Home > Life > TMC Talks > TMC Talks To Sam & Lou Founders Of Dotte.

Let’s face it being a mum is a big enough job on its own. It’s a full time commitment with no pay and mad hours! So adding ANOTHER full time job to the mix is not only very impressive but also massively inspiring. We recently spoke to Dotte , The UK’s first fully circular online peer-to-peer marketplace for children’s clothing founders Sam & Lou to find out how they manage it all..

Why did you start Dotte?

Dotte was born in the first lockdown, out of sheer frustration at the lack of options when shopping second hand for kidswear. No one had done it effectively yet, so we decided to do it ourselves! We wanted a space that offered a fully circular solution to the fastest area of fashion. On dotte you can buy, sell, donate and recycle, all in once space.

What is the coolest thing about it?

Watching our community grow. Our community is our heart, without them we don’t exist. And through our community, we are constantly growing and learning. Our members are actively engaged in everything we talk about, and are often the inspiration for subject matters. Our attention has been brought to the importance of garment DNA for example, and we have some incredible upcyclers, ready and willing to share their secrets. Watching our members celebrate the joy of discovery on dotte is always a high 5 moment. Perhaps they’ve discovered a new brand, a new seller, or even just the platform itself. When they actively want to shout about how they sell with us and shop with us, second hand, they are becoming part of the movement of slowing fashion down, and it always gives us massive smiles.

Have you always been conscious of fast fashion?

Not at all! Only for a few years I would say. And I do believe the pandemic saw a huge change in mindsets, it sped up the change, for many of us. People started to question what actually made them HAPPY. We all did a full declutter and spring clean of our whole mindset as well as lifestyles! We are SO disconnected WHERE and HOW our products are made. But it’s daunting, the idea of shopping and living more sustainably. People often don’t know where to start, as it can be so overwhelming. Start small. A great starting place, is Lauren Bravo’s book “How to break up with fast fashion” After reading it, I was done. How I shopped literally changed over night. It wasnt a case of ” I’m never buying new again” I now find myself asking “Will I wear this over and over again?” “Do I NEED this?” “Can I buy it secondhand?” I have a very strict one in one out policy now and a capsule wardrobe and, genuinely, it’s SO much easier to get dressed. I feel less cluttered looking at my wardrobe MENTALLY as well as physically. Every piece of item in my wardrobe now has a purpose and a chance to be worn.

Why do you think second hand clothing gets a bad rap?

I think this thought is changing rapidly. 50% of Gen Z are already shopping second hand, and resale is going to be twice as big as fashion in ten years time! Platforms like Vestiaire and The Real Real are showing how desirable shopping second hand can be, by focusing on Luxury. Depop has nailed the younger adults, and shows their sellers as CURATORS, as artists. It feels BETTER than shopping new, because everyone loves nabbing a bargain, and also there’s an element of creativity and curation to it, whether you’re a buyer or seller. We wanted to recreate this for kidswear. Gone are the days where second hand is second best! Kidswear is literally the perfect candidate for resale, because kids get so little wear out of clothes, all they do is GROW GROW GROW!!

What has the biggest challenge been?

Trying to juggle family life with growing a new business is really tricky, and with the pandemic on top the past year has been completely bananas. But enough said on that because I think every single parent has been through this this past year!

I read something recently that really hit the nail on the head… “It’s about millions of people doing things imperfectly rather than a handful of people doing this perfectly.” Start with one thing that you can build easily into your life. Swap your toothbrushes first. Switch to a sustainable toilet roll subscription like “Who Gives A Crap.” Replace cotton make up removal pads with washable pads. Small changes, don’t overwhelm yourself. Oh, and of course, try out dotte :). Not only will you clear some space in your kids wardrobe, you will earn some money AND do a massive favour for your planet.

What is something you have learnt that is crucial to Dotte?

Hands down our community. The parents who take the time to sell on their kids clothes, and put in that extra effort to take nice photos, wrap them up with love and care, include a little message. It just makes dotte about so much more than transaction – it’s genuinely a community of parents who want to support each other to slow down fast fashion. And it’s a joy to see so any of them sharing their own tips and tricks for extending the lifespan of kid’s clothes. It truly is a team effort and dotte wouldn’t be anything without the community at its heart.

How do you both manage the work life balance?

Louise and I were very passionate about building a business that is respectful of our family values. We are both Mums, and we were sick of the rat race. The pandemic has shown us all we can all work more flexibly. Whether that’s working from home sometimes (all the time in lockdown!) or working earlier to finish earlier, or starting later to finish later… it’s doable.

How can we use Dotte?

On dotte you can buy, sell donate and recycle. Sign up today using the link below (and use the MUMCLUB referral code to get your free clear out kit!) Have a peruse round the site. You’ll see how easy it is to use. You can browse by age/ brand/ colour if youre buying. If you’re selling, have a read through our handy guidebook and have a little read through the FAQs if anything isn’t clear. And if you have any other questions we are always on hand on the chatbot (real life person, not a robot HOORAY) for a chinwag. We love a natter! JOIN TODAY. We can’t wait to have you!

Join the hundreds already using dotte here -the first 50 to use refferal code MUMCLUB will receive a free clear out kit packed with dotte packaging to help get you started.

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