Aurelie Torres-Hastie, a mother of two, is the owner of Petit Fox – a secondhand clothing store that makes sustainable children’s clothes more affordable and accessible. Through buying and selling unwanted children’s clothes, and encouraging parents to shop secondhand, Aurelie helps parents save money, and helps the planet too. With this inspiring vision, Petit Fox was chosen as a finalist in the Retail Award category presented by Inscape, at the Twyg Sustainable Fashion Awards 2021.
We spoke to Aurelie to find out more about her journey with Petit Fox.
What inspired you to start Petit Fox?
As a mother of two, I was frustrated by how time-consuming it was to find quality clothes without breaking the bank. I have a son and a daughter, so some of the clothes I couldn’t pass on to my second child. This meant that I started to accumulate children’s clothing. because children grow very quickly over a short period. Within a couple of weeks, they can grow out of brand new clothes. They constantly need new clothes and this quickly becomes a very expensive and wasteful practice. The most sustainable option I found, to keep up with the speed at which kids grow, was secondhand.
The idea for Petit Fox came to me when I realised how many parents are in the same boat as me and have so many immaculate children’s clothes sitting in closets collecting dust.
Tell us how Petit Fox works
Petit Fox buys and sells secondhand maternity and kids’ clothing. We select the clothing according to strict criteria and only sell top-quality garments on our website. Petit Fox aims to be accessible to every parent, regardless of their background, location, or income.
From where do you source stock?
All of Petit Fox’s stock is sourced from parents across South Africa. These parents are conscious of the environment and are keen to recycle and reuse clothing, rather than perpetuating a consumer culture that supports the wasteful practices of fast fashion. They also get money back for investing in their clothes rather than letting them go to landfills – it’s a win-win situation.
What criteria must clothes meet in order to be sold?
The items must be free from stains, yellowing, tears, or signs of excessive wear. We only sell two types of clothes: excellent quality or brand new. We want to make sure customers are getting premium clothes and feel comfortable knowing that they’re not compromising on quality.
What do you do with rejected stock?
Clothes that don’t meet Petit Fox’s strict criteria are either sent back or donated to charity – it’s the customer’s choice. To date, 20,568 items have been donated to local charities such as The Red Cross Children’s Hospital, Nazareth House, Atlantic Hope, St Anne’s Home, and Hatch.
Why is the secondhand fashion industry important for sustainability?
The secondhand industry is growing at a rapid pace. By allowing products to circulate in the economy longer and get more wears, secondhand fashion prolongs the lifespan of clothes and prevents them from prematurely ending up in landfills. And, extending the lifespan of a garment decreases its carbon footprint. It’s amazing how much a few extra wears can do for our environmental impact!
What are your future goals for Petit Fox?
My long-term goal is to have a large warehouse to stock secondhand clothes. At the moment, we’re working on a much smaller scale. Having more space for stock would make allow us to grow.