Shopping ethical baby & kids clothing is an important part of trying to leave our child a better world, now that we know the terrible impact of fast fashion.
Why does it matter?
Well, according to the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world. So the impact of clothing production on the environment and society is probably bigger than one might imagine. One of the driving factors is the fast fashion model. Instead of sticking to a few seasons per year, where it used to take months for items to go from design to a local department store near you, the fashion industry is now trying to get more clothes to consumers faster, resulting in items being rolled out into the stores almost every week. To keep up with the pace, some sacrifices needed to be made. Those sacrifices include, but not limited to, the product quality and the environmental and social impact around the production process.
How can we reduce the impact of fast fashion on the environment and communities?
You can start by shopping secondhand from online thrift stores like SwapUp.
Alternatively, when you absolutely need to buy new, purchasing ethical clothing brands. Simply put, ethical fashion is fashion that aims to reduce the negative impact on people, animals, and the planet. This takes into account the numerous workers that work behind the scenes to the impact of activities around sourcing, manufacturing and designing of clothes.
As an online thrift store, we at SwapUp would like to present a list of 10 ethical baby and kids clothing brands in Australia you could consider for your little ones.
1. Little Emperor
All Little Emperor’s garments are made in a factory regularly audited by Sedex to ensure workers are subject to living wage, safe working conditions, and no forced overtime or workplace discrimination. Their garments are made from 100% Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)-certified organic cotton to eliminate pesticide-related health risks to cotton farmers, soil, water and marine life. Little Emperor also avoids plastic throughout its production and packaging processes, and is a member of 1% for the Planet, whose members donate 1% of their sales to environmental non-profits.
Oobi is an Australian girl’s fashion, swimwear, homewares and lifestyle brand. In addition to creating stylish clothes for children, the brand makes sure that it uses low-impact non-toxic dyes on its product range. It also uses no animal products and sea freight to transport products to reduce its climate impact.
3. My Fair Baby
Find gorgeous newborn organic baby clothes at My Fair Baby. Filled with fairtrade goodness, the brand creates ethical goods that do good for others. It provides jobs for workers from disadvantaged communities in India, and ensures a standard of living wage payment throughout its supply chain.
Perfect for baby’s sensitive skin, Earthlings’ clothing is crafted from certified organic Fairtrade cotton that has not been treated with pesticides, bleach, or other chemicals. The New Zealand family-owned brand focuses on keeping clothing items as natural as possible every step of the way and their designs are hand-printed with certified eco-friendly dyes and inks.
5. Aunty Ellen
Aunty Ellen is a Brisbane/Gold Coast-based conscious label providing matching men's, women's and babywear. Aunty Ellen is committed to sourcing the most ethically and environmentally-friendly materials from end of designer run fabrics and natural fibres to recycled packaging. The aunty to bubba Jude and Lane believes that sustainability is all about building a community and giving each other a little hand to do things a little differently.
6. Hendrik Clothing Co
No sweat shops here, just a lot of heart. All Hendrick Clothing’s materials are sourced from small Australian businesses, except for their labels, which are printed on organic cotton in Colorado, USA. We particularly love their custom-made bamboo buttons!
7. Little Elinor
Little Elinor works with an ethical supply chain in Tirupur, India to produce our garments. Their natural dyers are a small scale group of artisans. Their fabrics are GOTS-certified and their sewing factory has achieved Sedex accreditation, providing guarantees of the fair and safe treatment of workers.
8. Aster & Oak
Aster & Oak is a Western Australia-based children’s clothing label that offers a unique range of certified organic clothing. Fabrics are made with GOTS-Certified 100% Organic Cotton, and dyed with GOTS-certified vegetable dyes or non-toxic synthetic dyes. They only manufacture small runs to prevent mass wastage of unsold clothing.
9. Wilson and Frenchy
Wilson and Frenchy are an Australian baby and kids brand, loved across the world for its subtle colour palette, hand-drawn illustrations, playful graphics, natural and organic fabrics and custom designs. The brand’s 100% organic cotton sleepwear is made by GOTS-certified fair traders in India. The garments are made from all-natural fabrics such as bamboo, cotton and wool.
Australian ethical fashion pioneers Etiko produce a range of basic kids tees in Fairtrade and GOTS-certified organic cotton. As Britt put it, the brand makes “some sweet kicks” for your kids too.
Read also: 7 ethical & independent local clothing brands in Australia