Ryan Yasin’s fashion technology startup ‘Petit Pli’ combines creativity and engineering to become the answer to tackling fast fashion sustainably.
Petit Pli is origami-inspired versatile and waterproof clothes for children, which stretches as they grow.
The London-based 25-year-old designer was inspired by his sister, who had just had a baby at the time, to create a sustainable children-wear to fit babies through to toddlers.
“Every day I have something new to learn”
“Petit Pli means little fold, which is a description inherent to our unique fabric.
Children grow 7 sizes in their 1st two years on Earth and this equates to a lot of wasted clothing.
Its versatile waterproof shells are pleated in such a way that they can grow bi-directionally to custom fit a large range of sizes.
An auxetic structure is then embedded in the fabric, which gives the clothing a negative Poisson’s ratio.
The structure was developed through a lot of testing and research into anthropomorphic data to try and achieve an auxetic expansion ratio that was desirable.
Petit Pli is my attempt at tackling fast fashion and I want to find a solution that would be sustainable, desirable, and viable as a business.
My sister was having another baby at the time, and they inspired me to focus on a very niche user group – children – because of the incredible speed at which they grow.
I also went to an exhibition of Issey Miyake and was completely taken away by how he was able to take control of the properties of fabrics by manipulating the structures within.
It was incredible to see how his work could be appreciated in a museum and then be worn outside, on the streets of Tokyo.
I loved that cross between fashion and function and was inspired by how communities can be made stronger by the ‘uniforms’ they wear – be it Harajuku fashionistas or Rapha cyclists.
This is what made me realise that there is so much more than meets the eye in fashion.
Fast Fashion – I never thought of Petit Pli as a project
The concept of Petit Pli is based on using materials resourcefully, which amounts to less material waste at production, labour transportation (CO2 emissions) and waste at end of life.
Sustainability often has echoes of a trade-off be it in price or quality and we want to steer away from that by offering a solution that would be absolutely desirable, and inherently sustainable.
We also want to work on a psychological level by instilling slow-fashion values in children and new parents who are both at a new stage of life, where they are open to learning.
We’re designing for the future of humanity, and we’re starting with the next generation by offering a product that is so much more advanced than any other childrenswear garment.
I went straight into building my business while studying an MSc Engineering course at Imperial College London, before going to the Royal College of Art to study Global Innovation Design.
This allowed me to have really good control of the visual communications assets of Petit Pli and I wanted to use my technical skills in a much more creative problem-solving domain.
Once you’ve combined creativity and engineering, thinking entrepreneurially is the final step to having your ideas released and adopted by the world.
I never thought of Petit Pli as a project as it was always going to have to live tangibly in the real world.
This was always the goal or else it would remain conceptual and never have any impact.
Every day I have something new to learn – be it in patent applications, pitching to investors, preparing for exhibitions worldwide or dealing with supply chain logistics.
Persistence is absolutely key, and the best way to persist is to know why you’re doing what you’re doing.
In times of doubt arising, if your why is strong enough, nothing will get in the way.”