Innovator Spotlight: Zip Us In
In 2019, Kate Bell was named Venturefest South Innovator of the Year for her innovative Zip Us In jacket expander panels. Since then, she hasn’t looked back – her weatherproof panels and other accessories are now available globally and are a ‘must-have’ for mums-to-be and those with young babies.
She said “VFS gave me the confidence to look even further into how innovation can disrupt the fashion industry and enable change for the better. We are now set to launch a full range of adaptable clothing that will replace outdated maternity wear with a move to ALTERNITY wear, clothing that grows with you.
“The fast fashion industry produces 92m tonnes of waste every year. This is a huge problem that needs to be addressed now more than ever. Research shows that women change dress size on average 31 times during their lifetime, I believe this is a main contributing factor to the increasing demand for fast fashion.
“As our body shapes change, for pregnancy, weight gain or loss or hormonal changes, we inevitably have a need for new clothing. The ALTERNITY range will remove this problem as innovation will enable our designs to adapt to a changing shape. We are set to close our second investment round very soon to support the launch of our new products and to enable us to continue on the impressive growth trajectory we have achieved so far.”
Kate says that VFS highlighted the importance of innovation across every industry. She advises innovators attending VFS for the first time this year to know their brand inside and out. She adds:
“Be clear on your vision and understand your numbers. Communicating that vision is vital to finding investors who can share that vision. Also, be clear on what you need from an investor, it’s definitely a two-way street!”