5 Sustainable Brands For Your Baby's Wardrobe

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When it comes to dressing your little one there are so many adorable options to choose from, I mean what isn't cute when it's in a miniature size?! But, as we know, not all clothes are created equal. When you consider how delicate newborn skin is, what you choose to wrap your baby in becomes all that much more important.

Naturally my first stop when I found out I was pregnant was to check out the huge variety of baby clothes out there, and of course make a few purchases. Over the last few months I've discovered some amazing brands that are not only ridiculously cute but also offer ethical and sustainable baby clothes that are reasonably priced. So here are my top 5 brands to get your little eco baby on his or her way to a sustainable wardrobe:


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Nature Baby

Focussing their range on organic cotton and merino wool fabrications Nature Baby ensures it's garments meet babies needs for softness, breathability, warmth and durability while taking care of the world in which they will grow. The brands GOTS certified organic cotton is sourced in India and produced on farms that have become self sustaining while also offering factory workers fair conditions. This is achieved by paying above the minimum wage, providing equality between male and female workers and having zero tolerance for child labour. Merino wool is locally sourced in New Zealand, where Nature Baby was founded, and is ZQ accredited to ensure it comes from happy, healthy sheep.

Feel confident with Nature Baby for your sustainable little ones wardrobe from newborn to 4 years old, plus you'll find a selection of bedding, toys and necessities for Mum. 

www.naturebaby.com


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Purebaby

With a vision dedicated to creating beautiful baby clothing while never compromising on social responsibility, Purebaby's range is created predominantly with GOTS certified organic cotton fabrics that have been dyed with GOTS certified natural dyes. The brand substitutes only natural fibres where organic cotton fabrications are not suitable, ensuring their garments are soft, durable and strong while also allowing young, delicate skin to breathe. Purebaby partners with social organisations, St Kilda Mums and Global Sisters, to give back to the community and also offer Nesting Workshops in their stores to pass on practical tips to soon to be parents. 

Clothe your babes responsibly from newborn to 4 years old, plus Purebaby have you covered with beautiful nursery and gifting options.

www.purebaby.com.au


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Huxbaby  

A minimalist approach is what sets this brand apart. Focusing their range on gender neutral designs in a minimal colour palette, think black, white and grey, combined with graphics that pop, Huxbaby wants parents to buy once and buy well. As well as offering thoughtful designs, Huxbaby primarily uses GOTS certified organic cotton and AZO free dyes to ensure their clothing is of the highest quality, constructed to last and most importantly delicate on your baby's skin. This range of basics that are anything but basic will work hard for you well beyond baby number one and ensure your entire brood is clothed in timeless and sustainable style.

Dress your little minimalists in Huxbaby from 0-3 months through to 5 years old...and all over again as your family continues to grow. 

www.huxbaby.com


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Milk and Masuki

As well as their namesake brand, Milk and Masuki offer a curated selection of the best organic kids products from Australia, New Zealand and around the world, all of which align with the brands ethics and aesthetics. With a commitment to organic cotton from the outset this brand offers creativity and unique designs through their hand painted prints and are proud to be part of an ethical and environmentally friendly supply chain. Designs featuring koalas and kiwis mean you can represent your baby's homeland in a completely adorable way, plus you'll find a beautiful selection of responsible accessories for Mum so you can treat yourself too.

Clothe your kids in creativity from newborn right through to 8 years old with Milk and Masuki's unique range and more from their handpicked selection of local, ethical and sustainable brands.

www.milkandmasuki.com


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aden + anais

Standing firmly behind their preferred fabric choice, this brand has become known for it's signature muslin products which provide softness, breathability and comfort for your little one as well as durability. Beginning with the multi functional swaddle, aden + anais now offer a full range of clothing, sleepwear, blankets, bibs and bedding made out of this natural fibre they believe so much in to keep your baby safe and comfortable. Because of its aforementioned durability muslin is easy to wash and will last for years, plus aden + anais now offer ranges made from 100% GOTS certified organic cotton and a silky soft muslin which is combined with rayon made from bamboo.  

