Tis the season to have a baby! Both this year and last we’ve had a huge number of friends pop out gorgeous sprogs left right and centre. In fact – don’t tell anyone – but we’re even trying for a little sproglet of our own. So with a couple of newborns having just arrived, and a couple of first birthdays on the horizon, I thought that now would be the perfect time to investigate ethical children’s clothing.
There are two elements that I have been searching for that, to me, constitute a good ethical clothes company. The first is that they are Fairtrade, and the second is that they use organic cotton. There are obviously huge intricacies regarding both of these points, which I hope to blog about at a later stage, but in short: the former means no more nasty working conditions for people, and the latter is no more nasties on your babe’s clothes.
I think it is also worth pointing out that I am very much an early learner when it comes to understanding the technicalities of ethical clothing. There is a whole new world of certifications, standards, and guidelines which I am trying to get to grips with so please, if you see anything that I have misunderstood or failed to highlight, give me a shout.
As this blog progresses I will update this list with other fantastic options but for now, here are my top picks for conscious kidswear:
I’m half Cornish, so I was delighted to see this fabulous company is headquartered and run in Cornwall. They proudly support both Fairtrade and organic cotton, and have a whole host of certification displayed on their website (have a look at the super informative Planet Frugi section). Not only that, but they donate 1% of their turnover to three environmental charities (The Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Cornwall Wildlife Trust, and The Woodland Trust) AND support an orphanage in India. Phew! A lot of their clothes feature beautiful appliquéd designs and really capture the spirit of childhood:
Bobby Applique Top £18
Lily Cord Dress £30
Overall, a brilliant selection of kids clothes from newborn to 10 years, alongside a whole host of gifts, bedding, and even breastfeeding tops and dresses for mum. Extra points for a fun website!
Piccalilly work closely with an organic cotton project in India and use Fairtrade and certified organic cotton. Another very ethically conscious business, with great certification and an open and informative website. This may not sound important, but there are a surprising number of businesses that scream and shout about being ethical, yet fail to include any details of where their clothes are sourced and produced. If a company is happy to give you full and open disclosure about their production that’s a great starting point and, like a bowl of mussels, never trust the ones that stay closed.
Also available are some gorgeous muslin swaddles, which would make a lovely gift for any mum to be.
Simple, well made children’s clothes with a unisex feel. Designed in London by a Portuguese graphic designer and manufactured with 100% organic cotton in Portugal, I like the fact that less is more with this brand. Not a huge selection of clothes but what they do have is beautiful:
Snow Jumper £17.20
Green Stripes Pant £7.20 (sale price)
The designs are gorgeously simple and I would imagine they would still look elegant even with a little dribble or other unmentionable on them!
Another fantastic UK company; Little Green Radicals has a nice selection of children’s clothes, including some with very cute slogans (the “wind farm” babygrow is a personal fave), and have long been Fairtrade and organic cotton certified. They also have a great range of skincare for babies, featuring sleep balm and nappy balm among others, all of which are free from any synthetic nasties. Favourite from the clothes collection include:
Red Triangle Fisherman Jumper £19 (sale price)
Turquoise Long Sleeve Baby Wrap 2 Pack £22
Little Green Radicals also have a lovely feature on their website called “who makes our clothes” allowing you a real insight into their factory production in India. A great example of an open mussel company!
Our notoriously chic French counterparts have not forgotten about their bébés and this wonderful company is committed to Fairtrade and organic cotton, produced in a cooperative factory in India. Mais, non, they do not stop there! They currently assist an orphanage in the locality of the factory with their rent, and also donate both baby and children clothes to a charity in France that helps homeless mothers. In truth their clothes are a bit more expensive, but for a company that gives you all the feels I’d say it’s worth it. Keep an eye out for:
Stella Baby Dress €46
Bulldog Tshirt €26
La Queue Du Chat also do a beautiful range of accessories including changing mats, bedding, and gorgeous little head bands. You may be covered in vomit, but your little one will have that Parisian chic look down pat.
Last but very much not least, Eternal Creation. I couldn’t see anything about organic cotton on the website (as I said before, please do correct me if I’m wrong) but this Australian company has such a fantastic story and phenomenal Fairtrade ethics that it’s well worth a look. They work with local Indian tailors and Tibetan refugees in their Himalayan factory to produce a whole range of clothes, from children to adults. I wasn’t crazy about a lot of their women’s range, but the children’s clothes are gorgeous:
Papillion Summer Playsuit £20.52 (AUD$44)
Practical Sami Cotton Overalls £20.52 (AUD$44)
I particularly loved all of their baby girl onesies with their bright colours and eye catching prints. Their website is also fantastic, with a huge amount of background information about the company.
As I said at the beginning, this is just a small introduction into what I have found so far. It does take a fair amount of digging to find these companies, and some good resources that I have found for searching (alongside the Google machine) include:
I won’t reveal what presents we chose in the end (on the off-chance that either babies or mommas are reading this!) but I will keep you posted over the next few weeks after they have been gifted, so keep tuned for that. It’s encouraging to see that there are some really great options out there for all the conscious parents, and it’s nice to know I won’t necessarily have to dress my child in hemp sacks to keep them ethical. As always, please do let me know what you think in the comments and tell me if I’ve missed out any fantastic brands – I would love to hear about some more.
Speak to you soon!