the nippers threads

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!


  1. Carolyn Carter
    April 2, 2013 / 9:25 pm

    I buy a lot of my girls stuff in h&m .. love there style and love there prices, but i know what you're saying and i do my best to hunt out things for them from charity shops too. The independent, ethical stuff like you say, is nice for those special occasions, but a little out of my price range for day to day, especially knowing they will outgrow them in a matter of months. But having two girls means that at least the clothes will get a second life! 🙂

    • Vicky
      April 3, 2013 / 6:26 pm

      Daisy is our last baby, so I can't even use that excuse with her, haha! I also think that as Ben is almost five, his clothes last an entire year now (if they're well made) rather than just a few months so actually, it's best to work it out as cost-per-wear. That's how I justify paying more for his clothes, anyway! And I do love H&M – ideal pre-school clothes as they look fab but they're not too expensive. In an ideal world, there'd be charity shops bursting with goodies, and the eco-friendly brands would have high street prices!

  2. Ceri
    April 3, 2013 / 9:18 am

    Daisy and benjamin are gorgeous and very stylish! I definitely agree with you that any effort you make is a step in the right direction. Sounds like you are doing really well. I struggled with finding clothes for both my two girls over the years as they grow so quickly and it can be expensive. Also whilst there are lots of eco friendly brands for up to the age of 5 or 6, once they get bigger, there is a lot less choice. I made good use of hand me downs which helped and I love that with little ones you can get away with all sorts of pattern mixing and random combinations, in fact they look great, I sometimes feel a bit jealous that I can't get away with such bight colour combos.

  3. Vicky
    April 3, 2013 / 6:28 pm

    Thank you so much! It's funny that you mention the age limit thing – I was looking at a jumper online the other day, and then I found they only went up to age 5, which would be pointless as Ben is only about 6 months or so away from that. I've got some posts coming up featuring some brands I've found that go up to an older age, so hopefully you'll like them!

  4. LandGirl1980
    April 3, 2013 / 8:27 pm

    I cannot comment on where I buy kiddo clothes – as I don't have any kiddos. But – if you ever get bored of yours – pass them my way. They are SUPER cute.

    • Vicky
      April 4, 2013 / 12:29 pm

      Oh, you lovely lady – thank you so much! x

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