|Benjamin wears H&M… everything…|
|Daisy wears: dungarees – handed down from her brother // cardigan – thrifted from eBay // bandana bib – Nubi //tights – H&M|
I find the whole subject of dressing my children incredibly taxing. There, I’ve said it. I’m not talking about actually manoeuvring them into their clothes (although that can be quite tricky – arms and legs everywhere, t-shirts getting stuck on little ears and noses… nightmare), but the whole minefield that is choosing where you buy their things from.
On the whole, I like to try and be as ethical as possible. We try our best to buy our fruit and veg from the market, recycle as much as possible, and I rarely shop on the high street – 99.9% of my clothes come from eBay or charity shops, and the other 0.1% have come from working at Paul Smith. I’d also rather remove my own toenails than set foot in Primark, and as pretty as the clothes in Topshop are, I cannot justify paying their prices when you take into consideration their ethical practices. But when it comes to dressing the kiddos, I’ve done a fair bit of conscience wrestling.
The thing with children is that they grow at an astronomically rapid rate – Daisy is almost one now (only a few days to go, sob sob), and she’s been through more sleepsuits and babygros than I like to think about. I’ve found quite a few bits on eBay for her, and she wears an awful lot of her brothers hand-me-downs, as I’ve always been pretty keen on bright, colourful, gender-neutral clothes. I tackle Ben’s clothes in much the same way, except he doesn’t have any sibling cast-offs (I suppose he could wear the Husbands, but that’s possibly not quite the look I’m after…) The rest, I’m afraid to say, comes from H&M – I can’t help it, I LOVE their childrenswear, and the best thing is that it’s affordable. And this is where the conscience-wrestling comes into it – there are tonnes and tonnes of amazing organic childrenswear brands online (I’ve got a great few kiddo clothing posts coming up), that we buy on special occasions – birthdays and Christmases for instance – but we couldn’t afford those things all the time. And while buying second-hand is an excellent way to stay ethical, it’s not always the most practical – you can’t guarantee that you’re going to be able to find the thing you want in their size, as soon as you want it.
I think that when it comes down to it, like with every other aspect of ethical living, it’s the effort that counts – it would obviously be better to buy everything organically and environmentally friendly, but sometimes it’s just not possible. I’ve just learned to accept that sometimes, it’s not always practical to buy organic or second hand, and to me, it’s more important that my children have what they need, when they need it. I finally worked out that my shopping chain of thought for basics (babygros, t-shirts, jeans, that sort of thing) is eBay-charity shops-H&M, while for anything a little bit quirky, I tend to look online at the independent retailers. I do like to support small businesses, too, so that’s always a plus point.
What’s your take on buying clothes for your kiddos? Do you buy any organic childrens clothes? Or are you a fan of the high street? I’d love to know other peoples thoughts!