I'd like to believe that most parents buy clothes for their children with longevity in mind. We don't set out to buy clothing to wear once before it is reduced to the 'outgrown' pile but, this feels like the inevitable consequence of clothing any child because- from the start of pregnancy children basically don't stop growing until their twenties.
And so the modern parent and consumer is presented with a new dilemma to add to the endless other parenting debates, that is 'How to support slow fashion with fast growing children?' this is after you've decided whether to go for baby-led weaning, let them cry it out or not, and obviously ensuring any food or fibre they come into contact with is organic. And coconut oil, lots and lots of coconut oil.
Slow fashion is the movement of buying garments with quality and longevity in mind. The High Street produces new designs at lightening speed and invents around 20 new seasons that are ungracefully wedged between the pre-agreed Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. With the lure of needing to buy something new never far away, fast fashion has become normalised. Noticing this is a great start towards thinking in terms of 'Slow Fashion'.
Slow fashion encourages slower production schedules (something that is quality cannot be knocked out in a minute), smaller factories, fair working conditions and a reduced carbon footprint.
This all sounds nice, but buying for children that grow faster than bamboo, how can we support Slow Fashion?
When making a purchase ask yourself the 'wear test' question:
1. Will the garment wear out first?
2. Will your child grow out of it first?
When shopping with slow fashion in mind, you always want to try and aim for your child to grow out of something before it is worn out. This is not because you want your child to grow out of it quickly (I am a big advocate for buying the next size up and rolling up sleeves and cuffs until it's been grown into) but it is because you want your child to get so much wear out of it, and for it to have life left in it so that it can be repurposed.
How to continue with slow fashion after the garment has been grown out of:
-Hand down to smaller siblings
-Pass on to friends or relatives with smaller children
-Donate to charity shops, the garment should still be in good condition if it's quality.
Slow Fashion is about buying thoughtfully- will the garment be worn often?
Slow Fashion is about buying carefully- is this garment good quality and can be passed on to someone else's child once it's been grown out of?
Slow Fashion is about buying consciously- who is the company that I am buying from?
To summarise: Slow fashion is not about letting down the seams on your childrens trousers to get more wear, though if you can do that- more power to you! It is about shopping with a clear head, away from the bright lights and freshly steamed cotton rails on the high streets.
To read more about other adorable, bright childrens clothing brands that I consider to be part of the Slow Fashion movement. Read my blog post here on 'Where can I buy childrens clothes that are bright, fun and funky in the UK?'