Tabitha wants to connect children with their environment and give them an opportunity to fall in love with the natural world. Her design challenge is to create waterproof garments that allow children to be outdoors – everyday, all day, whatever the weather – in the most transparent way possible.
This journey to becoming a responsible fashion designer began in November 2016, after of 10 years in the fashion industry. Tabitha’s experiences of working within the fashion industry was eye opening as she observed blatant disregard for the protection of the environment. Tabitha knew that if she wanted to radicalize the industry she had to begin with textiles. Her goal was to find a fabric that was renewable and diverted resources from landfills while protecting the wearer from the elements.
Instinctively, she first looked at natural fibres which would decompose. But renewable crops such as organic linen and hemp, even when waxed, would never truly be 100% waterproof. Pressing on with her research, Tabitha was led to innovative products such as fabric made from fruit skins, Amazonian natural rubber and leather made from mushroom caps. The products she found clearly have a positive impact on the fashion industry and solve a design problem, but it didn’t solve Tabitha’s design problem – to create waterproof, breathable outerwear for children.
At this point she started to also consider the end of life of the garments she would make with these textiles. Would they, too, end up in a landfill? Taking the lead from the Cradle to Cradle philosophy and the natural world, Tabitha wanted a material that would be endlessly reusable. How would she create a garment that didn’t join the millions of tonnes of textile waste in North American landfills?
Being one determined boss lady, Tabitha eventually found her answer at the Sustainable Angle Fashion Expo in the UK. It was here that she discovered Sympatex, a German company creating a 100% waterproof fabric manufactured from PET bottles. Not only was the fabric 100% recycled is was also 100% recyclable if reclaimed – not to mention Bluesign and Oeko-tex certified. The fabric was sustainable and as technically proficient as outerwear textiles come. The fabric was comprised of three layers and was 100% waterproof, windproof, breathable, soft, and lightweight.
So here we are; plastic bottle to raincoat to plastic bottle again, or better yet, new fabric. That’s the life cycle Tabitha envisions for her line of children’s outerwear. When a Faire Child garment wears out, our customers return them. In that way, they are helping Faire Child Close the Loop by ensuring our “waste” is transformed back into a “resource”.
Faire Child sources all our materials in the most transparent way possible. We have open lines of communication with our supplies so that we know the source and the origin of the raw materials – even for notions like elastic and snaps. In this way Faire Child, with Tabitha Osler at the helm, is taking responsibility for the manufacturing of these products and, in turn, giving our customers a solid confidence in their purchase.