Dear Hayden: An Impressive New Kidswear Brand Working to Make Fashion More Sustainable


( ENSPIRE Feature ) Newly Established Organic Baby and Kids wear Brand, Dear Hayden, Offers Sustainable Options for Kid’s Clothing

ENSPIRE Contributor: Margaux Jubin

Recently launched in late 2022, Dear Hayden is a sustainable, ethical, and organic kids and baby wear company. Started by Nicole Reilly, Dear Hayden clothing showcases earthy and neutral tones. Nicole is committed to creating babywear that provides both comfort and style. Through Reilly’s research and passion for sustainability, she has created a thriving and environmentally-friendly brand.

Dear Hayden uses naturally sourced cotton from Italy and Portugal for the clothing. Because of their commitment to creating sustainable clothing, Dear Hayden is GOTS certified. This certification is the gold standard for the sustainable processing of organic fibers. Reilly prioritizes children’s safety with her organic cotton design, ensuring that the clothing doesn’t contain harsh chemicals that are found in regular cotton that can be harmful to babies and children’s sensitive skin. 

We believe that sustainable fashion is the future and Nicole Reilly is a trailblazer in kids sustainable fashion. Well-rounded and business savvy, Nicole answered some of our questions about her brand and her vision for the future.

What inspired the name Dear Hayden?

Hayden is my daughter’s name, and she was named after my maternal grandfather. We chose Dear Hayden because the brand is meant to be a love letter to my daughter (and my son). I want them to know that they can take risks and follow their dreams and we will be there to support them. 

How did you find the resources to create sustainable clothing?

Early in my process, I came across a wonderful designer based in Spain. She used to work for the Zara baby line and shares the aesthetic that I sought for the brand. I worked with her to make the designs for the clothing styles. Additionally, we decided we wanted to go in an organic and sustainable direction for the brand because we believe it’s the future of the industry, and we want to be part of the solution and not the problem. During our time, she pointed me toward Portugal for manufacturing because of its reputation for high-quality work, trustworthiness, and commitment to sustainability.

Since the manufacturers that I worked with are GOTS-certified, meaning they meet the highest standards for sustainability and ethical practices, they are very experienced in working with and sourcing sustainable materials. They know to only show me fabrics and trims that meet the sustainability standards I have set for the brand.

What has changed in your business between now and when you started? 

We are still so new (only 7 months in) so not much has changed except that my basement has become a fulfillment center

What are your future plans and visions for this brand? 

We will continue to release seasonal collections with themes and coordinating color palettes. Moreover, we will lean into our best sellers like our rompers and sweaters and continue to iterate on those styles. Additionally, I would love to branch out into new spaces in the future. Perhaps into matching adult pieces, kids’ underwear, or even swimwear. Furthermore, I would love to see the brand continue to expand into additional boutiques and online retailers.

Did you have any previous experience in fashion before starting this business? 

None at all other than being a consumer. I am a former Chicago Public School teacher. 

What’s the most rewarding part of your job and why? 

I love being my own boss and setting my schedule to allow myself to spend time with my kids and that I am constantly learning from email marketing to content planning to how the wholesale industry works to elements of design. 

What’s the hardest part of your job? 

Time management. Right now I am pretty much a one-woman show, with a little help from my husband with the finances. There is so much to do and only so many hours in a day and sometimes it’s hard to figure out what tasks should be the priority when everything feels urgent. 

What advice would you give to someone starting their own clothing line? 

If you have a good idea and feel certain that there is a space in the market for it and an interested customer, just go for it. Don’t waste any time waiting to get your plan perfect. Take a leap and put your all into it!

In conclusion, Dear Hayden is a trailblazer for sustainability and environmental awareness in the world of kids and baby wear. Combining organically sourced cotton with earthy tones, this brand is the recipe for successful kid’s fashion. Dear Hayden guarantees the highest quality materials while committing to sustainability and aesthetics. The brand’s success is attributed to its ability to address the necessities of parents, children, and babies. As Dear Hayden continues to grow, it redefines the market for baby and children’s wear, demonstrating that sustainable clothing can be both trendy and environmentally friendly.

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