Wrap your babies in natural comfort with these infamous multi purpose swaddles from aden + anais that will last for years, plus clothing from newborn to 18 months and sleepwear up to age 4.

www.adenandanais.com


This article was originally published on The Green Hub

Shop Your Wardrobe Like A Pro In 5 Simple Steps

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After experiencing a bit of a style rut of late (because let's be honest, below freezing temps combined with a limited portion of your wardrobe fitting you can pretty easily result in feeling uninspired by your clothing options!) I started thinking more about the concept of shopping your wardrobe. While it may seem pretty self explanatory it can also be one of those tasks that's easier said than done. So next time you're feeling the need to add to your wardrobe with some "retail therapy" instead try these 5 simple steps to successfully shop your wardrobe:

1. Set Up Shop

Start by grouping together each garment type and only having out items that fit you and are season appropriate. Imagine it like you're walking into a store where everything is your size and available for you to wear straight away. You don't want to be distracted or disheartened by items you can't currently wear! Dividing your wardrobe into categories like pants, tops, jackets etc. will then make it easier to recognise what you wear the least, what you wear the most and will also be helpful when it comes to putting outfit combinations together. 

2. Highlight Neglected Items

Within each category pull out any items that may have been neglected of late and ask yourself why. The fun part is figuring out how these pieces can be brought back into the rotation of your wardrobe! Does it need to be made more weather appropriate? Maybe some layering with other items will make a piece workable. Is a particular item not making you feel great anymore? You may be able to pair it with an item you love or style it with accessories to make it work for you again. Or are you simply feeling bored with an item and need to hit the refresh button? Then get creative! Have some fun and play around with different ways you can incorporate neglected items back into existing favourite outfit combinations or even create totally new ones with them!

3. Incorporate Loved Items

Rely on your most frequently worn pieces to pull your looks together and help restore your love in those neglected items. You may also want to consider how these pieces can work harder for you...chances are they might be in need of a little revival themselves as their high rotation in your wardrobe could have you feeling little bored. That's where creating new combinations in the previous step comes in, a neglected item may breathe fresh life into a loved piece, and how you can maximise a garments feel good factor by making the most of accessories in the next step...

4. Focus on Accessories

Just like with your clothing it's likely you have your favourites when it comes to your accessory collection too. What's key to keep in mind is that there's nothing like changing up a necklace, wearing those boots that have been at the back of your wardrobe or even adding a bright lipstick to make your outfit feel new and fresh. It's easy to overlook the small details and go for the same tried and trusted accessories but in reality it's these pieces that can make the biggest impact. So focus on how you can make the most of your accessories, all of them, by pulling out those pieces you haven't used in a while and really considering how they can add to an outfit.

5. Reflect On Photos

As well as taking snaps of any new outfit combinations you come up with it can often be useful to look back on photos from 12 months ago and provide yourself with some inspiration through the outfits you wore last year. It's surprising how often all it takes is to be reminded of a look that you loved last season and are yet to wear this year. And you never know, it may even spark an idea of how a piece could be worn differently with this years style in mind.


Most importantly, the next time you're in a style rut and feeling uninspired or like you have nothing to wear, try to remember this...you're the only one that sees your wardrobe everyday! Yes it's easy to get sick of your clothes and even easier to get caught up in the notion of needing new ones, so instead flip these thoughts and reverse them, be proud of your wardrobe and get creative with your style!

Brand Spotlight: Lois Hazel

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Founded in Melbourne, Australia in 2015, Lois McGruer-Fraser, armed with a background working for large fashion houses overseas and a desire to combine fashion with honesty, set about creating her timeless and chic label Lois Hazel. Almost three years down the track and Lois has created a brand that epitomises what it means to be transparent, achieves responsible and sustainable fabric sourcing, and has built it's foundations on strong relationships with local factories and seamstresses. Read my Q&A with the pioneer herself to learn more about this game changing fashion label and visit Lois Hazel to view the latest range...you won't be disappointed!  

What was your inspiration behind starting Lois Hazel?

I wanted to create an honest womenswear brand. A brand that didn’t just offer more fashion to the world, but something that gave back too. I wanted to create pieces that my customers would cherish for more than a season, and allow them to be engaged with the brand's story as much as I am, by communicating a transparent supply chain. 

Why do you think transparency is so important for the fashion industry? 

I think the consumer needs to be more in touch and aware of what is actually involved with making clothes. We interact with them on a daily basis without even really realising that each piece that we wear is made by someone, somewhere. Even the fabric, or the trims have gone through multiple people's hands and it’s time to start bringing that journey into the light and I think being transparent is a great start. 

