Marketers across the consumer product spectrum have “gone green” to boost sales in the face of the recent economic downturn. For producers of clothing and footwear made for the youngest consumer, this ranks among several viable competitive tactics, according to “Infant, Toddler and Preschool Clothing Market in the U.S., 3rd Edition,” a new report by market research publisher Packaged Facts.
Infant, toddler and preschool (ITP) clothing/footwear is an evergreen market because the pool of newborns (and parents or grandparents eager to pamper them) is constantly renewed. Even so the market is mature, in that for decades the number of newborns has hovered around 4.0 million annually. Nonetheless, innovative marketing and design spurred retail sales of infant-to-preschool clothing and shoes to $18.4 billion in 2010 – a figure projected to exceed $23.0 billion in 2015.
“While it seems almost trite at this point to say that ‘green’ or ‘sustainable’ products will fuel growth for a product, in the case of clothing for babies and young children, that is very significantly the case,” observes Don Montuori, Publisher of Packaged Facts. “Indeed, such products are on the verge of becoming mainstream – witness organic or recycled clothing being produced by national brands and sold by mass–merchandisers, including Walmart.”
Clothing and footwear made from fabrics of natural or organic fibers constitute a fast–growing but difficult–to–monitor niche populated by hundreds of small–scale marketers selling limited assortments of products for small-scale people. However, the niche is rapidly growing up to become a market of its own. Major ITP clothing/footwear marketers have already begun to invest more heavily in these products, thereby calling even more attention to them and further expanding consumer options, as evidenced by Faded Glory–branded organic ITP clothing sold through Walmart; Patagonia–branded ITP outerwear incorporating layers of synthetic fabrics made from recycled materials; Crocs clogs made from recycled plastic; and Summer Infant organic cotton swaddling clothes available at Babies “R” Us.[Source: “Infant, Toddler and Preschool Clothing Market in the U.S., 3rd Edition.” Packaged Facts. 10 Mar. 2011. Web. 17 Mar. 2011.]