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Sustainable fashion: A trend in children’s wear

With each visit to children’s wear-focused trade shows, we realise that the importance of sustainable fashion is increasing. Wanting to give only the very best to our little ones, we aren’t surprised at how quickly this trend is picking up!

What are the standards in sustainable fashion for children?

Sustainable fashion means using organic and biological raw materials to create the garments in a production process that respects nature and our human, local communities. This is nothing new. Organic materials have been used for years and years, however, it seems that sustainable fashion is becoming more mainstream. Consumers are becoming aware of sourcing and production and the effects the purchasing choices have on our communities and even on their own health. And a lot of brands are working hard to fulfil the new rising need.

Global Organic Textile Standard logo

When looking for sustainable fashion, one of the logos you most often come across is GOTS, the Global Organic Textile Standard. This is a certification in respect to ecological and social requirements in garment production. It “ensures the organic status of textiles, from harvesting of the raw materials, through environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing up to labelling in order to provide a credible assurance to the end consumer“.

Another very widely used symbol in regards to ecological textile is called Oeko-Tex. This international association with representatives all over the world aims to enhance product safety and sustainable production in the textile industry. If you see their symbol on clothing you can be sure that it has been thoroughly tested and accredited.

Which brands are at the forefront?

As part of Berlin’s fashion week this January, it was also possible to attend the Ethical Fashion Show at Berlin Postbahnhof. In addition to exhibiting fashion brands they have organised many different workshops, lectures and panel discussions all about different materials and production methods. Later in the month at Pitti Immagine Bimbo in Florence you will find a whole segment of the show dedicated to ‘green issues’ as they call it. You will many brands that make sustainable fashion part of their signature, including Gray Label, Kidiwi, Mamie et moi, Naturapura and Risu Risu.

Photo by Fiammisday

Photo by Fiammisday

We have already mentioned a few of the eco-fashion brands for kids. Do you remember Nadadelazos from Madrid or Noé & Zoë from Berlin? And there are much more!

The preoccupation with sustainable fashion happily doesn’t only pertain to the European market and we see similar efforts across the world. Just last December a new trade show, focussed on sustainable children’s clothing was announced in the United States. On February 11th in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, ‘Eco Baby Expo‘ will see the light of day with seminars, play areas, giveaways and of course booths of different clothing brands. Brilliant right?

What changes are there?

Sustainable fashion concerns the production of the raw material but also the production of the garment and is as such a holistic idea. Brands like Patagonia try to reduce their waste through better production planning, to reuse materials from customers or recycle completely different materials to make them into new garments. Others are looking for new materials to substitute cotton and try out new designs using bamboo, soy, corn and wood pulp to create environmentally sound alternatives to cotton fabric. Once the material is sourced and here the focus is on how it has been grown and harvested, sustainable fashion is concerned with the way this fabric is made into a finished dress. Animal testing, bad working conditions in sweatshops or even child labour were a start, but sustainable fashion reaches further prompting us to think about the environmental and community impact it may have.
A lot has happened in the past years already but it’s now that more and more mainstream branding is including sustainable fashion lines in their collections. We will stay tuned and curious to see what 2017 will bring.
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