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Sainsbury’s Tu taps into breastfeeding community

Sainsbury’s Tu is to expand its clothing ranges that are suitable for nursing mothers, following glowing feedback and rising demand from customers.

The supermarket’s designs have proved especially popular with the Facebook group known as CIBII (Can I Breastfeed In It?), where more than 60,000 members recommend clothing that is suitable for nursing.

In May this year, members from the CIBII created a collage of users all wearing a pineapple jumpsuit with a zip down the front to alert Tu’s design team to its momentum within the group.

Hannah Mallett, womenswear buying manager for Tu, told Drapers the jumpsuit was 88% sold through in stores after eight weeks and it sold out online within four weeks.

Tu is consequently launching new styles to meet the demand.

“While we haven’t specifically targeted the maternity and nursing market, we have found fully functional zip and button-through styles have been extremely popular with this customer base,” said Mallett.

Tu button down dress

Tu button-down dress

She explained that a lemon print dress has also been a favourite with nursing mothers. It was a bestseller for the company in July, selling out in three weeks. Current options include a button-down dress and wrap dresses in various colours.

“Given the popularity of these products with the nursing community, we will be looking to expand these types of outfits in more colourways,” she said.

Tu will introduce three new jumpsuit prints from mid-August and is also set to launch maternity lingerie online from December. The range will include plain and printed T-shirt nursing bras with lace detailing, lace nursing bras, supersoft briefs for over and under the bump, and bump bands.

Mallett said the retailer may also highlight products that are suitable for nursing in future.

Clothing that is easy to breastfeed in is often overlooked on the high street and one of the main gripes is that breastfeeding-friendly clothes are not necessarily the same as maternity wear, explained Natalie Halman, founder of the CIBII group.

Halman started the group in 2015 and has since added a website complete with weekly fashion round-ups and “hot favourites” based on what is popular in the group.

“These pages have really highlighted the selling power of the group – even leading to several items being sold out in store and online,” she told Drapers.

She urged retailers to take note of this group of consumers by highlighting suitable items with a tag or keyword so they can be found easily.



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