchanges - but typically it happens 4 times a year)
4. What motivated you to start the Circular Economy Movement?
I’ve always felt unsure about what sustainability really meant. To me, this circular system of responsible production and consumption means we can have a system that mimics nature. Zero waste - infinite use of materials. That is sustainable. Mother Earth (Spaceship Earth) has finite resources and we need to use them wisely, and equitably. We can and will find a balance to having a high quality of life with amazing technology, goods and services, while still living within the carrying capacity of the Earth’s biosphere. Without the planet, there is no human society and no economy. So the circular economy needs to help humans, help regenerate a healthy planet. Earth comes first, and we need to transition our current way of life to make that happen.
5. What was something you learned about sustainable fashion that you did not know before you started Tradle?
I opened up this unknown can of worms when launching Tradle in the sustainable fashion space. Unfortunately, there isn’t much that is sustainable about our current fashion system. BUT, I now know that there are many, many, many incredible people and businesses working on finding solutions. Perfect is the enemy of good, and there are a lot of good things happening. I’m excited when it does finally all come together, where industry, consumers and governments can all collaborate to create a closed-loop, sustainable and circular fashion system.
6. Who inspires you and why?
I’m inspired by other successful entrepreneurs and business leaders, because starting a business and growing and keeping one alive is really hard to do.
I’m also inspired by today’s young parents who are completely transformed when they start a family and to be responsible for this new, tiny little miracle. Not being a parent myself, it’s pretty cool to witness.
7. What does the future hold for Tradle?
We’re really excited to launch a new gift option where friends, family and colleagues anywhere in the world can contribute towards a zero waste Clothing Fund for new parents. It’s a great ‘gift-that-keeps-on-growing’ for communities to follow a baby’s rapid growth over time as they go from one clothing size to the next - while helping to make life just a little easier for the new parents, saving them time for what really matters.
We’re also excited to start having conversations with impact investors who see Tradle’s potential and want to help us grow to meet the needs of helping any Canadian parent, no matter which big or small town they live in, to welcome the 1st truly sustainable generation.
8. Anything else you would like to share?
I can’t express in words how happy and grateful we are to be partnered with The Good Tee. You really are leading the way and setting an example of how the fashion industry can transform into a sustainable, circular system. Your high-quality, circular-designed products are exactly what Tradle’s platform, parents and planet needs. Like I said earlier, it’s inspiring and we hope we can find other incredible partners that share these values and passions for change.
Blyth's idea paves the way to a new sustainable lifestyle of hand me downs, that could shape the future of our young ones. This forward-thinking attitude of today will help us build a more sustainable future for them tomorrow. We along with Tradle are gearing up towards building a forward thinking, zero-waste community of responsible parents.
To all the future parents, don’t let your kids dress in toxic and boring outfits!! Join us on the journey towards a zero waste future.
Check out Tradle and The Good Tee products.
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