Fashion & Beauty Springwise

We’re deviating from our regular schedule to bring you the best new business ideas we spotted in 2006. Listed below are our ten favorites from the fashion and beauty business.

  1. Hubwear: Aspiring entrepreneurs often ask us for ideas that don’t require hundreds of thousands of dollars, euros or pounds to get started. Look no further than the burgeoning arena of t-shirts. Bearer of profiles, of lists, of any kind of self-expression really, the humble t-shirt continues to bestow riches on creative entrepreneurs, or at least guarantee some low-risk entrepreneurial fun. So here’s yet another cool t-shirt start up: Hubwear. Its t-shirts display a wearer’s favorite travel routes, in airport codes (think JFK, AMS, MIA, HKG and so on). More »
  2. Denim doctors: Jeans can now go into therapy. Yes, you heard that right — New York’s Denim Therapy restores, rejuvenates and injects life into worn-out, tattered jeans. Playing on the fact that many consumers have an emotional attachment to their jeans, the service repairs jeans with unwanted holes, denim that’s worn, tattered or just plain falling apart. Using a unique reconstructive technique, Denim Therapy places existing denim fabric into the jean to replace the holes. More »
  3. Mormor: Nostalgia. Design. Generation C. Storytelling. Knitting. Senior citizens and baby boomers. All these ‘trends’ beautifully come together in Danish Mormor.nu, an online store that sells baby and children’s wear from the time when grandma herself was a wee lass. (‘Mormor.nu’ is Danish for ‘Grandma.now’). In fact, the company’s employees stem from an era when everything was made by hand, the youngest employee being 68 years old. All products are handmade, from pure wool, alpaca wool or cotton. More »
  4. Culturally sensitive sportswear: Designing headscarves that can be worn for sports and play, Nike and Capsters are offering Muslim girls and women a practical alternative to the traditional hijab. Created by young Dutch designer Cindy van den Bremen, Capsters are sleek head coverings made from comfortable, stretchy fabrics, and come in a variety of styles to match different activities and sports look. More »
  5. Shoes for good: While traveling through Argentina, Blake Mycoskie came across canvas shoes that his feet took an instant liking to. He took the alpargatas–comfortable utility shoes that resemble espadrilles–reworked them a bit, and started TOMS Shoes. Not just casual chic slip-ons that were spotted all over L.A. this summer, TOMS Shoes give new meaning to ‘two for the price of one’. For each pair purchased (USD 38), TOMS gives a pair to a disadvantaged child in South America. More »
  6. Vending that kills the frizz: Born out of frustration from hearing their female friends complaining of frizzy hair, entreprenuers Richard Starrett and Neil Macka took it upon themselves to devise a solution. They came up with the Straight Up machine. Trading under the name Beautiful Vending Ltd, the two men realised there was a gap in the market, since English weather can turn perfectly styled hair to frizz, ruining a night out for women fixed on having pin-straight hair. More »
  7. Wearing your profile on your sleeve: Here’s something that captures the zeitgeist in a novel yet simple way: Canadian t-lists are t-shirts that list the owner’s top 5 for *anything*, from five worst movies or five most admired musicians, to five best products ever, or five things he or she will never eat. More »
  8. Niche-niche skincare: Created by UK native and long-time vegan Leesah B, and based in New Jersey, Inky Loves Nature produces products from community traded and traditionally extracted exotic butters and oils from Africa, biodynamic herbs, and other minimally processed plant based ingredients. Exclusively vegan and packaged in funky, eco-friendly and recyclable containers. With names like Warrior Queen Cleanser and Nappaliscious Nutritious Scalp Butter, the company wants its products to “call out to the culture-craving brown skinned urbanista.”More »
  9. Nail taxi: Regular readers of Springwise will know that we’re a big fan of mobile concepts; they’re easy for entrepreneurs to set up, and so very convenient for consumers. Quick spotting from the world of beauty: Nail Taxi, based in the greater Washington D.C. area, provides nail care at customers’ homes, offices, hotel suites, hospital rooms. They’ll send a professional nail technician wherever a manicure or pedicure is needed. More »
  10. Bold for bald: As a dedicated head-shaver, Abe Minkara tried every shaving product on the market, but none of them worked as well as he wanted. Discovering an underserved segment in the growing male grooming market, Minkara developed his own formula. His new company, Bold For Men, specializes in innovative skincare products for head-shaving men. More »

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