Hi everyone, hope you are all well and looking forward to Summer – after that lovely burst of Sun at Easter I have been yearning for some more!
So you all know by know that I am a big advocate of Made in Britain, but recently I have been thinking that it isn’t actually just about where something is made but also how and by whom – after all there are problems with sweatshops and underpaid workers even in the UK. So the real issue for me is about fast throwaway fashion, those items we buy that are so cheap that we barely think about what we are doing. More and more I am trying to buy as well as I can afford, looking at the provenance and making sure they are well made and will last as well as where they come from. I know this is more time consuming and not always easy as kids grow and can ruin items with one trip to the park! However if you buy well when you buy new and supplement with good quality second hand (try Ebay, Charity shops, Dress Agencies etc.) then you can really help not to contribute to the piles of quickly worn out cheap clothing.
Consider this fact: ‘If everyone in the UK (60 million people) bought one reclaimed woollen garment each year it would save an average of 1686 million litres of water and 480 million tonnes of chemical dyestuffs’ www.bir.org/industry/textiles
I have bought ethical and eco friendly fashion in the past and have often found it to have a ceratin ‘look’ that wasn’t really for me, however times have changed and there is more of a fashion element with these brands now to match the eco credentials. I have picked out a few different brands that have a ‘heart’ below….
So, I think most of us are aware of TOMS who have the fab ‘One for One’ campaign where for every pair of their shoes you buy they will give a pair to a child in need, but did you also know that they have other products and run a similar campaign for those – glasses ( a sight giving programme,) Coffee ( a water giving programme,) Bags ( a safe birth programme,) they are also committed to producing half of their giving shoes in the regions they give to, therefore also giving employment to local people.
I also didn’t know that as well as their classic style, they have now branched out into other styles, see above – Top left, Blue Woven Slip on Originals £25.99 / £27.99 available in Tiny size 1.5 up to Youth size 4.5 and features elastic V-notch for a good fit, breathable insole with rubber cushion for comfort and velcro adjustable fastening. Top right – Pink Rubber Ditsy Rain Boots £27.99 / £29.99 (also in a plain yellow,) available in Tiny 4 up to Youth 5 and features vulcanised rubber sole, elasticated sides for easy on / off and pull on side loops. Bottom left – Navy Canvas Paseo Mids £29.99 / £33.99 available in Tiny size 1.5 up to Youth size 6, features elastic tongue straps for optional lacing. Bottom Right – Black White Tropical Youth Correa Sandals £24.99, featuring contured EVA footbed and adjustable fastening. All available at www.TOMS.co.uk
You may remember Little Green Radicals as one of the forerunners of ethical kids clothing with their slogan t-shirts / babygrows / bibs with unforgettable slogans such as ‘Wind Farm’ and ‘Stop the Wailing’ – I certainly do from when I used to buy all my eco nappies and wipes! Well things have certainly moved on since then and while they still have the same fab eco credentials ( they were one of the first brands in the UK to get Fairtrade certification for cotton, their farmers based in India don’t use pesticides on their crops and the employees get paid fair wages and things like maternity leave,) their product range has moved on in leaps and bounds … as sold at Hey Baby Shop.
Below Left Daffodil Twill Jeans £30 in 100% organic fairtrade cotton, available in ages 1-8. Below right Biscan Bay Triangle Fisherman Jumper £38 in pre-washed 100% organic fairtrade cotton, available in asges 1-8 years, Main pic and centre left Balloons Light as Air Playsuit £29 in 100% organic fairtrade cotton polpin with nickel free poppers, available in ages 0-12 months. Bottom left Peter Pan Dress £32 in 100% orgain fairtrade cotton poplin with pointelle trim, available in ages 1-8 years. All available at www.littlegreenradicals.co.uk
Kite clothing are a ‘planet friendly’ clothing brand for children based in Poole, Dorset, they get their inspiration for their range from their beautiful coastal surroundings and all their garments are made using organic cotton or fleece made with at least 50% recycled plastic bottles and they are also GOTS certified ( Global Organic Texile Standard.) They have some great basics for boys such as the Stripy Zip Thru Fleece (bottom left,) £29, available in ages 3-11 and the Wide Stripe Polo Shirt in 100% Organic Cotton( centre and top left,) £19, available in ages 3-11 and some really pretty items with a retro twist for girls such as the Peter Pan Spotty Top in 100% Organic Cotton (main pic and top middle,) £19, available in ages 3-11 and this adorable Tulip Playsuit in 100% Organic Cotton (top right,) £23, available in ages 3-11. All available at www.kiteclothing.co.uk
The ultimate in eco fashion, Albert and Viktoria use only recycled cashmere sourced from their native West Yorkshire to produce one off heritage pieces that can be passed down from generation to generation. Each combination used is unique and each design is offered in 3 colourways – muted, pastel and monochrome and are available in ages 1 to 6. For more information see their website www.albertandviktoria.com and to buy visit www.loubilou.com where they have a great selection on sale at the moment!
That’s it for this month, I hope I have persuaded you that buying eco is a more fashionable option than it used to be!
Images courtesy of: