A 24-year-old graduate student has created clothes for infants that “grow” as the child does, sparing parents from having to buy new garments every few weeks.
Ryan Yasin invented the material while studying at the Royal College of Art and is now using it to launch a clothing range called Petit Pli. Unlike other elastic materials, it expands in perpendicular directions when stretched, meaning it can respond to a child’s body shape.
Children tend to go through seven clothing sizes between the ages of six and 36 months, often outgrowing clothes within weeks of them being bought.
According to Aviva, parents spend an average of £2,000 on clothing before their child turns three. The cost of transporting these clothes also harms the environment and the pressure for cheap clothes can lead to poor conditions for manufacturers.
Mr Yasin, who studied aeronautical engineering at Imperial before attending the Royal College of Art, has won the UK branch of the James Dyson award, a competition run by Sir James Dyson.
His synthetic fibre uses a pleated structure that allows it to follow the Negative Poisson’s ratio, a phenomenon in which materials become fatter when stretched.
Mr Yasin, who said he was inspired to create the material after seeing his nephew grow out of clothes rapidly, is talking to manufacturers about mass-producing the clothes and said they could go on sale within months.