In letting the consumer see the list of people and other businesses involved in each garment hopefully will help them understand why it is so important to make sure each level of the supply chain is being looked after, paid fairly and in a safe working environment. Consumers have the most power to see change happen in this industry, so the more people who ask for transparency in the brands they love, will hopefully shine the light on areas that need improvement in the way the fashion industry currently operates.

Your range is manufactured in house or locally, why is this important to you and the Lois Hazel brand?

Being able to pop over to one of our factories, or have dinner with one of our makers is so incredible. I don’t have to wait months before I can finally touch the final product but rather, I am able to be involved in each step. Making sure everything is being made well, and knowing that the people who make my clothes are able to earn a decent living out of it, and provide more jobs within the industry here in Australia.

How do you go about sourcing fabrics for your collections and why do you choose to incorporate dead stock textiles? 

Wall Fabrics is a New Zealand company who specialise in offering dead stock textiles to the market and we work with them each season. Often, I start the design process by heading to their Melbourne showroom where I find at least one fabric that sparks a new range. 

I want to start each range here as I know I want to incorporate or even offer majority of my range out of these textiles. In doing this means instead of creating more, I’m able to reuse what is already available and prevent more textile waste going to landfill. It also helps my design process, as often I’m limited in choice which helps me narrow down the concept for each range. Not having the world to choose from in a range does push your creative juices a bit further, allowing me to create unique, limited pieces. 

What’s your advice to women who want to build a more sustainable and timeless wardrobe that they’ll love for years to come?

Invest. Don’t be afraid to invest in good quality clothing. Yes sustainable pieces are normally a slightly higher price point, but they are more likely to last you longer, be with you through multiple phases and won’t go out of fashion as soon as the next trend appears. I also feel when you spend more on something, especially with a strong ethical focus, you end up taking more thoughtful care of it and feel a lot prouder when you wear it. Why not look great, feel great and know that you are contributing to something great like a fairer fashion industry. 

View the latest range at Lois Hazel

Brand Spotlight: Nature Baby

Images: Nature Baby

Images: Nature Baby

Wether you're having a baby, already have kids or simply have some special little people in your life, Nature Baby is a brand you need to know! New Zealand owned and operated since 1998 this pioneering childrenswear label was founded by husband and wife duo, Jacob and Georgia Faull. After having their first child the pair discovered a number of other parents like themselves wanting their children to grow up in a pure, beautiful and chemical free environment. With an abundance of commercial clothing options available Nature Baby set out to provide an alternative to parents that offered quality, purity and design plus cared for the earth and it's workers. 

With a range focussed on organic cotton and merino wool fabrications this brand ensures it's garments meet babies needs for softness, breathability, warmth and durability while taking care of the world in which they will grow. Sourced in India the brands organic cotton is GOTS certified and produced on farms that have become self sustaining and offer factory workers fair conditions by paying above the minimum wage, while also providing equality between male and female workers and having zero tolerance for child labour. Merino wool is locally sourced in New Zealand and is ZQ accredited to ensure it comes from happy, healthy sheep that roam free outdoors and are provided with adequate food, water, comfort, shelter, and prevention or treatment of injury and disease.

The range features clothing, footwear, toys, bedding, skincare and more, so Nature Baby has your little one covered from newborn to 4 years old. Plus there's a selection of necessities for Mum on offer and setting up your gift registry couldn't be easier! Most importantly though, you can rest assured that your precious one is stylishly wrapped in comfort, free from any harmful chemicals and in garments that haven't caused harm to the planet or the people who made them. 

I've bought the sheepskin booties for multiple friends now and all have loved them and mentioned that they are some of the only booties their baby couldn't kick off. Now as a mama to be I'm so excited to have such an incredible brand to purchase not only beautifully designed and chic clothing from but also ethically made and chemical free fabrics for my little one.  Visit Nature Baby now, shipping is worldwide so everyone can enjoy this incredible kids brand!   

Brand Spotlight: GRAMMAR

Image:  GRAMMAR

Image: GRAMMAR

A self proclaimed adopter of the work uniform, dressed in black pants and a white tee, I met Althea in her Brooklyn studio to discuss all things GRAMMAR. The NYC based designers' emerging label is focussed on white shirting for women with her debut range centered around five unique designs. Each one caters to a certain style and ocassion but all offer sustainability and ethics. With organic cotton poplin the fabric of choice and all production completed locally in NYC's garment district, these shirts check all the boxes! At the heart of the range though is quality, each style is meticulously thought through and fit to perfection. After having the opportunity to try on all five shirts it was hard to choose a favorite but easy to identify their value and longevity in your wardrobe.

