Ethical Clothing for Free Spirited Kids
Shopping Boho, Classic & Commercial-free for Children
Shopping for your little free spirit can be challenging.
You're short on time and go to the big shopping centre and pull out hanger after hanger only to find that the shirts or dresses all have a movie or TV character front and center of the chest. You find something you sort of like, but the fabric is synthetic and probably poorly sourced. Maybe you have a boy or girl that likes a character or animal that is hard to find in the conventional boys and girls sections of stores.
Why is it so hard to dress kids like kids? Where is the creativity?
Better than Super Heroes
When my kids were young, I was always on the lookout for the unique print or design that was not only fun for the kids, but a fit with our family’s conscious-living lifestyle. It also had to be affordable for us. I was an artist mum working from home and my husband was still in and out of education.
Not only were there ethical and economical issues involved, there was the question of taste. Children don’t have to be very old before they start having opinions about what they wear.
As young boy, my son was more excited about insects than super-heroes and my daughter was into the glitter embedded in rocks and minerals, not the glitter that came on a mega-brand princess t-shirt.
What does your child like?
From the age of three and up, it was difficult to find fun shirts that expressed who they were, and what they liked (and what I liked), rather than choosing a TV or movie “team”. Now, there’s not necessarily anything wrong with that, but shouldn’t more options, less commercial ones, be equally available?
Is your child currently enamored with lions and jungle animals? Gentle dinosaurs? How about robots? Parrots? Toucans? Llamas? Kittens? Hedgehogs? Fish? Ukuleles?
Some prints express an entire aesthetic that your family might love, like features of places you live or visit, like desert cacti or anything ocean themed.
My friend’s daughter is fascinated by sharks. There aren’t many places to get kids clothing with sharks on them. Even fewer sources are fair trade certified.
Lots of Boys and Girls Like the Same Things
It doesn’t matter if your daughter likes sharks or robots and you find them in the boys shirts collection or your son likes a skivvy that’s in the girls section. In our boys section, we offer lots of colourful and fun shorts, pants, and shirts. Our Bottle Green Pants are one of our best-selling kids’ apparel items and even though they are in the boys’ pants collection, many girls like them as well.
When we find the time here at Eternal Creation, we’re going to duplicate some items in the girls and boys sections. We have many clothes that really should be labelled simply “children’s clothes” and the current collection tabs are not meant to restrict taste or support an unhealthy adherence to stereotyping.
Too Grown Up?
My daughter was around the age of nine when it got really challenging to find prints and cuts of clothes that she felt comfortable in. Speaking plainly, the girls clothes felt too sexy, too silly, or too television-oriented for her. The boys clothes felt too sports-centric, often violent and just as polarizing in a different way. For a number of years, she wore plain, graphic-free “boys” t shirts because they didn’t have low necklines and snug fits. It was the only thing she was comfortable wearing in public. She also wore a belt we bought in the boys department, because the girls' belts all were glittery and bright and my daughter happened to like black and brown and navy blue better.
Another complication for everyone at any age, but most especially for children in their early teens, is that they may be one size in shirts and another in pants, or the pants may be way too long for the width they need or vise versa. When a child heads into double digit birthdays, the fit and size of the clothes and the cut of the designs don’t always work on kids with different growth rates.
A young teen may need to be wearing adult sized clothing, but the style jump from kid to adult might be downright frustrating!
Maybe your daughter has just left the girls’ sizes behind and now is shopping in adult clothes sizes. She is faced with plunging necklines, baby tees and prints that read more like an eighteen to thirty year old than a thirteen year old. We get comments all the time about how pleased customers are that we have such a good selection of fun, colourful clothes that have an innocence to them, yet are stylish. We make it easy for your daughters to find pretty clothes in our girls and women's collections; clothes that give them grown-up confidence without being hyper-sexualised.
The first order from an online store is the most risky, because you can’t try on what you’re shopping for, right?
That’s why sizing guidelines are a terrific help! We have customers all around the world, and sizing numbers and names vary country to country.
One of my son’s friends is very tall and very thin. He’s still a young teen, but he wears men’s sizes. He picked out clothes from Eternal Creation that he thought he’d feel comfortable in style-wise, and then we get his basic measurements.
On social media I shared his measurements and what size the shorts and shirt were that he is wearing in the picture in order to help others ordering for a loved one with the same basic proportions.
Anytime you’re willing to share, either hashtag us, #eternalcreation, or email us your pic and permission to share and we’ll post the image for you without attaching names or other personal information. You can try searching for pics of people wearing Eternal Creation clothes by searching with the hashtag #eternalcreation too!
Don’t forget that shopping for fair trade clothing is another important way that we as parents can live our values in front of our families. By making the choice to buy from companies that empower and honor the skills of their tailors, designers and supply chain employees, we are demonstrating to the younger generation that where we shop impacts the lives of others for good.
A Bit About our Fair Trade Fashion Brand
The Visible Tailoring Centre employs 37 people and is in Dharamshala, India, in the foothills of the Himalayas. The centre is a member the Fair Trade Forum of India, strives for zero waste in everything it does, and subscribes to WFTO's 10 principles of fair trade.
Benefits for staff include:
- free on-site nursery
- 50% school fees paid for every child who has a parent working at the tailoring centre
- training and skill development
- annual leave: all staff receive 30 days and each employee earns one extra day of paid leave for each year they are employed
- annual pay increases
- annual bonus equivalent to one month's salary
- 'open door policy' with the owners and the managers
- our very own team dog who brightens up even the wettest of monsoon days!
Next month we’ll be talking about how to dress your kids in fair trade clothing for formal events and holidays without breaking the bank or making them wear outfits that look good, but don’t feel comfy.
Leave a comment
Comments will be approved before showing up.