4 easy tips to shop ethical for kids clothing
Written by co-owner of Piccolo & Mi - Danielle
We don’t need to be an experienced parent to know that kids are expensive. Those tiny onesies, adorable beanies, cute socks and cheeky slogan tees are irresistible. As a parent you want your kids to look and feel good about their clothes but at the same time kids grow quickly and their clothes don’t so we as consumers, generally speaking would like our kid’s clothes to be cheap.
But cheap at what cost? Buying from our big department stores seems like the obvious choice when shopping for kids clothing. However, the bargain shopping, big sale seeking and cheap consumer mentality, is directly related to the people making our kids clothing.
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We expect to be able to buy a t-shirt for less than $3. However, what the label won’t tell you is that unless it is certified organic or fair trade cotton it has often been sprayed and treated with harmful chemicals that can’t be washed away, made in untraceable working conditions and will last about three washes before you start to see the colour fade or that irresistible cheeky slogan peeling back from the fabric.
The good news is we can change the choices we have available to us by having a slower approach. Slow fashion in a nutshell - represents all things sustainable, discouraging consumers from buying more than what they need and creating un-seasonal high-quality pieces of clothing that will last a lifetime through reusing and recycling. There are things that every single on of us can do to help alleviate the damage done by the traditional fashion industry. As the owner of an organic and sustainable clothing label (Piccolo & Mi), I'd love to share with you 4 easy tips to shop ethical for kids clothing -
1. BUYING FEWER
If you go through and count the number of clothes your kids wear and those that they don’t, what do you see? Maybe…a tiny little pile of their best wearing items of clothing and then to your right a huge stack of clothing that has been shoved to the bottom of the drawer month after month. Eeek! Sound familiar? Perhaps looking back if you took the money on the clothes they don’t wear and considered buying fewer ethical or locally made pieces up one size to allow for growth, you would be making an investment with each piece and therefore receiving true value for money.
2. CERTIFIED FAIR TRADE AND ORGANIC COTTON
You probably hear these words being thrown around more than ever lately but what makes organic cotton so much better than the conventional ones? If you are not familiar with what they mean, you can find this great piece written up on for certified fair trade cotton and certified organic cotton here. Organic cotton is grown in a way that uses methods and materials that lessen the impact on our environment. A big effort in the organic movement is that the crops aren’t treated with pesticides, insecticides, herbicides or genetically modified organisms. These toxins are harmful for farmers, workers, us as consumers and the entire wildlife eco-systems. Therefore, it is better quality and is built on third party auditing to know you are purchasing only the good stuff and hands down it will be the most comfortable item of clothing your child will own!
3. BETTER QUALITY SECOND-HANDS
Have you seen all the de-stash pages for kids clothing on Instagram lately? You no longer need to leave the couch to shop high quality second hand clothing and they are practically brand new AND with a great price tag attached so it’s a win-win for your budget and for the planet.
Connecting with other mums who share similar dress style for their kids on socials is another way to find out if they have de-stash page you haven’t discovered - I know a few local mums that recycle their kids clothing on Instagram, Facebook and buy/swap/sell for a fraction of the price yet the items are unworn and brand new through advertising on their main social pages.
4. LOCALLY MADE
Support designers who are conscious of the production process all the way through. They will be transparent about where they source their fabrics, who is making their products (if not themselves) and are heavily involved in the design and manufacturing process from start to finish. Brands such as us (Piccolo & Mi), Frankie Jones the Label, Lupine and Luna & Tiny Wild Collective are all independent small businesses who produce locally and off-shore with a refreshingly transparent design and manufacturing process.
Truthfully, there is a barrier for parents wanting to invest in ethical, fair trade or organic kids clothing. However, if you successfully tick off at least one or two of the big fours when buying clothing for your children, you will see the financial and feelgood incentive of helping the planet, our local businesses and the hard-working makers of kids clothing.
ABOUT PICCOLO & MI
Organic Unisex Clothing made for kids with epic style!
Business owners: Danielle & Scott
Fav café: Two Farm Girls in Aspendale! LOVE!
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