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Meet our Founder, Kate Bell

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Hello, I am Kate, the inventor of the Universal Panel Expander; a windproof and water-resistant soft-shell panel that expands your favourite coat so you can keep your baby or baby bump snug and warm throughout the winter.

I first had the idea for the expander panel when I fell pregnant with my second child and didn’t want to replace my favourite coat with a maternity one that I’d only wear for a few months. But it wasn’t until I had to ask a stranger in the post office to hold my baby so I could get my coat off, that I realised how valuable an expander panel would be.

Getting into action, I created a prototype and as the saying goes, the rest is history. Our range of products are now sold in Outdoor GB, The Range, Go Outdoors, Amazon and have been featured in press including Dragon’s Den.

Since getting started, Zip Us In has gone on to represent so much more.

Our goal is now to become the leading innovator in multi-function and adaptable clothing – because baby bumps aren’t the only things that expand or change size.

Our bodies are always transforming, and I believe our clothes should adapt with us, not be thrown out or packed away until we can fit back into them.

So, as you might expect, I have many exciting and innovative products in the pipeline designed with the aim of reducing fabric waste, that I can’t wait to share with you.

I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. Getting pregnant wasn’t easy for my husband and me. For years I put off buying a new coat because I kept saying “I’ll have a baby bump this winter and then it won’t fit”. But after four miscarriages, I finally gave in and brought the coat. That winter my pregnancy went full term and Niyah was born!

As painful as that journey was, I can’t help but think, if my journey hadn’t been so difficult and I hadn’t put off buying the coat, I wouldn’t have been so attached to wearing my new one – and I wouldn’t have invented the expander panel.

I guess that is the beautiful tapestry that life is!


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Ever evolving, clever clothing designed to fit you for a lifetime, however your body may change.

Launching In 2022