The Colour Purple

I’ve had a lot of carriers go through my hands. I often refer to the beginnings of my retail business as “dealing to support my own addiction”. But I don’t think I’ve ever owned a purple sling. And yet, this is the colour that seems to sell best. What the? Certainly got me thinking about the reasons for popular colour choices.

My gorgeous boy in a purple carrier - not from my own stash!

My gorgeous boy in a purple carrier – not from my own stash!

With soft structured carriers, I’ve noticed that manly colours do well: olive greens, beige, blue. I’ve also noticed that light colours do better in summer than dark, and the reverse is true for winter. In doing demos, people often talk about choosing a colour their male partner will wear too, or dad is there helping pick it out. Possibly it helps that I point out the dirt-hiding benefits of those colours, and that fading is more noticeable on black carriers.

Stretchy wraps are another case of dad-friendly colours being popular. I’ve yet to see anyone choose a pink stretchy wrap. Beige, mid blue and green are the most popular colours. There may be some changing fashions here: three years ago, navy was my best seller, with maroon/burgundy/red the next best seller.

Mei tais often have the benefit of being reversible. So mum sometimes goes for a very girly print on the feature panel, and dad can just wear the reverse side if he feels threatened by florals. But still, pink and shimmery fabrics aren’t popular. People go for stripes or abstract prints. Perhaps looking for something that will suit their every mood or outfit, rather than multiple slings in case they’re not in a very girly mood some days. Mei tais are popular with dads too, so perhaps they’re worried that he won’t even cope with florals on the “other side” when he’s wearing it.

Ring slings are where personal preferences really come out. Most of my ring sling customers have been mums, and most don’t expect their partner to share their ring sling. Despite all my demos of how you can take the sleeping baby in sling off your own body, hang it over dad’s head when he walks in the door at 5pm, and walk away to have a long hot shower… Anyway, if it’s just for their own use, they choose whatever colourway they personally prefer. Still can’t get anyone to go for luxe shiny fabrics like silk. But florals, dragonflies, retro 70’s prints, and a bit of pink are all popular.

But no matter what style of carrier, purple is perennially popular. I’ve even watched my ex-demo carriers get a higher price on the second-hand market just because they’ve been dyed purple. Maybe because it’s a little feminine, but more dad-friendly than pink. Maybe for mums who would normally go for pink, but don’t want to carry a baby boy in a girly sling. Maybe because purple is good at hiding a multitude of spill sins (true… I dye my kids nappies purple to hide stains). Maybe because purple is said to be appealing to people in a transition phase of life, such as pregnancy. Whatever the reason, my green/blue/brown preference probably lowers the value of my stash on the second-hand market!

About emmadavidson

An addict who started dealing to support my habit, I have been using baby slings and carriers for a few years now. My children (Sophia, born 2004; Jools, born 2005; Billy, born 2007) are happy to be lugged around town in mei tais, ring slings, soft structured carriers, and occasionally a tablecloth.
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3 Responses to The Colour Purple

  1. Mummy Crit says:

    I used to buy things in neutral colours so that Jay could use them too, only he never has. He’s not a BWer. Not sure why, I guess he just doesn’t trust himself yet. So now I get to buy things that I want!

  2. Coran says:

    That’s interesting about ring slings. Of all of the many and varied carriers in our house, the only one that’s actually ‘mine’ is a ring sling. I like it because it’s the only sling I can put on the baby after i’ve rocked them to sleep.

    Having said that, my ring sling is in very neutral colours.

  3. emmadavidson says:

    I have had one couple come in and choose a ring sling because that’s what dad preferred (mum wanted a mei tai). So there’s exceptions to every generalisation. I always like seeing dads using their favourite sling – a favourite sling means they’re using it lots.

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