Many factors played a part in our decision to launch a concept store but it came down to a simple statement:
“I didn’t want my children to wear clothes that were made by children.”The Idea of Sapling Kids
Inspiration came when I was pregnant with my first child. As most new mamas-to-be, I thought and researched a lot about how to raise my baby. I thought about how my decisions and actions now would shape him for years to come. How we act in front of him, what we feed him, and in part; what he wears.
When choosing clothes for myself, I prefer minimalistic, neutral styles and colours made from natural, organic materials like cotton and wool... I pick quality clothes that last and like to avoid the bright prints and colours that usually dominate the childrenswear market.
I had also started to become more and more aware of the slow / fair fashion movement and as a new mum-to-be, started exploring the options for more ethically made baby clothes. Clothes that were both socially and environmentally conscious, as these were values I felt were important to instil in my son.
Socially & Environmentally Conscious
Everyone has heard the horrific stories of garment workers being exploited and abused, working in abhorrent conditions, children knitting clothes instead of going to school. Everyone knows a £5 T-Shirt can’t possibly have come from a factory with fair wages and a good working environment. I wanted to ensure the clothes I bought for my son were not made by children. Or by anyone, for that matter, who was not paid fairly and did not have the rights to good working conditions.
I also wanted to ensure the clothes had been made with our planet in mind, focussing on natural materials that were kind to the environment (and also my baby's skin). The fashion industry is one of the biggest culprits in both pollution and landfill and I wanted to ensure not to be part of it.
So I embarked on a journey to find clothes that were three things: Kind to the people, kind to the planet and also, fit the aesthetic of being neutral in colour and minimalistic in style.
The reason for a certain aesthetic is simple: The goal of slow fashion is to buy less. If you buy neutral colours and simplistic styles, it's easy to mix and match and layer them up. That way, you don't need as many clothes and your clothes last through the seasons. I will be writing a whole seperate blog post on why we choose a certain "look" and why this is more sustainable way to shop, especially for children!
Making a change
With the market at our fingertips these days, it seems very simple to make a change as a consumer. So I began my research and quickly discovered there was very little transparency and a lot of ambiguity when it came to baby and kids clothing brands.
Brands and shops are becoming more aware of the fact that people are demanding more ethical clothes. So they have had to change their marketing strategies.
Often labels state “designed in the UK” but the clothes are actually made somewhere completely different. As if the design process being in the UK automatically qualifies the garment as being ethically made. I also found there was a lot of secrecy and reluctance to disclose anything if you asked a brand about where their fabrics are sourced and about the working conditions of where their garments are manufactured.
However, weeks and months of research proved to be worth it and eventually, I found brands who were very transparent about the production chain, as well as their efforts to reduce environmental impact and who were happy to discuss it in detail.
Throughout my pregnancy, I slowly started purchasing from brands I felt truly cared. And so began the curated collection of hand picked small brands from all around the world. Lots of these brands were started by mamas with exactly the same intentions: to be kinder to the people and kinder to the planet. Two simple things that are at the heart of this concept store. Over the years, we have figured out which clothes are the comfiest, which last the best, wash the best and what styles we like best.
This store is a creative project, as well as an awareness project. To bring socially and environmentally conscious kidswear to you and your kids. To start conversations with mums everywhere about why it's important to support these small brands that have a strong focus on ethics and sustainability. And why it's not just better for the people who make the clothes, and for our planet, but also for your minis to have a curated wardrobe of hand-picked quality pieces in colours and styles that are easy to mix and match and to wear through the seasons.
If you ever have any questions about our items or brands or anything else, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop me a DM over on Instagram. I'll be more than happy to chat :)
Lots of love,