Learn more about the brand and the face behind it all in this Q&A with founder Althea Simons and pre-order your shirt now through Kickstarter before September 30th.


What was your inspiration behind starting GRAMMAR?

I’ve always wanted to start a sustainable fashion company. Well, I’ve always wanted to have my own business, and since I went to Parsons I’ve wanted to start a sustainable fashion company. I didn’t feel ready at the time, and in retrospect it’s clear that since then I’ve been collecting experiences to help me feel confident enough to run my own business. The catalyst to finally starting was in January 2016 when I was starting my last semester at business school and my apartment building burned down. I lost all of my stuff, and had to replace my carefully curated wardrobe. It was really hard. I realized that there wasn’t a brand made for me; I wanted classic, go-to pieces that were well-designed and different – and bonus points if it was sustainable – but I couldn’t find anything that I wanted to buy. I thought, I’ve always wanted to start a sustainable fashion business…if not now, when? That’s when I started to really think in earnest about what that would look like. 

Why did you choose to focus your range on white shirts for women?

I realized early on in the process that I needed focus. Because I was starting the business on my own and bootstrapping, I needed to be really lean and purposeful with my operations. It makes sense at the beginning to focus on one fabric – you can meet higher minimums and therefore have more options. I liked the design challenge of picking one type of garment and creating different versions of it, and from a brand perspective it’s strong and clear what Grammar is about. I love white shirts – they are so iconic and versatile, they look good on everyone, and they work for every occasion. When I was working in branding I developed a work uniform: white shirt, black pants or skirt, black shoes. The benefits of a work uniform are numerous (see Huffington Post), but best of all it saves time in the morning and reduces decision fatigue. It was powerful to be able to throw on one of my white shirts and feel like I could take on anything my day would throw at me. I want to empower women to feel that way too.

What made you choose to use organic cotton and have GRAMMAR manufactured entirely in NYC?

Organic and local are part of my value system. My mother started a natural food store in the early 90's when I was young; knowing where your food comes from and understanding how it’s grown or made has always been a part of my life. Many people don’t realize or think about the fact that cotton is an agricultural product; conventional cotton is subjected to chemicals and pesticides just like fruits and vegetables. Everyone understands how bad this is for human health and the environment, and yet less than one percent of all cotton grown in the world is organic. I want to be a part of changing that statistic. The change has to come from the demand side, because farming organically is unequivocally more difficult than conventional. Producing locally, I get to see with my own eyes that the factories are ethical. I have a relationship with the people who make Grammar shirts. I would love to have a factory one day and produce in house, but in the meantime there are so many amazing factories in the Garment District who produce for some of the most prestigious brands in New York. The talent here is unsurpassed in the U.S..  

How did you come up with the 5 shirt designs that make up the range?

My process includes a lot of research – perhaps a hold-over from my neuroscience days. I’ve talked to so many women about what they want, and I try to incorporate their needs into the designs. For example, I heard from a lot of women that they want shirts they can wear under blazers for work, so I made sure that I had styles that could do that (The Conjunction and The Verb). I love this interview with Lorde in New York Times Magazine. In it, she describes her creative process, which I feel is really similar to mine. I have a vague idea of what I want and then keep working at it until it’s right. I collect ideas – details, silhouettes, shapes, functionality – that I want to include in the collection, not knowing exactly where they will fit. Then I just keep refining until it feels good. I wanted the shirts to all be really different, so part of it is pushing them away from each other design-wise so they are each distinct.  Finally, I think about what I would wear. I have to love it. If I love it, chances are someone else will too. 

Why is a white shirt so important in a woman's wardrobe?

So many reasons! I think you’re hinting at a feminist angle – or maybe I’m projecting – either way, a white shirt is really powerful. A (male!) friend of mine recently texted me: “Grammar is going to redefine and support the 2017 work woman’s badass approach to thriving in the formerly male workplace.” I love that idea, and I hope it’s true! 


With just over a week left in GRAMMAR's Kickstarter campaign time is running out to get your hands on a signature shirt from this emerging brands debut collection! Get yours HERE.