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Petite Marin’s Rachel and Melina note that high-quality men’s cotton dress shirts are made from the finest cotton available. This makes them particularly durable and washing machine safe, and the fabric just gets softer with age. Unsurprisingly, the women rapidly ran out of shirts to raid in their husbands’ closets, so they have partnered up with Californian non-profit Image for Success, which helps people returning to the workforce and finds them work-appropriate clothing.

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Among the clothing donations it receives, Image for Success finds many men’s shirts with small marks or tears that make them unsuitable for job-seekers. Petite Marin buys these shirts and then cuts the cloth to remove the damaged sections, before sewing them up into adorable dresses, overalls and bonnets. Rachel and Melinda point out that only around five percent of donated clothing actually ever gets worn again, so repurposing the shirts saves them from going to landfill or being turned into upholstery wadding. The pair would eventually like to include organic cottons in their range, but for now are concentrating on reusing and upcycling existing items.

Currently, the Petite Marin range includes bonnets, caps and tea dresses, with overalls due to arrive for Spring/Summer. All items are handcrafted with care in California. Hats are priced at $46 and are sized for infants and toddlers. Dresses are $86 and range in size from 12 months to 4T. Purchases can be made directly through the Petite Marin website, and the new company welcomes wholesale inquiries.

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+ Petite Marin

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Photos by Petite Marin and via Facebook