From my last 2 posts you can probably tell that I am a huge fan of buying gently used clothes and gear for myself & my family. You just can’t beat the savings for the environment & your wallet! Having said that, there will always be times when you need to buy something new, an outfit for a special occasion, or something specific to fill a need in your kiddos wardrobe. So let’s discuss how to get the most for your money and the environment when buying new.
1. Support ethical & environmentally conscious companies. Fast fashion has some pretty serious costs, so I try to do my part to reduce our family’s impact as much as I can. It’s not always feasible to buy local fashion, as the cost can be higher, but you can still make mindful choices about your consumption.
2. Buy clothing and gear that is built to last. I don't know about you, but I want pieces that will stand up to being washed hundreds of times while 2, 3 or 4 kids enjoy wearing them, not something that is going to be thrown into a dumpster in just a few weeks or months.
3. Focus on gender neutral clothing. This goes a long way toward the items longevity, because it makes it easier to be passed along to other kiddies. Which in turn means more bang for your buck. This is especially important for big ticket items like snowsuits & boots.
Some of My Favourite Companies:
My personal fav for great outdoor gear is Mountain Equipment Co-op. They sell high quality products that are made to last and have a strong commitment to sustainability efforts around the world. They offer many of their kids' products in great primary colours, so you don’t always need to choose pink or blue. Go with red, green or yellow!
I also love to find small local businesses like Ollie Jones, a Toronto based company that makes swoon worthy leggings & accessories for kids that are ethical, environmental & feature awesome gender neutral designs. Not to mention being budget friendly. Check them out, but be warned, you may become addicted! They're currently having a model search on Instagram, so if you have an adorable little one aged 6 months - 6 years send along a pic for a chance to win!
One of my new favorite clothing companies is a local start-up from Toronto called Jill & Jack Kids. They totally fit the bill for me. All of their clothes are designed, woven & sewn locally in Canada. They focus on awesome gender neutral play clothes for kids and feature great graphic prints on bold fun colours that go beyond pink and blue. My little guy Benny modelled some shirts for them, so we got to see the product first hand. I can tell you they are beautiful! The material was super soft and the shirt had a great slim cut. No more terrible square t-shirts!
What I love most about Jill & Jack Kids is that they’re not just trying to make cute clothes. They’re trying to change the way that we gender stereotype children at such a young age with the clothes we dress them in.
Offering gender neutral clothing with no boys or girls department means that kids can feel free to be who they want to be. I absolutely love their message, which is why I was happy to support their Kickstarter Campaign and help spread the word.
Please go online and check it out. They only have 3 more days, until June 5th, to reach their goal of $15,000 and they're already over $11,000. They need your support! If they don't reach their goal Jill & Jack Kids won't become a reality :( ...and I wont get my awesome "Half of all T.rexes were girls" shirt. Which would suck!
If you want to learn more about "How Gender Stereotypes Affect Kids" join Jill & Jack Kids for an online discussion with a panel of experts on Tuesday June 3rd at 8pm (EST). Should be an interesting discussion, so don't miss out!
I hope that you've found this 3 part series helpful in saving money and the environment while dressing your kids.