Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Choosing Responsible Children's Clothing

Often we take it for granted that everyone can make affordable, sustainable fashion choices. For many affordable, sustainable clothing is a struggle. Where I find myself challenged is when it comes to children's clothes as choices become more limited. So far, Gates's wardrobe has been sourced the same as mine: vintage, gently used (clothing swaps), locally designed and/made, or fair trade certified.
What's In Our Closets: Nooworks for Girls
First let me say that we're incredibly lucky that my mom kept jumpers and dresses from my sister's and my childhood closets. Gates has numerous 100% cotton, made in the United States, options to chose from. Now, if we had to buy an entire wardrobe for Gates from scratch, I'd have a harder time not raiding Target's clearance aisle, what with shirts and pants ranging from $2.50 to $10. (And if gently used options run out I maybe headed there in the future.)
Second we're also lucky San Francisco has a number of options for children's clothes that are locally made and designed. Last month for her 18-month portrait, Gates wore a black velvet polka dot dress with sew-in tulle petticoat from Laku. Yaeko's offerings are handmade--no single item is the same--and exquisitely feminine. These are definitely special occasion outfits as prices start around $50 for linen tops and go up to $80 for two piece outfits.
You Are What You Eat Tee
I was excited to find out recently that one of my favorite spots for vintage-inspired clothing, Nooworks, has a children's line. They have dresses for around $40, leggings for between $20 and $24, and t-shirts for $20. Everything they offer is made in California using ethically sourced materials. Something I particularly like about the brand is that they collaborate with artists. If you're in San Francisco, check out their store on 395 Valencia Street (a couple of doors down from Four Barrel); you'll see the artist's work alongside the current season's line. Gates has a tee-shirt and two pairs of leggings from Nooworks in her closet.
Unexpected Detail on Blabla Kids Sweater
For everyday wear, I need options that are at a lower price point. Enter Blabla Kids -- clothing for both girls and boys. Blabla kids was started in 2001 by Florence Wetterwald, Susan Pritchett, and Joseph Strong. Their clothing is designed by French-born Wetterwald, a mother of two kids (2011 interview). The products are really well made; sweaters are hand knitted and all products are 100% cotton. Everything is handmade by a group of female Peruvian artisans and certified fair trade. Their fall clothing line is currently on sale; corduroy pants normally $28 each are available for $10 and handwoven cotton sweaters regularly $48 each are on sale for $20. There are also long-sleeved and short-sleeved t-shirts for $10. (You can be sure I stocked up!)
How do you choose your kids clothes?
Where do you shop?

Ciao Bella!
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Credits: All layouts designed by and images taken by Eden Hensley Silverstein for The Road to the Good Life.