No matter how much attention a brand pays to its supply chain, if a garment doesn’t become a cherished, long-term part of its owner’s wardrobe — ending up in the trash whatever the reason — it’s not truly sustainable. Husband and wife team Raymond Habner and Martine Pesch have made that idea central to the mission of their newly launched gender-neutral clothing brand, Syddney.
Habner was a graphic designer and art director working in the music industry. Pesch has had 20 years of experience in the garment industry. (They met while studying at Pratt Institute.) Habner had experience launching collections for musicians, but the duo decided it was time to do it for themselves. Habner, an avid gym-goer, noticed that his wife was wearing all of his clothes, so why not make an athletically inspired collection with a focus on fit? They’re working with industry veteran Vince Gonzalez on the launch.
“Sustainability can be used as a marketing tool by some companies,” says Habner. “What happens when big companies buy all the 100% organic cotton, for example? What happens when all the organic cotton farms can’t fulfill a certain quota? Obviously, scenarios like this drive-up prices while being unable to meet increasing consumer demand. And another pain point is the price. While consumers may have every intention of doing their part to help the planet, if they can’t afford the clothes, they will move on. Our plan was to focus less on a single eco-link in the chain and instead, focus on what really makes a long-term difference, making sure a single clothing purchase lasts for a long time.”He points out that by making the collection gender neutral, the company can also cut down on the number of styles it produces, further contributing to overall sustainability.
Pesch adds, “Most people have 100 pieces of clothing in their wardrobe, but really only wear 25 of them!”
The practice has been summed up with the brand’s trademarked Ever Seam approach: Gender neutral, seasonless, trend proof, manufactured for longevity, ethical fashion approved, using eco-conscious materials. They are also using 3D Fashion Technology to limit the number of clothing samples made. Virtual Fitting Rooms, that customers can use to gauge their correct sizing (shown to reduce returns by up 63%), will also be used when the website launches later this Spring. The collection includes hoodies, joggers, tees, bomber jackets and overalls; in extended sizes range from XXS to XXL, and with MSRPs ranging from $49 to $129.
BUT WHY THE FROG?
Syddney’s mascot is Syddney the tree frog who is both an unlikely hero and one tough customer. Besides being one of the few animals that changes gender multiple times during its lifespan (personifying gender neutral), a frog’s health is an indicator of the environment’s health, due to its ability to absorb bacteria and toxins from the environment. Frogs are also an endangered species that need our help to survive. The Frog is little in stature but makes a big difference: Syddney is not a big company, but like its mascot, does not have to be big to make a big impact, little by little.
Syddney will be in better department stores and specialty stores soon. Direct to Consumer sales will be online at www.syddney.com soon.
For more information about Syddney, follow the brand on Instagram, or contact Vince Gonzales,
Business Development Manager, at (646) 918-5478 Ext 3.