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Marianna Sachse is the founder of Jackalo, an industry-changing line of durable, organic children’s clothes. That in and of itself is awesome, but Marianna and Jackalo take their purpose one step further by accepting all of their used clothes back to be repaired and resold or responsibility recycled. Jackalo’s innovation is reducing the environmental impact of the children’s apparel sector and I can’t wait for you to hear Marianna’s story and how Jackalo came to be!
Marianna founded Jackalo, a line of durable and sustainable playwear for kids ages 4 to 14. Before starting Jackalo in July of 2018, Marianna already had a career in public health as well as many years of experience working in social change.
Originally from Washington D.C., four years she moved to The Netherlands for her husband’s job. She knew she wanted to get an idea of the ground at that time focusing on the durability of children’s clothes.
When she noticed that her oldest son’s clothes weren’t lasting very long, she started researching more durable clothing brands, but very few of them met her standards on ethics and environmentalism. She saw an opportunity to do it better and decided to start pursuing her idea of her own clothing line.
More specifically, she noticed that her mom friends who had kids who were more sensitive needed durable clothing that still felt good to the touch.
Living in The Netherlands proved a great location to build the foundation of her company. She lives near hubs of the fashion industry and fabric production.
Trial and error seem to be a theme when starting a business from scratch, and Marianna’s story is no different. She started with a fabric trade show in Paris and walked the floors with her business card just talking to vendors.
Most of the vendors were not prepared to help a startup business in a sustainable way because they were looking to sell more fabric than a startup would need. Marianna quickly learned that it wasn’t the right path.
Instead, Marianna joined an online group called Startup Fashion and found a mentor named Dana Fried, who has helped many successful fashion companies and helped Marianna carve her own path to a sustainable clothing business and while proving to partners that her business would grow.
Marianna did her own fabric sourcing in order to have more control over quality and sustainability. When she researched a little deeper, she often found environmental certifications for fabric companies lacking with the tougher fabrics.
Marianna found a mill in Germany that works with sustainable producers to raise cotton at the highest level of organic certification while also using solar energy and taking smaller fabric orders.
Since Marianna knows how to sew, knit, draw, etc., Marianna initially hired a freelancer for the first garment and then studied taught herself how to do technical flat designs.
When Marianna’s son was just four months old, her mother was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and began palliative care.
In the middle of her mother’s illness, Marianna found out she was pregnant with her second son, and a month-in-a-half into the pregnancy she found out she was in the early stages of a “molar pregnancy.”
In a season of loss, community with women who understand is a powerful thing. Once Marianna told her story, she realized it was important not only for her to share for her own healing, but the healing of others as well.
No matter what kind of loss you experience, you don’t get over grief, you move on with it. It’s important to experience grief together while understanding we all experience it differently.
This journey of grief taught Marianna about the need to nurture her creative side. It made her realize how central creativity is to her identity and decided to set aside time and space for creating every day.
Marianna’s goal with Jackalo is to find ways to reuse as much as possible for as long as possible.
Her research has shown that there are plenty of sustainable, durable clothes to reuse with Infants and toddlers, but the market is lacking in the same kinds of clothes for older kids.
Jackalo aims to sell clothes that are so well made that they will last through a hand-me down phase AND the second-hand market.
Jackalo’s trade program allows families to send back their used Jackalo clothing to be washed, repaired, and resold. Marianna is now starting to receive hand me downs back that only need to be washed and will upcycle any of those that cannot be resold.
Keeping second-hand clothes in the US is also an important way to reduce the waste we send to places that don’t want it and where it disrupts the local economy.
Find out what Marianna’s favorite TV show when she was a kid, what cheesy song she has memorized, what she’s reading, and of course what it means to her to run a business with purpose.
Connect with Marianna
Marianna Sachse is the founder of the triple bottom line enterprise https://hellojackalo.com/—an industry-changing line of durable and organic children’s clothes that accepts all of the used clothes back to be repaired and resold or responsibly recycled, thus reducing reducing the environmental impact of the children’s apparel sector. Prior to launching Jackalo, Marianna spent nearly twenty years helping individuals and communities improve their health and wellbeing. She worked with and for such noted organizations as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Whitman Walker Clinic, the Aspen Institute, and the Federal Reserve Board.