How Mon Coeur Created “Conscious Clothing” Brand For “Earth-Loving Kids”

Louise Vongerichten Ulukaya is the founder of Mon Coeur, an environmentally accountable retail and D2C kids’ clothing and manner brand dependent out of New York.

Most likely most interesting about the introduction of Mon Coeur is that it empowers young ones to start off creating a substance variance in a planet on fire. To positively influence the potential they’ll inherit.

The conventional trend sector is infamously terrible for the ecosystem. Kids’ dresses in specific, specified that they really don’t don them for long. That is a person rationale Mon Coeur gives a discounted to prospects who deliver their applied things to them for recycling.

And it’s one reason FastCompany rated Ulukaya among the Kamala Harris and Kate Hudson as just one of the 5 most resourceful girls doing work today.

Mon Coeur, which has been close to two a long time, was in enhancement for even more time. It was motivated by the birth of the initially of Ulukaya’s youngsters – her son Miran – in 2018. The new mother searched for child outfits that would support assure Miran could increase up in a world rife with flourishing fauna and flora—and discovered the industry missing.

But Ulukaya came from a food stuff qualifications. She established Food stuff Desires, a Jean-Georges Basis, in 2016 (her father is renowned French Chef Jean-George Vongerichten). Her husband is Hamdi Ulukaya, the Kurdish American billionaire, philanthropist, and activist who is the founder, chairperson, and “anti-CEO” of Chobani, the leading-providing Greek yogurt brand in the US.

In her early profession, Louise Vongerichten Ulukaya managed kitchens and dining establishments (a single of her two MBAs is in Hospitality). In other terms, she was neither a vogue maven nor a producing specialist.

But she did know a factor or two about sustainability—it was, at least, where her coronary heart – “Mon coeur – was. “I definitely wished my youngsters, and all kids, as much as probable, to have on a manufacturer that carries that reason and that eyesight,” Ulukaya states.

Function as the lifeblood of innovation

Ulukaya labored for practically 3 a long time to uncover the ideal partners and procedures to convey her mission to lifetime. The target was to make sustainable kids’ dresses that are as available as feasible, i.e., not overpriced, to as quite a few consumers as the enterprise could achieve.

Trying to keep costs down – starting with producing so as not to move people too much prices on to people – was a obstacle. Buyers have to acknowledge that “when you get an organic and natural blueberry, there’s always a premium involved with it,” she suggests. But in the scenario of Mon Couer’s eco-friendly outfits, the high quality would seem negligible. For example, on sale, onesies in its collection commence about $23, kids’ joggers $27, and hoodies $45. That is on ordinary about 25 p.c more affordable than say, designer models like Ralph Lauren.

Obtaining the stability among sustainability, high quality, and cost “hasn’t been effortless,” Ulukaya admits, specifically all through the pandemic, during which time products fees skyrocketed and source chains froze. “But we found the proper rhythm of executing matters sustainably with the correct companions,” she says.

All these associates are in Western Europe. Mon Coeur’s complete source chain is in Portugal, Spain, Italy, and France, a world nexus of ground breaking content science and regenerative tech.

What’s extra, all Mon Coeur’s clothes are spun from natural cotton fiber reclaimed from the flooring of adult trend ateliers, workshops, studios, and factories, complemented by ocean-friendly and usually environmentally responsible buttons, zippers, labels, tags, and so on.

A lot more especially, all the company’s “soft and cozy” materials are made of 100 per cent recycled content material (article-industrial recycled cotton [R-CO]). Write-up-industrial information is created from the scraps created from some initial manufacturing system.

So, what could possibly have when been regarded as pure “waste” for disposal is granted a new life, as a result conserving sources. Substance getting this kind of a “second existence,” together with remaining wholly traceable, was a key directive of Ulukaya. Hers is a terrific case in point of a Lead With We corporation aiming over and above sustainability into regenerative and circular territory.

