Ethical and sustainable: Not-so-fast fashion ideas for growing kids

Kinderling News & Features

Children's clothing is the very definition of "fast fashion", given they grow out of it so quickly. 

As kids grow, buying clothes is a bit of a gamble. How long will they fit? Will they even agree to wear what you buy? And that’s all without considering the environmental impact of the clothes we purchase.

Amelia McFarlane is a mum and founder of Colour Me In Styling. In the current climate, environmentally and politically speaking, she’s a big believer in helping people make their clothing choices not only stylish and practical, but ethical as well.

“A fundamental part of my role as a personal stylist is to teach people how to shop wisely ... how to shop more for brands that are sustainable and have an ethical philosophy" Amelia explains.

It doesn’t have to cost the earth

It would be impractical and expensive to decide to never shop at your local department store for bulk undie packs or socks and singlets. Amelia says it’s about setting yourself goals for little and achievable changes. Particularly because kids grow so quickly! “Because one of the things that the hardest things about this is that ... kids grow out of clothes so quickly. And if I want to invest in an item of clothing that I know has been ethically produced both environmentally and socially and then the price point for that is higher than something else,” Amelia says.

Listen to Amelia on Kinderling Conversation:

Buying for growing bodies

It can be frustrating buying a gorgeous jacket for one season, only to find it’s more like a vest on your little person a year later.  If you’re entering into a growth spurt phase (let’s face it, who isn’t!) Amelia recommends buy clothes a size larger and that can have the sleeves or legs rolled up.

Overalls and are great for this because they have adjustable straps, and in the instance of overalls, can have the legs rolled up.

Plus, a great woollen cardigan will have a bit of give in it as it’s worn, and can last a few seasons if bought with a bit of length in the body and arms.

Shop local

Because the price point for making clothes that are good for the earth, you often won’t see sustainable choices in big chain stores. Some great local aternatives Amelia suggests are finding your local clothes swap or market, like Finders Keepers Markets in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.

If you aren't near a big market, never underestimate the power of your peers. Organsing a clothes swap with a group of friends is a great way to share the love and be kind to the earth at the same time. And getting some new threads without having to spend a dollar is a pretty great incentive too.

Where do you start?

If online shopping is more your bag, Amelia says a lot of great stockists are a perfect resource for finding a whole bunch of brands in the one place that are ethically minded.

Moose and Moo

These guys are great for basics and block colours and more plain pieces that are still quite beautiful and versatile. And because a lot of the brands they stock are ethically sourced, they tend to be more durable so you tend to get a lot more wear out of them. Literally!

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Baby Goes Retro

These guys stock a lot of organic Scandivanian brands and is an amazing online resource. In contrast to Moose and Moo they have a more varied colour palette with gorgeous prints. If you've got a bubbly little person on your hands, then you'll have no trouble finding some great fabrics and prints to match their personality. 

Oomph & Floss

This Aussie brand are all about letting kids be kids with colourful and fun print and durable fabrics to outlast any littlies adventuring.  They aim to encourage parents  and kids to develop and environementally responsible relationship with the world. So why not look vibrant and fun while you're at it.

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