Joy is a big part of what we aim to bring to parenthood. The joy of dressing your babies in cute clothes and the joy of time and space when you just have to send them back to get new ones. There is also joy in knowing that we are doing good for the planet. We recently did a pop-up tie-dye event at the Bunny Hive, a social studio that offers classes for babies and toddlers (music, art, sensory, ballet, yoga...you name it). Tie dye is making a comeback AND it’s a great way to upcycle clothing. During the event, I was asked “what does sustainable fashion mean?” Good question.
Sustainable fashion / manufacturing is more than just addressing fashion textiles or products. It addresses the whole system of how clothing is produced, who produced it and how long the lifespan of a product is before it reaches the landfill. This means dealing with many interdependent social, cultural, ecological and financial systems.
Easy. Peasy. (J/K). It’s a lot and frankly it means different things to different groups. So here are some easy things you can do when purchasing clothes and trying to be more sustainable.
- Read labels - items like 100% cotton, linen, organic cotton and bamboo are biodegradable and recyclable. Avoid polyester and acrylics, especially the blends with cotton - they only make you feel like you are doing some good and can actually take up to 200 years to biodegrade in landfills. Plus they are made with harsh chemicals and toxins.
- Avoid one time purchases if you can. We know it is so much fun to buy a Thanksgiving or Christmas onesie, but generally they will be worn once or twice and outgrown. At Romp + Tumble we have added these items to our bundles as seasonally appropriate (Valentines Day / July 4th) and will be doing this all year round (watch out for Halloween)!
- Skip a wash if you can. We wash more than we need. Sometimes just hanging and airing out does the job and saves energy (and your money).
- Finally, think beyond the label. There are real life people who make the clothes we wear and deserve to be paid a living wage. Price matters...so if a new purchase seems too good to be true it probably is. While you are not paying the price, someone else might be.