As more proof of that transcendence, all Mon Coeur’s woven labels and attractive and practical embroideries are produced of 100 % recycled polyester (from upcycled plastic bottles [rPET]) and recycled Roica elastane (R-EA).

However “virgin” PET plastic in the beginning involves extraction of petroleum reserves, rPET is made from post-customer PET, so it doesn’t demand any pure source depletion. Simply because it is 100 percent recyclable, it can be reintroduced into “the loop” over and over—a certainly round “revolution” in industry.

Mon Coeur’s “Natulon” zippers are also made of 91 % recycled content, not only from upcycled plastic bottles, but also from publish-purchaser recycled yarns. Its buttons are manufactured from up to 93 p.c content from recycled paper and recycled thermosetting fillers. (Thermoset plastics are melt-resistant. Recycled by mechanically grinding, sifting, and sorting put up-industrial waste, they are adaptable, durable, and, again, reusable once again and again.)

All of all those attempts get the firm nearer to carbon neutrality, landfill avoidance, and drinking water conservation.

Heartfelt tales

But all that technological innovation and the heady purpose at the rear of it can get “boring” and even probably “harsh” and frightening for the parents who are buyers, Ulukaya argues. So, she says, the company’s exterior communications educate through typically very simple, “optimistic, playful, and fun” model narrative with a sweet and childlike visual style complete of crayon doodles. Phrases these kinds of as “Earth-loving” clarify the environmental intent without overcomplicating nor overselling.

“Basically, I feel the outfits speaks for itself” in the brand’s story, claims Ulukaya. “Because it’s pretty sweet. It’s pretty available. It’s snug. It is pretty essential” – not for specific occasions – “So it is genuinely for young children to participate in, stay, and appreciate, love in each and every working day.”

Why not guide with a sustainability tale? States Ulukaya, “For now, I believe that the the greater part of people are not completely ready to acquire only because something’s sustainable. Specially when it comes to young ones. As a mother, I want the outfits that I get to be cozy and … adorable. And then if they are sustainable, that is like the icing on the cake.

“So, I set myself into the parents’ standpoint. I want to make sure that we position ourselves as a tremendous classy, cute, and snug brand to start with.” Then, due to the fact the line is so “Earth-loving,” “that just makes it even extra wonderful.”

On the other hand, Ulukaya’s looking at the similar shift in the market dynamics as we’re all viewing, most likely primarily suppliers. Since the start, she suggests, “our profits improved enormously, for the reason that people today want to make that [sustainable] obtaining conclusion, they want to make that change.”

In the earlier year, in distinct, extra and additional stores are reaching out to Mon Coeur since they want to have an environmentally dependable brand. And that is because much more dad and mom are demanding it.

“Parents are worn out of rapid vogue,” Ulukaya claims. “They prefer to purchase significantly less, but acquire improved, probably invest into a t-shirt that is likely to expense possibly 5 pounds far more than a common t-shirt, but that’s going to previous for a longer period. That’s heading to be designed from excellent material. That is heading to be built in a country where there is no kid labor.”

On that last issue, Mon Coeur thinks that “being component of a sustainable movement is not only about the content,” says Ulukaya. The company’s fully commited to good, just, and secure doing the job ailments, honest wages, and to philanthropy, for instance by way of its 1% For the World partnership.

Carrying their coronary heart on their sleeve

“In French, you simply call your loved just one and specifically your young children – your blood – you call ‘Mon Coeur,’ my coronary heart,” suggests Ulukaya. The model title “really experienced that double meaning”—named both for small Miran and simply because the company would become its founder’s heart and soul.

“I didn’t create Mon Coeur just as a hobby or since I didn’t know what to do with myself. Mon Coeur is a brand name that’s heading to stay, and evolve. I genuinely desired to build a lifestyle model, as a leader … in sustainable children’s use.”

The organization lives up to its motto, “Kids’ outfits that lasts, so the planet does, as well.”

If you’d like to dive deeper with more objective-led providers like Mon Coeur, check out out the Guide with We podcast right here, so that you too can create a organization that transforms customer behavior and our foreseeable future.