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There’s a Brand for That: New Eczema-Friendly Fabric Exploits the Niche-ification of Fashion

One of the best things about where we are in modern history is that if you have an idea or a need and can pull together the resources—you can make it happen.

Just like Apple once assured us that “there’s an app for that,” today there’s a “brand for that,” with startup lines launching seemingly every day with a new mission, slant, focus, you name it.

For Jacqueline Sacks, wife of PayPal founding COO David Sacks, launching her brand-new label Saint Haven was born from a need to find comfortable clothing for her children suffering from eczema and sensory issues. The fabric had to be soft and stretchy—growing kids have growing bodies—and couldn’t be so tight that they inflamed already stressed skin or rubbed away the salves she applied as topical treatments.

Unable to find anything on the market that fit the bill, Sacks tried her hand at developing a proprietary solution with experts after failed attempts at DIY efforts. Nineteen prototypes later, Sacks and an ethical manufacturer in Portugal claim to have created an exclusive new way of softening fabric. Sacks’ Saint Haven brand claims its eco-friendly modal fabric, dubbed Saint Haven Soft, is made from sustainably harvested beech trees and spun into an “ultra-fine textile” that’s said to be more breathable but less absorbent than cotton—important considerations for close-to-the-body clothing touching eczema-treated skin.

Souad Sinai, who has worked for labels ranging from John Galliano and Nina Ricci to Kenzo and Sonia Rykiel, joined Saint Haven Soft as chief designer in charge of creating the brand’s initial 13-piece collection of hypoallergenic and antimicrobial shirts, dresses, pants and a robe for women, children, toddlers and babies. Merino wool and organic cotton also feature in the collection. Prices range from $30 to $150 on a direct-to-consumer e-commerce site powered by Shopify.

According to the Saint Haven website, the brand strives for sustainability throughout the entire fashion lifecycle, from shipping and delivery to “recycling used clothing.” It’s committed to a safe working environment according to Fair Labor Association standards.